Great Massage Movements and Techniques to Relax the Body

Heather Campbell
 min read

Great massage movements and techniques to relax the body are great tools to help us relax and recharge.

Great massage movements and techniques to relax the bodyOur daily lives are often filled with obligations and stress. The fatigue that we accumulate quickly leads to a state of overwork that weakens our body and our mind.

To prevent this state from taking hold, it is important to include small breaks in our schedule that relax and recharge us.

The relaxing massage is a beneficial way for the body and soul to relax, a treatment that allows you to regain body awareness and boost your self-confidence. Manual techniques include effleurage, friction, palpate-roll, kneading, tapping, or drainage.

Read on for some common massage techniques and movements for both the front and the back of the patient’s body.

Great massage movements and techniques to relax the body: Introduction

The processes used in body sculpting are the same massage techniques used in massage therapy.

For example, we perform effleurage, friction, palpate-roll, kneading or tapping with the hands, thumbs and sometimes even the forearms.

This technique aims at physical relaxation, psychological relaxation, anticellulite massage, remodeling of the silhouette and lymphatic drainage massage.

Body treatment in preparation of a massage

Here are the different steps to prepare the human body for a massage treatment:

First, warm the massage oil

Warm the massage oil with a candle warmer.

Then, model the body’s front and back

This is the modeling stage which will be done on the front and back of the body.

For the anterior face:

  • Use all hands and forearms.
  • Start with the lower body.
  • Model both legs simultaneously and then one after the other.
  • Model the belly. Use circular motions in a clockwise direction.
  • Model the bust and arms.
  • Wrap both hands around the back of the neck.
  • Smooth the arms and then move up to the neckline.
  • Slowly lower yourself to the foot to gently exit the contact.

For the posterior side: start the modeling with the back and work your way down to the foot.

Prepare and apply the scrub

Prepare your scrub. Apply the scrub in the same way as the modeling, starting from the feet to the chest.

Allow the body to relax and heat up

Sweating: wrap the shaped parts with a sweating film and the heating blanket.

Time to relax for 15 minutes.

Rinse the body

Rinse or invite to shower.

Finish with a massage

Finish with a body treatment such as a massage.


The word massage comes from the Greek, “massein” which means “to knead”. Massage is one of the oldest popular therapies for healing the body and mind.

Its origins date back to ancient times with the Greeks and Romans and it has a great place in Chinese medicine.

Massage is a set of manual techniques aimed at the well-being of people through the application of hands on the body tissues, including skin, muscles, tendons and ligaments.

The benefits of massage

Massage has many benefits. Here are some of them:

  • It allows relaxation and can be used as a stress management technique.
  • It allows relief and relaxation.
  • It improves sleep.
  • It reduces nervous tension.
  • It allows the drainage of toxins and the elimination of waste.
  • It activates the blood circulation.
  • And finally, it activates the exchanges at the level of the skin.

Massage movements and techniques

During a massage session, there are many movements that the massage therapist can adopt:

  • Effleurage: the hand glides over the skin without dragging it. It can be slow and deep or fast and shallow. The goal is to make contact, spread the product and prepare the skin for deeper maneuvers.
  • Kneading: one hand grasps the muscle and lifts it while the other works alternately, twisting and releasing (like wringing out a sponge). The goal is to empty the muscle of intracellular fluids, to tone or relax and to promote the elimination of waste.
  • Friction: The fingers (or hand) move over the skin, taking it with the thumb or the tip of the hand in a circular motion. The goal is to empty the colon, to relax the nerves.
  • Pressure: it can be localized or sliding. The goal is to promote the elimination of waste and the advancement of liquids.
  • Vibration: one or two fingers stretched out, contraction of the massage therapist’s forearm and transmission of the vibration. The goal is to relax.

How to perform a body massage in practice

In this section, we will give you some practical advice on how to perform a body massage.

For each part of the body, it will be advised to either touch it, knead it or rub it. Alternatively, you could try cellulite rollers.

We distinguish the anterior face from the posterior face of the body.

Front body massage

Here are the techniques for the anterior face:

Bust massage

  • Effleurage of the neck
  • Effleurage of the chest
  • Kneading of the trapezius alternatively and simultaneously
  • Internal effleurage of the bust
  • Palpate roll on the neckline
  • Effleurage on the neckline and trapezius
  • Alternating effleurage of the neck and up to the scalp
  • Scalp massage
  • Final effleurage

Thigh massage

  • Light, superficial and deep effleurage
  • Kneading of the thigh on the inside and outside
  • Palpated roll of the thigh, internal and external face
  • Twisting of the entire thigh
  • Lymphatic drainage in a closed bracelet
  • Modeling of the knee
  • Kneading in waves
  • Knee friction

Calf massage

  • Light, superficial and deep effleurage
  • Kneading the internal and external twins
  • Palpate roll
  • Tapping

Arm massage

  • Light, superficial and deep effleurage
  • Kneading external and internal face
  • Rolls and palpates external and internal face
  • Effleurage

Hand massage

  • Effleurage of the dorsal surface with the forearm
  • Intermetacarpal drainage
  • Lateral stretching of the fingers
  • Kneading of the palmar surface
  • Total arm effleurage

Back body massage

Now that you know the techniques for massaging the front side of the body, here are those for the back side:

Thigh massage

  • Effleurage of the thigh
  • Kneading external and internal face
  • Rolls and palpates external and internal face
  • Effleurage of the popliteal fossa

Tip: Check out our other post related to reducing cellulite on your thighs.

Back massage

  • Superficial and deep effleurage
  • Kneading and rolling right and left side
  • Kneading and rolling along the spine
  • Effleurage, kneading, palpate-roll of the buffalo hump and deltoid
  • Spinal stretch (crossed hands)
  • Kneading, palpating and rolling of the trapezius
  • Two-handed rolling
  • Back massage
  • Effleurage, drainage and effleurage

Great massage movements and techniques to relax the body: Conclusion

Massage is a good way to relax. There are also different techniques in the movements of a massage.

These moments of relaxation allow us to listen to ourselves and find harmony between our body and our mind.

About Heather Campbell

As a nutritionist, my field of specialization is science-based nutritional advice but more importantly, it is my goal to share capturing and inspiring stories, examples and solutions which can help plus-size individuals overcome their specific difficulties. Read More