In the classical treatment, gentle techniques are used to release muscle tensions, remove pain, and improve blood circulation. Rubbing and strokes are generally performed in the same direction as the flow of blood returning to the heart. Relaxation massage reduces stress, both emotional and physical, and is suggested as part of a regular program for stress management. The main purpose of Relaxation Massage is to increase oxygen flow in the blood, and release toxins from the muscles. It also simply just feels good.
Relaxation massage shortens recovery time from muscular strain by flushing the tissue of lactic acid, uric acid and other metabolic wastes. It also has specific clinical uses in a medical or remedial therapy. The strokes and manipulations of Relaxation Massage are each conceived as having a specific therapeutic benefit.
Relaxation massage techniques include:
- Petrissage: kneading movements with the hands, thumbs and/or fingertips
- Effleurage: gliding strokes with the palms, thumbs and/or fingertips
- Friction: circular pressures with the palms of hands, thumbs and/or fingertips
- Vibration: oscillatory movements that shake or vibrate the body
- Percussion: brisk hacking or tapping
- Passive and Active Movements: bending and stretching