By: Michael Manion Viewed: 5/27/2020
Topics/Keywords: #Petrissage #SwedishMassage Page Views: 3310
All about the Petrissage movement of Swedish Massage.

What is Petrissage?


Petrissage is from the French word pétrir which means to knead. One of the five basic Swedish massage strokes, this involves movements that apply pressure which are deep and compress muscles. This includes movements that that appear to knead areas of the body like kneading bread dough, wringing, skin rolling and pick-up-and-squeeze.

How to Perform Petrissage

This method is accomplished by using the padded surface of the hand along with the surface of a finger or fingers against that of the thumb. When kneading the hands should be molded to the area and the movement should be slow at first, and rhythmical. One form of Pettrissage that is called Knuckling is done by asserting the knuckles in order to lift in circular upward movements. This is different from Effleurage in that Knuckling is done in broad stokes with the knuckles. Scissoring, another method, is performed over a flat area by using the index finger along with the middle finger of both hands. They are placed opposite each other and slowly worked towards each other lifting and releasing.

Wringing is similar to kneading except it may involve a twisting of the skin. Skin rolling is performed by holding loose skin and squeezing the tissue and rolling it back and forth like rolling a ball. Pick-up-and squeeze involves just firmly holding the tissue or skin and picking it up while squeezing.

Applications for Petrissage

Petrissage is used to increase circulation and to assist bringing nutrients to the various cells. It is useful in almost every area of the body.

In treating paralysis, Petrissage is most important in increasing nutrition and so preventing atrophy, where muscles go limp and lose their ability to function. Nutrition is also increased through alternate movements of contracting and expanding the muscles. This enables the tissue fluids containing toxins to be forced into the lymphatic system and then through the veins which are emptied and refilled. Waste material is removed and room is made for fresh, nutrient-rich blood to enter the blood system.

In treating lumbago and all other forms of tissue inflammation, Petrissage serves as a way of breaking up the inflammatory area in diseased tissue. In all these cases a restorative element is added to any work you do. It also feels really good to release these areas of containment. Petrissage is an invaluable tool for relaxation and healing.