How to massage back with Effleurage – gliding stroke in Swedish massage

How to massage back with Effleurage – gliding stroke in Swedish massage

This week I’m going to show you one of the Swedish massage techniques called effleurage which is a French word “to skim” or “to lightly touch on.” It’s a gliding stroke using a product to lubricate the surface. Since it’s Swedish massage I’m going to use a massage table.

Have the receiver lay face down with the top off and stand by the receiver’s head. Put some product on your hands and rub them together. Put both hands flat on the upper back. As you inhale and exhale together glide over the muscles next to the spine all the way to the hip bone, come back up, glide over the shoulder blades, back to the center and finish at the base of the skull.

I use this technique to start the massage to introduce my touch as I spread the lotion and end the massage in this area before I move on to the next area. You can also use this technique to transition between the moves. Use closed fingers instead of open fingers. Start with a small amount of product because if you use too much the surface becomes too slippery. When you finish at the base of the skull, hook your fingers and lean back. I bet the receiver will like it. You can also do one side at a time on each side of the spine. Never press on the spine.

If you slow down it feels deeper and more sincere to the receiver so no rushing. Have a firm stance and use your body weight as you move forward. Tai Chi was a big part of my Swedish massage class to learn the body weight transfer and balance.

To me one way that’s not very professional is applying the lotion directly from the container to the receiver’s skin. You always put the product in your hands and emolliate to soften, warm with your hand temperature, and activate the aroma agent if it’s scented before you put the product on the receiver’s skin. But that’s for professionals so you can do whatever you want at home.

Happy Massaging!

9-23-13: How to do Effleurage – gliding stroke in Swedish massage

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