Friction massage is a compression type stroke where you're compressing soft tissues into underlying structures for the purposes of mainly stretching or broadening muscle fibers. For the purposes of this site that will be it's primary function. There are several different kinds of friction to include direct static pressure, linear, circular and cross fiber. The primary kind I suspect the at home user will be doing is mainly linear friction. Friction can be applied using your fingertips, knuckles, thumbs, heel of your hand, the entire palm of the hand, elbows or forearms. All forms of friction are also a great cellular pump type stroke where you're restricting blood for a small period of time and then allowing the blood to again re-engorge the area. Usually the sequencing for the employment of friction is third after effleurage and petrissage. It's very beneficial for restoring flexibility and function.
Acute injuries, inflammation, neuritis, rheumatoid arthritis, Osteoarthritis that is currently acute or sub acute, recent injuries or otherwise whenever any massage is contraindicated. For more detailed information about contraindications visit the massage contraindications page.
Unable to find studies done on linear or circular friction. Transverse or cross fiber friction is well established as being very helpful in facilitating proper healing after an injury occurs.
Hippocrates is said to have promoted friction. Throughout the internet as well in several books you'll find him quoted as saying. “The physician must be experienced in many things, but most assuredly in rubbing.” No doubt he was referring to the use of friction strokes. So, clinically, friction has a long standing reputation for being effective. Friction massage conclusions.