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Kneading

Books about Massage

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Kneading is a massage technique in the category of petrissage movements.

In general, petrissage movements involve compressing soft tissues (such as skin and muscle tissue) against each other and/or against the underlying bone or bones.

Kneading is a circular technique by which the skin and its underlying structures are moved in a circular rotating motion on the underlying structures (e.g. of muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones). Tissue is lifted and rolled away from the bone, and then back towards the bone with a squeezing compressive action.

This massage manipulation is performed using different parts of the therapists hand and/or fingers depending on the area of the body that is being kneaded. Other variations on this technique also depend on the area that is being worked.

Petrissage movements such as kneading should not be applied in certain circumstances such as:

  • to any inflamed areas (incl. abdominal inflammations such as appendicitis)
  • in cases of hernia
  • during pregnancy, or
  • intensively over recent muscle strains or scars.

Note: If in doubt about the safety of a massage movement don't perform it - seek advice from a tutor or other appropriately qualified person.


This section consists of short summaries about the classical massage movements. This list of massage techniques is not exhaustive. For more general information about massage see also:

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