Kneading is a massage technique in which pressure is applied to superficial and deep tissues. Kneading is a common massage technique used to treat tight muscles, increase flexibility and decrease pain.
Kneading is a massage technique in the category of petrissage movements.
In general, Petrissage movements involve compressing soft tissues (such as skin and muscle tissue) against each other and/or against the underlying bone or bones.
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Kneading is a circular technique by which the skin and its underlying structures are moved in a circular rotating motion on the underlying structures (e.g. of muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones). Tissue is lifted and rolled away from the bone, and then back towards the bone with a squeezing compressive action.
This massage manipulation is performed using different parts of the therapists hand and/or fingers depending on the area of the body that is being kneaded. Other variations on this technique also depend on the area that is being worked.
Kneading has many benefits. The benefits of kneading include:
Decreased muscle pain
Kneading treats areas of tension and can be beneficial in reducing tightness. Kneading relieves tension in the muscle by applying alternate pressures to stretch and mobilise the muscle fibres. Kneading manipulates the muscle fibres, increasing muscle flexibility. Kneading also creates friction on the skin surface causing an increase in temperature and blood circulation.
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Kneading also helps to increase flexibility of the muscles. Massage applies pressure to muscle fibers, stretching and elongating them. Stretching muscle fibers is important to increase flexibility. Increasing flexibility of muscles can also help prevent injuries from occurring and maximizing performance.
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