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Tapotement Massage Techniques

Dexter Roberson
by Dexter Roberson

image1Today I will be demonstrating some different Swedish massage techniques referred to as the Tapotement techniques. You may have seen these massage techniques portrayed comedically in movies and TV. With these techniques you have to have the proper stance in order to do the techniques properly. The first technique is called hacking.  With the bottom side of the hand and pinky finger, snap your hands down at the wrists, rotating each hand all along the muscle. It’s not from the elbow like Austin Powers might do a karate chop. The next technique is image2referred to as beating or pounding. As you can see I am moving my body back and forth with my hands formed into fists now. Again you’ll want to pound back and forth with the bottom of each fist, along the muscle. Now we will move onto the next Tapotement massage technique. This one is a little different from the last two. It is called quacking and if you are doing it properly than you should hear a sound like a duck quacking. Place your hands together as if you were to pray with your palms flat facing each other and your elbows out. Then you’ll want to quickly flick your wrists towards the clients muscle and hit with both hands at the same time. Your hands should stay together and only the bottom of the hands along the pinky finger should be making contact with the muscle. Move your body back and forth along the muscle you’re massaging hitting over and over.

image3The next techniques should be done while you’re in your iron horse stance. This could also be called side stance. Face the client from a side position and bend your knees with your feet spread to the sides until you’re in a squatting position at the correct level that you can image4massage your client without bending over and you can just reach forward. Once you’re in the correct stance you can continue with the rapping technique. Now you just wrap your knuckles is if to knock on a door in a rotating and repeating manner. Then we have tapping which is done with your fingertips. Pretend that you’re Jerry Louise typing when you’re doing the tapping technique. This is again from the wrist. The next technique is cupping where you basically just do the same thing but you cup your hands. You want to get that air sound so it sounds kind of like popping. Doing this technique improperly in the way that you may slap instead is actually just a variation on the cupping technique. The next technique is pinching or pinchment. To do this technique, you throw your hand down and lift up in a pinching motion as if you were trying to pinch the skin but with the massage oil or lotion there is not enough friction to grab the skin and actually pinch. It just slides out of your grasp when you pull away. Each technique should only be done for about 30- 40 seconds. The Tapotement technique is meant to be stimulating and energizing, so after a rough day, if your partner is sore it might be nice for you to try out some of the moves on them.