Tapotement massage is a percussive type stroke used to stimulate blood flow, cellular activity, and effect muscle tone. It also stimulates the nervous system by causing muscles to contract and relax. Tapotement can be broken down into deep or light. There are several varying massage strokes that fall under Tapotement.
Pincement. Is done by quickly and lightly pinching the skin.
Slapping is done by using the palm side of the hand and quickly and lightly slapping (with relaxed hands). The emphasis of the strike will be focused through the fingers.
Tapping is done by very lightly tapping a surface such as the face, scalp or areas that don't have a lot of muscle. Tapping is as it sounds you're lightly tapping your fingertips over the area you're working.
Cupping is done by cupping your hand. It's where you shape your hand the same as if you're going to trap, but not injur, an insect. Cupped hands with knuckles up. Then you make alternating striking movements with the cupped hands. If done right it'll sound like a horse clopping. Cupping is generally considered to be used for the reduction of congestion in the lungs.
Hacking is where you “hack” with little finger side of the hand. Hands should be relaxed with gentle and quick alternating strikes applied. Fingers should be a little on the floppy side if you're doing it right.
Examples of heavy tapotement massage: Beating is done with closed fist and the strikes are on the side of the ulnar side of the hand (small finger side). Only used on large muscles. Keep the fist closed, but a little on the loose side as you strike with the meaty small finger side of the fist.
There's also pounding and hacking that may come at a later date.
Massage tip: Put your body in the best place to provide for the best leverage. This is body mechanics. Use your body to get more output with less output.
For those that might want a more drawn out and detailed version of
Contraindications for tapotement
Tapotement contraindications: Do not use tapotement over bony areas, muscles that are contracted, spastic, atrophied, flaccid, cramping or sensitive, flaccid or spastic paralysis. No heavy vibration over the kidneys or over the low back of those menstruating or pregnant. Insomnia, complete exhaustion, or neurasthenia. Remember vibration can travel. As does movement, so what you do in one area of the body can effect adjacent structures. For more information see the
massage contraindications page. Learn how to massage, but do so safely.
Basic step by step order for Swedish Massage
The order is Effleurage, Petrissage, Friction Massage, Tapotement, and Vibration. For more details see Swedish Massage
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