Massage & Bodywork

NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2015

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CLASSROOM TO CLIENT education Adapting Swedish Massage Techniques to Chair Massage 7 Techniques to Use Today By Anne Williams With minor modifi cations, most of the strokes you already use during table massage can be adapted for seated or chair massage. In this article, we'll take a look at some specifi c Swedish massage techniques you can incorporate into your chair massage sessions. 1. EFFLEURAGE In a regular Swedish massage, effl eurage is used to warm the tissue and spread lubricant on the skin at the beginning of the massage. In seated massage, it is most often used as a fi nishing stroke to close a body area. Effl eurage could also be applied up the arms with light strokes to the shoulders or from the ankles up the legs to the hips over clothing. Try applying effl eurage to different body areas accessible in the massage chair, and practice transitioning the stroke from a nonclothed body area, like the arms, over sleeves to the back. 2. PETRISSAGE Petrissage feels good on the shoulders, posterior neck, and upper extremity during a seated massage. It is fatiguing for the therapist's hands and so should be used in moderation during a busy day of sessions. In this image, petrissage is applied to the shoulders. Try applying petrissage to the shoulders; down the back; to the posterior neck, arms, and forearms; and to the thighs and legs over clothing. It can be more diffi cult to get hold of the tissue and lift it when applied over clothing, but it still feels enjoyable to the client. 3. SUPERFICIAL FRICTION Superfi cial friction is useful as a stroke to warm the tissue, even when applied over clothing. In this image, superfi cial friction is applied to the back. It can also be applied to the shoulders, upper extremity, and lower extremity. Practice applying superfi cial friction to all body areas that are accessible while the client is seated. 4. LINEAR FRICTION Friction strokes break up adhered tissue and reorganize collagen fi bers into parallel patterns, allowing for greater range of motion. It is very useful in seated massage. In this image, the elbow is used to apply linear friction to the thoracic region. Try applying linear friction to all of the accessible areas of the body and over clothing. Use your elbows, fi ngers, knuckles, fi sts, and the ulnar edge of your hands.

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