Effleurage Massage-Best Massage Guide


Massage is a technique through which the concept of physiotherapy has taken. Moreover, it also has remained a part of many ancient cultures. In a rhythmic flow, this traditional method uses both stretching and pressure. It helps in getting relief from the tension that has built up in muscles due to injury. Furthermore, it increases blood flow, which quickens the healing process.


Effleurage Massage

This is a massage technique that helps waste products drain from the body via the lymphatic system. This system is responsible to help the body in getting rid of waste. It also enhances blood circulation and encourages muscle for vigorous activities. Physiotherapists can use the effleurage technique for a wide range of conditions.

What Is Effleurage Massage?

Effleurage Massage

It is applied with a light pressure which is usually used to begin a massage. Using fingers and flat hands, effleurage can be applied to a variety of body locations. It is also used to enhance the blood flow of the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is a part of the circulatory system that transports fluid to the heart directly. The therapist applies strokes from the bottom of the limbs upward to the lymphatic nodes. These nodes are present all over the body and are connected with lymphatic vessels.

When effleurage massage is applied towards the lymphatic nodes, they help in draining any waste product through the lymphatic system. This massage technique stimulates the lymphatic system and maintains its functioning. The lymphatic system is a source of transporting nutrients in the body. Remove toxins and obstructions from the body as well.

What Are the Basics of Effleurage Massage?

Basics of Effleurage Massage

Effleurage is the most fundamental massage movement and is frequently used to establish contact between the therapist and the client. The transference from one movement to another smoothly takes place simultaneously. It is suitable for the body parts which we can normally massage. We should also avoid this in those areas where a conflict exists in doing massage.

An effleurage movement is a light one and smooth continuous strokes are a part of it by using flat hands. Fingers are generally held together and moulded to cover the client’s body for inducing relaxation. Fingers follow the movement of the palm and move along the body. Therapists do apply some pressure and use the palm to apply most of the pressure during massage.

The pressure applied in the effleurage technique is even. But the amount of pressure can differ in outward and return strokes. Generally, therapists apply more pressure in a movement toward the heart. They apply less pressure in return movement. The speed of the motion remains steady throughout the sequence.

Effleurage movement was repeated many times on the same area of the client’s body. The purpose of repetitive movements is to induce relaxation and also for the following effleurage benefits:

The Physiological Effects of Effleurage Massage:

Massage is capable of producing many essential physiological effects on the body. The physiological effects that effleurage produces are given below:

  • Enhanced Venous Return:

Effleurage is a source of increasing venous return. A venous return refers to the amount of blood that returns to the heart. So, this massage enhances blood circulation through the direction of strokes. Effleurage specialists apply strokes in the upward direction. Therefore, blood moves towards the heart.

  • Improved/ Enhanced Lymphatic Drainage:

This massage technique is particularly efficient in increasing lymphatic system function. This system flushes toxins out for keeping the body healthy. The Effleurage technique aims to make our body’s lymphatic system better which helps in keeping our immune system working. Through upward stroke, it makes lymph flow and drainage all over the body better. Better drainage undoubtedly helps in increasing the process of healing from any injury and also decreases swelling.

  • More Production of Endorphin, Serotonin, And Dopamine:

Apart from making the lymphatic system better, effleurage is also useful as a therapeutic technique. This method effectively relaxes our bodies. Our body relaxes because of the improvement in circulation and releasing positive hormones. This technique stimulates the brain to release hormones like endorphin to produce a feeling of happiness and well-being. The presence of serotonin in the body decrease depression, anxiety, and stress.

What Are the Benefits of Effleurage?

There are various effleurage massage advantages, some of which are given below:

  • Faster Healing:

We can safely say that effleurage is very effective for increasing healing in the body. The healing process accelerates as blood flow and waste product elimination improve. The source of improved circulation is the upward stroke towards the heart. Due to improved flow more cellular exchange happens in the tissues. More blood changes are a source of more oxygen and nutrients for the cells. Both of them help a lot to repair damaged cells and tissue at a faster pace.

  • Better Recovery:

Another effleurage benefit is the recovery of soft tissue in the body. It helps in improving blood flow to that specific area. Furthermore, the amount of oxygen and nutrients also increase. The increased amount of both assists in the recovery of damaged tissues. This technique also makes faster healing possible by draining out toxins that are built up from intense workouts. Their removal improves muscle condition and prevents post-exercise swelling.

  • Overall Relaxation:

Like other massage therapies, effleurage is also a source of relaxation. The stimulation of the parasympathetic nervous system causes the body to relax. This system releases positive hormones and also increases body temperature. The parasympathetic system is also responsible to retrieve the body back to normal after emotions like stress. The effleurage massage technique also induces relaxation by triggering the brain for the release of positive hormones. Endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine are the relaxing chemicals released. All of them contribute to improving mood and decreasing stress levels.

What Body Parts Are Treated by Effleurage?

Body Parts Are Treated by Effleurage

There are some common body parts that effleurage can treat. The list of those body parts is given below:

This massage technique is also suitable for other areas of the body. Wherever you apply that technique it decreases stress and promotes healing.

When Is Effleurage Used?

