Aromatherapy Massage Techniques



The different massage techniques used in aromatherapy

Massage manuals are full of French terms such as effleurage and pettrisage. In plain English, the five massage techniques are: stroking, patting, knuckling, squeezing and rubbing.

You’ve stroked the dog or the cat and know how much they like it. Massage strokes on people have a similar but even more marked effect. They should follow the following rules of technique: the aroma-masseur or -masseuse strokes in two ways, with a pulling or a pushing motion, and either way lightly or heavily.

Take the heart as the center of the body. If the masseur is pulling or pushing towards the heart, she or he can use pressure. If stroking away from the heart, only the lightest touch should be used. Stroking should begin and end all massage sessions, and it should be used in between the other techniques.

Aromatherapy massagePatting
This is the least used of the five. Patting with the fingertips gives light stimulation to small areas.

The hands are clenched in very light fists. Gentle circular movements are made using mainly the knuckles of the top joints of your fingers.

Squeezing and letting go, usually with both hands at once, is a powerful technique involving plenty of effort from the masseur and giving a clear effect on the subject.
Large muscles or muscle groups need more massage input than stroking can provide – in fact, ‘need’ is almost the right word, because the plunging, turning, squeezing, lifting and pressing actions of the bread-maker are the nearest equivalent to this deep form of massage, except that in massage the subject is human and expecting sympathetic treatment. Slow and kindly should be your kneading; no violence, please.

Everybody has, without knowing it was a massage technique, used friction, or rubbing, on a cold winter’s day to warm their hands up. Its the same thing in massage: the harder and faster the masseur rubs, the better the results.