Heavier pressure is sometimes required to affect the deeper tissue and muscles. This does not mean the use of greater force but rather the more effective use of body weight. Deep effleurage is used for promoting relaxation in deep muscles and improving the local circulation. The manipulations are also used for athletic well-toned clients with muscle bulk.
Deeper effleurage movements include reinforced hand manipulations where one hand applies almost perpendicular pressure into the tissues reinforced by the other hand.
Effleurage with the forearm is another deep technique that is particularly effective over the large sheet-like muscles of the back.
Effleurage du poing uses the clenched fist to apply short stroking movements to particularly dense areas.
These techniques are also used to treat musculo-skeletal problems (see Chapter 9).
Figure 4.1c Deep effleurage to the back using one hand to reinforce.
As the hands press on the tissues and move along they push the blood in the veins onwards. This speeds up the removal of deoxygenated blood and waste products from the tissues. Deep effleurage performed over muscles after exercise or any athletic performance will thus hasten the removal of lactic acid and relieve pain and stiffness. Effleurage will help the muscle to recover and return to normal function.
As a result of increased venous drainage the blood flow through the capillary beds is speeded up. This increases the arterial blood flow, bringing oxygen and nutrients to the tissues more quickly. These factors improve the condition of the tissues.
The increased blood flow will increase the metabolic rate of the tissue cells, which also will improve their condition.
Figure 4.1d Deep effleurage to the thigh.
Deep effleurage with the forearm over the back.
^^ The increased blood flow and friction of the hands on the part will warm the area. This will aid relaxation and relieve pain.
The flow of lymph in the lymphatic vessels is also speeded up as the hands move along. This is directed towards the lymphatic nodes where it is filtered and then drained into larger vessels. Lymph removes large protein particles and tissue fluid from tissue spaces. Speeding up the drainage prevents stagnation of fluid in the tissues, which would result in oedema (swelling of the tissues). Effleurage and squeezing are manipulations used in the treatment of oedema.
Figrue 4.1g Deep effleurage du poing to the gluteal muscles.
The cells of the stratum basale are stimulated and mitosis (cell division) increases. As more cells are produced they move upwards to the surface, improving the condition of the skin.
The movement and friction of the hands over the skin removes the dry flaking cells of the stratum corneum - thus desquamation is speeded up and the condition of the skin improves.
The oil or cream used as a medium nourishes and improves the skin.
The warmth generated by massage stimulates the sweat glands, increasing the elimination of waste products.
Slow rhythmical effleurage has a soothing effect on sensory nerve endings in the skin, which will promote relaxation. However, if the pressure is very light or barely touching, the nerve endings will be irritated, or if the pressure is very deep the pain sensors will be stimulated. Both these effects will increase tension and should be avoided.
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