Types of Back Massage Modulations

Before you start with buying a back massager, you should really learn what different massage modulations are and which are right for you. Once you understand massage modulations, you would be better armed to pick the right back massager (or whether you really need one!).

There are five different modulations:

  • Effleurage
  • Friction
  • Petrissage
  • Tapotement
  • Vibration

Effleurage Massage Therapy for the back

The word takes its origins from the french word for “Skim”, referring to the lighter touch movements and pressure applied in this particular massage modulation. The sensation is ususally described as “gliding” or “stroking”, and is typically a warm up massage aimed at loosening muscles so that a deeper tissue massage can be performed, and can often be used in between other modulations, and as a cool down.

Below is a video of an effleurage back massage being performed:

Friction Back Massage Therapy

Normally when you hear of “deep Tissue massage” you are probably listening to someone describing a “friction type” of massage. This is where rubbing the back or pressing it vigorously comes into play, and is the most widely practice techniques, and chances are if your other half is going to give you a massage, then they are most likely to use friction massage.

It is reputed to be great for relaxing muscles, increasing bloodflow, nad infact the techniques differ so widely, that there are sub-definitions of types of friction based massage (for example cross fibre friction massage, deep transverse).

Below is a video of deep friction back massage therapy given to a patient with osteoarthritis:

Petrissage Massage Therapy for the back

Below is a video of Petrissage back massage therapy

Tapotement Massage Therapy for the back

Vibration Massage Therapy for the back