Effleurage Used

This technique is a useful resource to get help in various circumstances. Some of those scenarios are discussed below in detail:

  • Relaxation:

Massage therapists perform effleurage slowly so that it stimulates relaxation. The stimulation of the parasympathetic system leads to the release of positive hormones. This method has the ability to induce physical relaxation and calmness. Hence, effleurage relaxes the body and decreases heart rate.

  • Stress:

Effleurage is a very effective method to provide relief from stress. You can relate stress to any emotional or physical event in your life. For example, it can be relevant to work life, health, or sporting performance. It is capable of dealing with a wide range of life’s stressors. It encourages the body to relax, which relieves tension. This technique is capable of making mood better via positive hormones and stimulation of the parasympathetic system. Resultantly, an individual becomes capable of leading a healthy stress-free life.

  • Post Injury:

This massage technique is very useful to increase the post-injury healing process. The massage therapist performs this massage in the upward direction for encouraging lymphatic flow. The stimulation of the lymphatic system improves the functioning of the immune system. Furthermore, the process of waste product removal gets faster. Lymphatic drainage efficiency is important after injury to drain away swelling. It supports the immune system’s fight against pathogens invading the body.

  • Post-Surgery:

The maintenance of the functioning of the lymphatic system is necessary to maintain after surgery. Effleurage can be helpful to fulfil that purpose. The lymph nodes can experience injury or removal during surgery.  If this happens, it produces a negative impact on the vigilance of the lymphatic system. If that system doesn’t work properly, excess fluid can build-up resulting in lymphedema. Its increased levels can cause major health issues. Therefore, it is important to maintain the lymph flow throughout the body so that it gets drained. If nodes, unfortunately, get damaged, the effleurage massage keeps the fluid moving.

What Are the Effects of Effleurage Massage?

Effleurage Massage
  • The lymph and blood circulation in the massaged area accelerates with this technique.
  • A great source of prevention from stasis. Furthermore, effectively reduce inflammatory symptoms. These symptoms include:
  • Heat
  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Pain
  • The skin’s secretory activity increases.
  • It raises the awareness of individuals and also enhances sensory perceptions.
  • The nutrition of the body tissues gets better due to the supply of more blood and oxygen.
  • It helps wounded tissues heal faster by enhancing blood, nutrient, and oxygen flow.

More Technical Effects of Effleurage:

  • It is made up of superficial glides across the skin with no intention of moving the muscle beneath. The massage therapist applies even pressure to each part of the body. The effleurage technique mostly becomes an initial and ending part of any massage session.
  • The Effleurage massage technique is safe to apply to any area of the body.
  • Massage therapists can use this technique as a bridge among different other moves. It normalizes the patient to the touch of the professional therapist.
  • It allows the therapist to get familiar with the client’s muscle condition.
  • The skin and superficial muscles receive more blood with this method.
  • The easiest technique to learn is effleurage. Furthermore, it almost comes naturally to most of us.
  • The Effleurage technique is also known as gliding and is a part of almost all massage modalities. The reason is its excellent calming potential and adaptability.

What Is Effleurage Massage Technique?

We have so far learnt a lot about effleurage massage treatment. Now, it’s time to have a look at its techniques.

  • Straight Effleurage:

From the lumber area to the neck, the therapist slides his hands over the patient’s skin. The directions of fingers will be to the patient’s neck and head. This technique pushes blood towards the heart.

  • Bilateral Effleurage:

Starting with the lower back, a therapist places one hand on each side of the spine. Then move towards the upper back and to the shoulders. To return to the back went along the sides of the back. Therapists use light pressure for this movement.

  • Alternating Hand (Shingles):

The massage begins with one hand on the lower back, on the side of the spine. Then therapist moves one hand forward 6 inches and follows it with another hand. The same process continues until hands reach the shoulders. He repeats this process several times to make sure that the whole surface of the limbs and back gets covered. Here the pressure is light so, the movement is faster than the bilateral effleurage.

  • Backward Alternating Gliding (Shingles):

This is similar to the alternating hand but performed backwards. The therapist pointed fingers towards the lumbar area. The movement involves light pressure to produce the relaxation effect.

  • Superficial And Deep Effleurage:

Gliding can be classified according to the degree of pressure exerted on the skin. As a result, we can have superficial and deep effleurage.

How Can I Arrange an Effleurage Massage Treatment?

After knowing so much about effleurage massage, you might want to book an appointment for yourself. The easiest way to arrange effleurage massage treatment for yourself is to visit the best spa-like meridian spa. It ensures that the certified specialists deliver the greatest results. A spa’s website or app is also a medium to schedule an appointment.

Wrapping It Up:

We can call effleurage a friction technique for improving the functioning of the lymphatic system. It promotes lymphatic fluid to flow back towards the heart from the bottom of the limb. Furthermore, improve the drainage of the waste and toxic materials in the body. Effleurage increases the availability of oxygen and nutrients to the cells by increasing blood flow. This massage offers so many benefits and is useful in various conditions like stress and post-surgery.


by Alma Curry

Words that empower, inspire, and elevate your life. | Alma Curry | A Fitness & Spa author guiding you to a life of vitality and serenity. Follow for more.📚✨

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