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Petrissage: A Tension-Relieving Technique
Swedish massage's five basic movements yield a bounty of benefits. Find out more about the massage's kneading technique, petrissage, with Groupon’s introduction.
Kneading, rolling, and squeezing—this, in a few words, is petrissage, a type of Swedish massage technique that focuses on compression and release. Working in combination with Swedish massage's five other movements, these deep-reaching motions are designed to lift soft tissue away from its underlying structures, effectively stretching muscles and other soft tissues and promoting circulation so all your blood doesn’t pile up in your elbows. Specific maneuvers include kneading with the whole hand, using the thumbs to apply pressure to thinner tissue, and rolling skin between the fingers to prevent it from adhering to the fascia (that is, sheets of connective tissue) below and causing stiffness. Massage oil or cream is often used to help these strokes glide smoothly and avoid pinching the skin. Petrissage, like Swedish massage in general, often results in increased muscle mobility, improved peristaltic, or bowel, movement when performed on the abdomen and, of course, a sense of noodly relaxation.