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Page 3 - Primary Effluerage

Introductory massage certificate course

Back massage

These are your Introductory Strokes helping you get to know the back, and they are also strokes to return to for evaluation later in the massage. You may also find that you lose track of your progress through the series of techniques, you can return to these strokes when you get lost.

You have tuned in, spread a nice amount of oil or wax over the entire back body, so now we are ready to begin the massage. Remember, you are massaging the soft tissues (muscles) and avoiding putting any strong pressure on the bones, especially the spine which you should avoid pressing on as much as possible.

start

The blue line is the start point for all strokes working up the back as they are to flow along the full length of the spine.

Primary Effleurage - oval strokes

A firm broad stroke with your weight evenly spread over your hands and fingers so that you begin to sense the body and the person.

In this stroke, you are effecting the muscles which run up either side of the spine (Erector spinæ, extensor spinae, spinae longissimus depending on what book you read

  1. Place your finger tips on the rump either side of the tail bone (coccyx), slide your fingertips over the sacrum and bring down the full weight of your hands - see the sacrum as a landing strip and your hands the plane landing - your fingers are the wheels - the fingers lead as the weight of your arms settles and glides up either side of the spine. No thumb pressure!

    Back rub

    Please note

  2. With even pressure on your palms and fingers, slide up over the muscles which run up either side of the spine, taking care not to press to hard over the kidneys, and sense the shape and texture of the skin and underlying muscles as you go.
  3. Slide your hands through between the shoulders and allow your fingers curl over the shoulders as your thumbs flow smoothly over the back of the neck and touch into the base of the skull - always touch onto a different point on the base of the skull with each stroke, else you can cause a headache..
  4. then flow out from the neck, over the shoulders & upper arms - let your fingers explore into the crevices along the top of the shoulders and softly down the sides of the body, your little fingers will brush the table.
  5. Circle over the buttocks and back to your start point.
  6. Repeat 3 - 4 times with slight variation in pressure and the destination of the thumbs touching the base of the skull.

You may have felt that some muscles are more tight, and some muscles are soft and you can now begin to increase pressure into the muscles that feel tighter.

Secondary Effleurage - circles to oval strokes
Here we begin to make a more detailed assessment and the secondary stroke echoes the primary.

  1. As with the primary stroke, place your finger tips on the rump either side of the tail bone (coccyx), slide your fingertips over the coccyx and bring down the full weight of your hands.
  2. On your first stroke, slide the heel of your hand / inside of your wrist down through the waist attempting to feel the rim of the pelvis (Illiac Crest) slide by the heel of your hand or wrist.
  3. Slide all the way down to the table surface keeping your fingers parallel to the the body, that is do not point your fingers down - keep your fingers pointing slightly up until your hands reach the table. You need to bend down over the person and feel you are squeezing toward their centre and squeeze firmly as you come up over the buttocks.
  4. Each successive stroke moves up the back until you are about the shoulders, then of your next stroke up,  as you come over the back ribs, begin the side to side shuffle up between the shoulders to end touching the base of the skull before returning down the sides. Note the video below.
  5. Repeat the entire sequence 3 - 4 times.

Remember:

  • Use your body weight to apply pressure.
  • These strokes are an overview of the back, don't be in a rush.
  • Make your strokes cover the entire back, if you are massaging a big person and you have small hands, be creative so that no area of skin is untouched.
  • When you pull back from the neck, let your finger tips explore into the channels around the top of the shoulders.
  • All your strokes should be comfortable for you to perform - make sure your stance is comfortable.
  • Get feedback and adjust your pressure accordingly.
  • Note: please try to start your back strokes from below the sacrum.
When you have oil on, these are your primary and secondary effluerage strokes.
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Older videos from the start and note the flow through the neck that you can't see in the above video.

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Remember for most of the massage you have your entire hand resting on the back with some emphasis on your fingertips, but not like in this image below.

Sensual touch

Sensual touch

On the secondary stroke, when your strokes out over the side have reached the shoulder blades, slide your finger tips side to side as you stroke up and return down as before.
Clip_48[1]

When you are returning your hands back to the hips from the shoulders, your fingertips need to curl under the body.

On a big person, you may need to make supplementary strokes to cover the entire side of the body keeping your fingers open as illustrated below
returndown[1]

Repeat the entire sequence 3 - 4 times.On the secondary stroke, when your strokes out over the side have reached the shoulder blades,
slide your finger tips side to side as you stroke up and return down as before.  Repeat the entire sequence 3 - 4 times and treat g strings as knickers and slide them down id the person is willing.

 

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