During massage there are many different techniques that you can use although there are main ones that are used. If someone is just about to go into or has come from an event you will do a pre and post event massage.
The first is effleurage this is used to warm up the underlying tissue. It is the first technique that you use and you will also use it in between other techniques. It is introduces touch and you and trying to look for the skin going red (erythema) where you have massaged.
The next technique is petrissage. Petrissage has 3 different types; kneading, wringing and lifting. It’s aim to create pressure, lift the fascia/muscles, decrease tension and increase flexibility and create heat. It is a deeper pressure than effleurage and is performed with the finger, palm and thumbs. The next techniques will be used depending on the injury.
Tapotements is a percussive technique the techniques are; beating, pounding, hacking, pecking and cupping. It can enhance the patients readiness to compete and is only performed on fleshy parts of the body mainly the gluets, quadriceps and hamstrings. It aim is to stimulate local circulation, muscle tone and tendon reflexes, nerve endings and assists in contraction and relaxation of vessels. You should avoid always tapotements over organs. Vibrations has two different methods shaking and rocking. The aim is to increase circulation, relax soft tissue and to disrupt the signals of pain. Frictions is another technique that is localised and applied to the site of the injury. It is a width way stretching if the fibres and lengthens the cross-bridges between the fibres. It is not to be done in the acute stages of healing and should restore interfibre mobility. It is initially painful but will numb after 2 minutes and should be performed for 10-15 minutes.
Soft tissue release (STR) aim is to lengthen chronically shortened muscles, break down collagen tissues, separate fibres and to realign adhesions. Soft tissue release is a more effective way of stretching out the muscles and allows you to focus on certain areas of the muscle. It involves a shorten lock and lengthen system. You will shorten the specific muscle, apply a lock to it starting from the origin point and slowly lengthen away from the lock/ origin. You carry on like this until you reach the insertion point or have normal ROM.
Neuromuscular technique (NMT) aim is to offer reflex benefits, enhance circulation and to prepare for other therapeutic methods. It allows the body to trick the brain into restarting communication with the body, reducing sensitivity, restriction & TP activity.
Muscle energy techniques (MET’s) aim is to allow movement and flexibility of the joint or area that is being worked on. It also improves local circulation, strengthens weak muscles and relaxes overactive muscles. There are two different methods of MET’s theses are; Post-Isometric relaxation (PIR) and Reciprocal inhibition (RI). PIR is a isometric muscle contraction that takes the muscle to it’s binding point and uses a relaxation period to push the muscle past it’s binding point. You get the to take the muscle to bind and whilst there push against you for 10-15 seconds then allow them to relax for 5 seconds. In the relaxation phase you then push it past the bind to the new bind and repeat it 3-5 times performing range of motion (ROM) test before and after PIR. RI is isometric contraction of the antagonist muscle for 8-12 seconds. You will take the muscle to the bind like PIR but this time you don’t push against the therapist. You will then relax and take the limb to the new bind and repeat 3 times holding the last time for 20-30 seconds.