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Swedish Massage Strokes
Chart Summary

 

Stroke
Purpose/Uses
Mechanical effect Reflexive effect Contraindications
LIGHT EFFLEURAGE
Gliding, Fanning, Tree branching, shingling etc.
  • Transitioning
  • Spreading oil
  • Evaluating tissue
  •  Relaxes muscles (parasympathetic nervous system)
  • Relieves pain (Gate control theory, endorphins)
  •  Increases arterial and capillary circulation
  •  Increases vasodilation (slowing heart rate and blood pressure)
  •  Hyperesthesia
  •  Marked or pitted edema
  •  Gross swelling
DEEP EFFLEURAGE
Knuckling,
  •  Increases venous and lymphatic flow removing wastes, reducing edema
  •  Improves nutritional status of tissues
  •  Increases arterial and capillary circulation, bringing nutrients
  •  Warms superficial tissue
  •  Desquamation of dead skin
Same as above
  •  Deeper muscle relaxation
  •  Capillary dilation longer lasting

  •  
  •  Same as light effleurage
  •  Very hairy skin
  •  New scar tissue
  •  Venous stasis
PETRISSAGE
Picking up, wringing, kneading, open C/closed C, alternating thumb, squeezing, lifting, skin rolling (lifting tissue away from underlying structures)
  • Used after effleurage
  •  Relieves congestion
  •  Reduces swelling
  •  Digestive disorders 
  •  Muscle shortening 
  •  Spastic paralysis
  •  Fatigue

  •  
  •  Stretches muscle fibers and stimulates muscle tone, broadens fibers
  •  Breaks up adhesions
  •  Increased circulation and waste elimination
  •  Moves interstitial fluid
  •  Slow-relaxes nervous system
  •  Fast-stimulates NS
  •  Increases glandular activity of skin
  •  Increases peristalsis  when done over abdomen
  •  Affects proprioception
  •  Atrophied muscles
  •  Flaccid paralysis
  •  Acute inflammation
DIRECT PRESSURE FRICTION
Compression
  • Use after tissues have been warmed up
  •  Hypertonic muscles
  •  Treatment massage
  •  Deep tissue work
  •  Compresses and spreads tissue
  •  Temporary ischemia
  •  Mobilizes muscle/tendon junction
  •  Reduces pain and spasm
  •  Hyperemia
  •  Increases peristalsis when done over abdomen

  •  
For all frictions:
  •  Acute inflammations
  •  Neuritis
  •  Recent injuries
  •  Osteo and rheumatoid arthritis-especially acute stages
  •  Muscles lacking innervation(paralysis)
  •  Debilitating neuromuscular dysfunction such as MS, ALS, MD.
LINEAR OR CIRCULAR FRICTION same as above
  •  Myofascial releasing-separating adhered fascial planes
  •  Broadens and stretches muscle fibers
  •  Increases muscle 
  •  Decreases tension through stimulating Golgi tendon reflex
  • Increases circulation
  • Creates hyperemia
Cross fiber friction
  •  Use only after a thorough warming of involved tissue
  • Apply at right angles to scar/fibrotic tissue
  •  Superficial tissue must      move over underlying structure
  •  Apply frequently enough to have an impact
  •  Breaks up adhesions
  •  Assists in realigning scar tissue

  •  
  •  Relaxes muscles by stimulating Golgi tendon reflex
Heat rub friction
  •  Heats skin
  •  Warms tissue
  •  Vasodilatation
  •  Relaxes muscles
TAPOTEMENT
Tapping, Pincement, Slapping Hacking, Cupping, Beating, Pounding
  •  Stimulation of tired muscles
  •  Relaxation of hypertonic muscles
 Loosens mucus in thoracic cavity
  •  Stimulates nervous system, muscles, vessels
  •  Enhances muscle tone via contract-relax response
  •  Increases circulation
  •  Stimulates organs through low back
  •  Increases gaseous exchange
  •  Stimulates skin and glandular activity
  •  Muscles is spasm or cramping
  •  Spastic paralysis
  •  Atrophied muscles
  •  Flaccid paralysis
  •  Insomnia, neurasthenia or complete exhaustion
  •  Neuritis or painful conditions
  •  Over bony area
  •  No heavy tapotement over the kidneys
  •  No heavy tapotement over low back in pregnancy or menstruation
FINE VIBRATION
Static or moving
Relaxation
  •  sedates nervous system
  •  reduces pain(gate theory)
  •  relaxes muscle 
same as tapotement
COARSE VIBRATION
Static or moving
loosens ligaments  Penetrating stimulation
JOSTLING/SHAKING
  •  Increases synovial activity
  •  Increases circulation
  •  Stimulates organs
  •  Reduces muscle guarding
  •  Rejuvenating  tired muscles
same as tapotement
SWEDISH GYMNASTICS
Active free, active assisted, passive, resistive
  • Stretches muscles and ligaments
  •  Increases circulation and nutrition
  •  Increases waste elimination
  •  Loosens adhesions
  •  Increases ROM and flexibility
  •  Stimulates NS
  •  Increases blood pressure and temperature
  •  Torn ligament, tendon or muscle
  •  Unhealed fracture
  •  Post surgery
  •  Heart conditions 
  • ( active and resistive)
  •  Acute injuries
  •  

 

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