Effleurage Massage Technique: Tutorial

Effleurage is a gentle, introductory massage technique that promotes relaxation and relieves tension.

Effleurage is a gentle, introductory massage technique that promotes relaxation and relieves tension. It is an effective way to prepare the body for a massage session and to promote calmness at the end of the session. In addition to other massage movements like friction, grinding, rolling, kneading, pressure, tapping, and vibration, effleurage is one of the most commonly used techniques.

The technique involves gentle strokes of the hand to smooth and soothe the skin, making it more receptive to other massage techniques. It can also help to establish a connection between the masseur and the patient. This connection is essential in building trust and ensuring that the patient feels safe and comfortable during the massage.

Effleurage is particularly useful in back massage, where it helps to ease muscle tension and promote relaxation. The gentle strokes of effleurage can help to warm up the muscles and loosen tight knots, making it easier for the masseur to apply other massage techniques. By using effleurage as a preliminary movement, the patient can fully benefit from the rest of the massage session.

Effleurage Massage Technique

Effleurage is a widely recognized and popular massage technique that involves the use of circular, gentle movements made with the palms of the hands. Its soft and soothing nature makes it suitable for use in all parts of the body.

It is often used at the beginning of a massage session to establish trust between the massage therapist and the client. Furthermore, it can serve as a smooth transition between different massage techniques.

Effleurage is also ideal for calming the body and mind at the end of a massage session, helping to restore a sense of tranquility.

Effleurage Massage in practice

Effleurage massage, a gentle and relaxing technique, is performed using the palms of the hands in circular movements to provide a superficial caress to the skin. The hands adapt to the body shape and move with low intensity to achieve a uniform and smooth motion.

To achieve the desired result, effleurage should always be directed towards the heart. There are two types of effleurage: slow and firm. Slow effleurage, which involves slow movements, helps calm the nerves and reduce anxiety, promoting a sense of relaxation. Firm effleurage, on the other hand, stimulates the body, improving blood and lymphatic circulation.

The Method of Effleurage Massage Application

Effleurage should only be applied to clean and healthy skin, using either bare hands or specialized massage gloves. The duration of effleurage per area of intervention is typically between one to two minutes, with frequency varying depending on the patient’s position. The massage pressure should be light to avoid causing trauma in patients with low physical tolerance.

The Method of Effleurage Application

Effleurage is also an opportunity to apply massage products such as oils, creams, and ointments. The gentle touch of effleurage aids in the smooth penetration of these products into the skin, improving local blood and lymphatic flow.

Effleurage Massage Benefits

Here a list of effleurage benefits:

  • Warm up the massage area to prepare it.
  • Establish trust with the person receiving the massage.
  • Use essential massage products to perform the massage.
  • Release muscle tension to promote relaxation.
  • Alleviate any tension in the body.
  • Promote relaxation of the entire body.
  • Conclude the massage session with a calming touch.

Effleurage Massage Contraindications

Effleurage is contraindicated in the following cases:

  • Avoid massaging any area of the skin with a dermatological lesion, such as infectious dermatosis.
  • Do not massage an area with inflammation or edema.
  • Avoid massaging areas with localized erythema, which may indicate skin irritation or inflammation.


Effleurage is a gentle friction method employed to stimulate the lymphatic system, promoting the flow of lymph from the lower part of the limb towards the heart. This technique aids in the elimination of waste and toxins from the body, facilitating lymphatic drainage.

Through vasodilation and capillarization, blood cells can enhance cellular exchange, permitting oxygenated blood and nutrients to enter and waste products to exit.

BME. Wajih Habrah

BME. Wajih Habrah

I'm a passionate biomedical engineer with a love for writing about medical and wellness equipment. I have been fascinated by the intersection of engineering and wellness, and pursued my education in biomedical engineering to learn how to design, develop and maintain medical devices that improve patient health and well-being.

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