The Swedish Massage is used within a combination of 5 basic stroke techniques: Effleurage, petrissage, friction, tapotement, and vibration.
1. Effleurage consists of long, gliding, sweeping strokes using the open palm, fists, or forearms. These strokes are smoothing strokes used for helping with applying cream as well as evaluate muscle tension in the client.
2. Petrissage is a type of kneading and rolling of the muscles which can help free up knotted, sore muscles and soft tissue, stimulate nerve endings and aid in increasing circulation.
3. Friction is a warming stroke designed to both quickly generate heat, in preparation for deeper work such as a deep tissue massage. This stroke can be done by rubbing back and forth along the length of the muscle or across it by either using wringing motion or small circular movements.
4. Tapotement uses a rhythmic percussion stroke in which the hand action rhythmically stimulates nerves, muscles, and circulation. The hand position can be cupped or with the edge of the hand, or it can be with fingertips.
5. Vibration can refer to rocking or shaking movements applied to the body. These moves, which can be done slowly or rapidly, are usually done following a massage session to relax further relax the client and help stimulate blood flow.