Massage Technique: Tapotement

25 July 2022

Have you seen that fast-paced massage technique that looks a bit like karate chopping? This is called tapotement. In general we only really use it before football games or when we have worked with runners before events but there are other circumstances when this technique is beneficial. Here is what it is all about...

Tapotement uses different techniques, sometimes called percussion that uses the fingers, cupped hands and loose fists. It includes hacking which strikes the body with the outside edges of your hands in line with your little finger, as well as cupping where you strike the skin using a cupping shape of your hands. There are other techniques called beating and shearing which also involve striking the skin with alternate hands in quick succession.

Running event

The objective of tapotement is to stimulate the skin, giving warmth to the touch and this sometimes making the skin appear flushed. It can be relaxing and relieve pain. It stimulates the surface muscles, making it effective for athletes before events. It also stimulates your nerve endings which creates little muscles contractions that can help with muscle tone and nerve conditions such as multiple sclerosis.

Combined with other massage techniques, it can further encourage the reduction of fatty lumps and assist with toning flabby areas. Tapotement can increase the blood circulation in local areas, warming and softening the muscles. It can also encourage clear breathing as, when applied on the chest or back, it can loosen mucus on the lungs.

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Author: Cross Massage Therapy