Pummelling

Books about Massage

Books about Massage

Pummelling is a percussion (also known as tapotement) movement.

During pummelling movements, the therapist's hands are loosely clenched into fists with the thumbs kept flat against the hand. The therapist's wrists are loose and both hands are used to strike the body alternately - working up to a rate of approx. 6-10 contacts per second.

Pummelling is not always included in massages and is often omitted from "holistic" and "aromatherapy" massages in favour of more gentle movements. It is not used when massaging children.
However, it is useful for toning muscles and for its invigorating effects, e.g. in sports massages.


When applied, pummelling is usually used on the buttocks and thigh area. In generaI, it is applicable to the fleshy parts of the body only, so:

  • not directly over bony pertuberances
  • not over surface (superficial) nerves
  • not over paralysed muscles
  • not during pregnancy.

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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