Procedure

Select the appropriate heads to suit the needs of the client. Do not change the heads too often as this breaks the continuity of the treatment.

a) Effleurage: use curved sponge on limbs or round sponge elsewhere.

b) Kneading: use the flat disc head for lighter petrissage; the four-ball head for deeper petrissage; the multi-hard spike for very deep petrissage on very heavy areas of adipose tissue; and the single and double ball heads on specific, localised areas.

c) Desquamation: use fine spiky and brush heads.

To maintain high standards of hygiene, the heads can be placed in a plastic bag, which should be changed for each client.

^^ Switch the machine on, holding the head below the level of the couch. (This is a safety precaution in case the head is insecure - if it flies off it will not hit the client.)

^^ With the sponge applicator, apply in long sweeping strokes following the direction of venous return and natural contours of the body. The stroke should be light and smooth rather than abrupt and jerky. The pressure should be heavier on muscle bulk. Cover the area well.

Change the head for kneading. Use a circular kneading motion, using the other hand to support the tissues and lift them towards the head. Again apply upward pressure and work with venous return. Cover the area well.

Keep the surface of the attachment parallel to the surface of the body at all times. (If one side lifts off the body, there is a danger of damaging the tissues with the hard edge of the head.)

Change to the effleurage head to complete the treatment.

The degree of erythema and client tolerance dictates the length of the treatment.

Wash the heads in hot water and detergent, and allow them to dry.

Note: particular care should be taken when selecting heads for treating the abdominal wall. Abdominal organs have no bony framework for protection - their only protection is provided by the muscles and tissues of the abdominal wall. Overstretched muscles with poor tone offer less protection. This must be considered when treating the abdomen. The heavier petrissage heads should only be used on well-toned abdominal muscles with a covering of adipose tissue, e.g. the younger, overweight client.

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