There are many different types of massage strokes that a massage therapist can choose from, and different benefits as well. There are particular instances and situations when you would choose to use certain massage strokes on your client versus others. Here are a few types of massage stroke benefits and when you would most likely use the strokes on your client.


Effleurage is a “stroking” type technique that is gentle pressure and often long strokes performed. This is often very beneficial to decrease stress and relax the client. Petrissage is a “kneading” type of stroke. This is often used on tight muscles to relax and release them. This can be performed with varying amounts of pressure, based on the client’s needs. Both of these techniques are considered Swedish Massage techniques.

Friction Massage

Friction massage is a deeper pressure technique and is often performed in a particular localized spot. This can be helpful for decreasing scar tissue or improving blood flow or tendon recovery. Clients may need this technique after an injury or repetitive strain. This is often performed by using the fingers or fingertips of the massage therapist.


Tapping techniques and strokes are more invigorating and can help to energize the muscles and connective tissues, as well as the client themself. This can improve blood flow and oxygenation to the body. The tapping is often performed with a cupped hand for the best outcome.

Deep Tissue

Deep tissue massage is often a deeper technique that can help to decrease tightness and knots in the muscles. This is helpful if someone is experiencing soreness or has performed a sport or active endeavor. A massage therapist can often use their forearms instead of hands in order to perform this, and use their legs to drop down into the massage stroke. This helps with achieving proper body ergonomics to perform this deeper pressure massage stroke.

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