After graduating from high school or earning the corresponding credentials, one must complete a therapeutic massage program to become a competent and licensed massage therapist. After completing the program, massage therapists can apply for their licensure and, if they want to operate independently, a business license.
Since there are so many different massage techniques, styles, and materials, learning for a massage therapist never ends during this process. Furthermore, you must know a range of these techniques and keep honing them if you want to become a massage therapist.
Giving a massage is similar to making art, just like any other art. When done skillfully, the movements and pressure used are comparable to brush strokes on a painting and may be appreciated in both situations.
But not everyone wants to become a massage therapist professionally; instead, some people want to master a few methods so they can effectively give a specific style of massage. Many beginner-level techniques are simple to use at home and pose little threat to the client’s physical safety for couples, families, and groups of friends.
This article will educate you on the most popular and efficient massage therapy techniques you can apply to your partner after a long day at the office. Alternately, you can use these methods to unwind and refresh yourself on trying, stressful days to improve the next day.
Here are the top five massage therapy methods in use today without further ado.
By applying pressure to various portions of the body with your thumbs or palms, kneading is arguably the most accessible motion for beginners. The purpose of this technique is to move a muscle away from the bone, which helps to lessen muscle spasms. Kneading is technically known as Petrisage, a term typically found in massage treatment texts.
Kneading is one of the first methods ever taught to massage therapy students, making it a little simpler to master than the others. However, it’s also crucial to understand how quickly and forcefully pressure is delivered to the skin and muscles.
Asking the customer about their preferences determines how much pressure and pace to use when conducting a massage. If not, you should start by altering the force and speed in response to the client’s reactions as you massage them.
Keep in mind that as a therapist, you should always ensure the person receiving the massage is not in pain or discomfort. Work your way into it as your customer instructs you, starting with light pressure and slower rates.
2. (Light/Deep Stroking) Effleurage
Another technique frequently employed in salons, parlors, and massage stations are this one. It entails applying slight pressure on the skin with your hands. This technique involves gliding the hands over the body while keeping them flat; oils or creams may be used for added comfort.
To maximize the client’s comfort and relaxation during a massage, effleurage is frequently applied at the start and end of the session. The purpose of this method is to relax the muscles in preparation for other, more severe procedures while also promoting blood flow to specific body regions.
Start your massage by applying mild, soothing strokes to the body while keeping your hands open if you want to learn how to use this technique. To softly massage the skin, utilize circular motions. If the client requests it, you can slightly increase the pressure.
The method can be applied to the body to release tension and muscular knots by using extra pressure. This method is frequently employed in various massage techniques, including Swedish massage.
As the name implies, the rubbing technique primarily calls for the use of thumbs, which are often moved in a circular pattern while exerting pressure. This technique is used to relieve muscular and joint discomfort as well as to increase blood circulation throughout the body.
When you rub the skin with your thumbs, you treat specific areas of the body, particularly those with stiff muscles or painful joints. To ease stiffness and discomfort in the deeper levels of the muscular tissues, rubbing can be integrated into a deep tissue massage at a higher pressure.
As long as you’re utilizing two thumbs, rubbing can be done using a variety of movement patterns. Despite being very similar in many ways, these movements could fall under a different approach depending on where and when massage therapists use them.
For instance, rubbing is a kneading referred to as the deeper effleurage.
4. Taping or Tapotement
Since tapping massage is one of the most excellent methods for enhancing blood circulation in the body, it is frequently utilized in sports massages. The back, thighs, and buttocks are the main areas of the body that are tapped during this massage by the massage therapist.
In a tapping massage, the hands can be cupped so that only the tips of the fingers and the edges of the palm touch the skin, or they can be laid side by side and tapped on the skin. You can modify the procedure to tap in a specific way if that seems more comfortable for your client.
Another thing to remember when employing the tapping technique is to tap quickly and rhythmically. Depending on how much pressure you use and how your customer prefers it, you can bend or straighten your hand.
Sometimes you could concentrate on a specific area of the client’s body that is exceptionally stiff and unpleasant. Consider combining the tapping with a hacking motion, which applies intense pressure to a limited body area.
5. Shaking Or Vibration
Finally, because this technique also uses rhythm, it resembles tapping in specific ways. You are instructed to lightly shake the muscles at a reasonably quick pace to simulate a vibration traveling through the area, using your hands across a wide surface area (such as the back, for example) or your fingers (across the face).
Since the primary goal of this technique is to give a calming sensation to the body’s muscles and nerves, it usually doesn’t require a lot of pressure. Many therapists have also advocated using this method to massage scar tissue around it.
Therefore, using the vibration approach is appropriate if you are massaging a person sensitive to higher pain intensities. The customer won’t feel any discomfort, and it will also give their frazzled nerves the much-needed rest.
A massage therapist must ensure that their client is not in any pain while receiving the massage, just like the other techniques mentioned above. Direct communication with the client is the most effective approach to doing this.