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Massage Therapy

History of Massage

Massage is an ancient technique of hands-on healing that was already developed in Ancient China, India, Persia (= now Iran), Greece and the Roman Empire.  Massage was rediscovered by the Western world in the late 18th century by Per Hendrik Ling, a physiologist from Sweden (and thus it is often called “Swedish Massage”).


Massage strokes

Here are the 5 basic massage strokes: 


a long, gliding superficial stroke to assess, warm up and calm the muscles and skin.  Effleurage is usually used at the beginning and end of a massage, and also during a massage.


a stroke that is deeper than effleurage, to increase the blood and lymph flow even more. 

Petrissage techniques are:

  • Kneading
  • Squeezing
  • Lifting
  • Rolling
  • Compression


a fast-paced stroke to energise the body.

Tapotement techniques are: 

  • Hacking (also called “tapping”) (with one’s hands in a vertical position)
  • Plucking (also called “pinching”) (with one’s fingers)
  • Pounding (with one’s fists)
  • Cupping (using one’s hands like a “cup” and thus creating a “vacuum” effect.  Good for clearing lungs, e.g. for coughing and asthma)

Each tapotement technique should only be used for max. 30 – 40 seconds.