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Petrissage is a gentle pinching movement that increases circulation and brings the blood towards the small capillaries in the skin. It is done with alternate hands working in sequence, one after the other, on the more fleshy areas of the body such as the thighs and buttocks. This method of squeezing may also be described as kneading, but you would not in this instance push down on the body.
It is often not possible to wrap the hand around the whole muscle when doing petrissage, if you are working on a larger muscle area, lift parts of the muscle and then squeeze lightly, though still firmly enough to have a gentle grip on it. This technique helps to release toxins into the bloodstream, in turn facilitating their excretion.
The key to an effective petrissage massage stroke is to do it with the same pressure throughout the massage, rhythmically and slowly. Strokes which are slow and rhythmic are the most relaxing and luxurious for both giver and client, leaving your client relaxed and loose.
Petrissage also encourages the removal of excess fluid from the muscles. After strenuous exercise, muscle tissue can become damaged: this damage brings with it inflammation and water retention, which can put pressure on the muscle receptors in the muscle. When massaging the legs to relieve this pain, you would first use the gliding strokes described in effleurage. On broader areas of the body such the back and chest, the muscles are flat and more difficult to grasp and in these instances it is recommended that kneading of some strokes be used and a little tapotement to increase the circulation.
How To Do The Petrissage Massage Technique
1) Take your fingers and gently grasp and squeeze a handful of flesh, keeping your fingers quite straight so that you are in fact pulling a bit of flesh, then release it and repeat the same procedure slightly further along, using the other hand.
2) Move gently and rhythmically along the limb or area are being massaged, ensuring as always, that you work up the body towards the heart.
3) Over the large muscles, such as the hamstrings, your hand should stretch out quite substantially so as to be able to grip a greater portion of the leg area, this will ensure that you do not pinch the muscle.
Make Your Clients Massage Experience Luxurious With The Petrissage Stroke
This is the perfect stroke to completely and wholly relax your client during a massage. The long gentle kneading movements are guaranteed to make your client feel like putty in your hands and remove all stress and tension from their body. With a little practice you will soon master this stroke very easily