Classical massage: what is it, its effects and techniques? We explain how to prepare for a classical massage.

Glam Style
6 min readJun 2, 2022


Classical massage is one of the oldest therapeutic methods. It has been used since ancient times. It originates from China and India. It was a natural healing method, but also had great religious significance. What is classical massage in the modern sense? What are the techniques of classical massage? How does it work, to whom is it recommended, and who has contraindications to classical massage? I answer these and other questions in the article.

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Classical massage is nothing new. It is one of the oldest therapeutic methods. But what does it mean nowadays? What is classical massage, what are its techniques and who should benefit from it? What are the contraindications? Proper preparation is the key to success. Here is everything you should know before you decide to visit a massage salon or a SPA.

Classical massage — everything you need to know

The first information about the use of massage for medical conditions comes from the books of Hippocrates, Celsus and Galen. During the Olympic Games in ancient Greece, massage was used in athletes to lubricate the body with oil before competitions. Massage was officially proclaimed a therapeutic method in the sixteenth century thanks to the French physician A. Pare, who noticing the relief of massage for the sick, began to take a strong interest in it. The next turning point for massage was the 19th century, and today it is a very popular form of regeneration of the body.

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Classical massage: what is it?

Classical massage is a group of mechanical treatments that directly affect the patient’s body through the skin, muscles, etc. It also acts indirectly through reflex changes on:

  • circulatory system,
  • nervous system,
  • endocrine system,
  • or external organs.

Classical massage is the best known and most commonly used of all the other massage varieties. By changing its intensity, pace and duration, it can be:

  • therapeutic,
  • relaxing,
  • stimulating,
  • sporting

There are certain canons that must be adhered to when performing a classical massage. Techniques and the order in which they are performed are very important and should not be changed. However, it is worth bearing in mind that different masseurs in the later stages of their development and career develop their individual “style”. This applies rather to the intensity or atmosphere prevailing during the treatment, rather than the techniques themselves.

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Techniques in classical massage

Taping as a classical massage technique — begins and ends every massage. It is the introduction to the massage, preparing the body and organism for the rest of the treatment. It gently supports the blood stream and speeds up circulation. It causes venous blood to move faster to the heart, and in its place arterial blood is pumped, which influences better and faster nourishment of tissues. Taping eliminates stagnation and swelling of blood and lymph. Thanks to it, hematomas are absorbed faster. Dynamically taping you can observe the redness of the massaged part of the body.

Rubbing as a classic massage technique — the body is already prepared for a greater stimulus thanks to the taping technique. In rubbing we perform circular outward movements causing a large local pressure. It can be performed with fingertips, fingertips (comb rubbing), or the base of the hand. It often leads to crushing of the swollen cells. The disintegrating cells secrete histamine, which causes dilation of the arterioles and opening of the capillaries, which are at rest. This allows blood with nutrients to reach tissues that are usually harder to get to. Rubbing accelerates the absorption of hematomas and post-inflammatory exudates. It causes local blood and lymph flow, thanks to which the joints are better supplied with blood.

Kneading as a classical massage technique causes strong congestion in the area where the massage is performed. It is performed in order to push through and remove the fluid accumulated in tissues. It is also a lymphatic drainage technique. This technique is considered to be very effective against ankle injuries.

Squeezing as a classical massage technique — the form of execution is similar to stroking, but the masseur works here much more intensively. It is used when the body of the massaged person is already warmed up and prepared for a stronger stimulus. It increases the flow of metabolic products. It improves oxidation and nutrition of muscles. By increasing the pressure in the vessels their walls expand, which is a kind of gymnastics for the vascular system.

Shaking as a technique of classical massage — done mainly to relax muscle tension. Gently used can be performed at any stage of the massage, for example, when the person being massaged after one of the more intensive techniques is slightly tense, and his body does not quite want to “trust” the person performing the treatment and does not want to fully relax. More intensive shaking can be performed at the end of the treatment in order to slightly tense the muscles for their proper functioning for the rest of the day.

Vibration as a technique of classical massage — reduces the tension of muscle fibers. Performed with greater force, it reduces the excitability of peripheral nerves and the central nervous system, which has an analgesic effect.

Patting as a classical massage technique — in people with low tolerance for strong stimuli it is performed gently or not at all. It causes very strong congestion in the massaged area, which strongly nourishes it. Due to the strength of the technique, it is mainly applied to large muscle groups such as the back or the thigh. There are also many modifications of the techniques based on the basic ones mentioned above. They consist in changing the position of hands or body parts used while performing them.

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Classical massage — who is it recommended for?

Classical massage is an ideal form of relaxation for busy people living in stress. It has a relaxing effect and improves your mood. If you do any physical activity or you just feel that your body is tired and sore, classical massage is for you. It will relieve tension and provide nutrients to your muscles, which will directly affect their regeneration. It will improve circulation and have a positive effect on the nervous system.

Classical massage and contraindications

When going for a classical massage, we must remember that there are many contraindications with which you need to be familiar. Here they are:

  • pregnancy period,
  • benign and malignant tumours,
  • menstruation time,
  • infectious diseases,
  • febrile conditions,
  • enlarged lymph nodes,
  • inflammation of the bile ducts,
  • early after a bone fracture,
  • up to 3 days after a bloody stroke in joints and muscles,
  • skin diseases (skin breaks, early scars, blisters, eczema),
  • acute inflammation of tendons and joints,
  • liver and kidney stones,
  • high blood pressure conditions,
  • peptic ulcer disease with bleeding,
  • large varicose veins, phlebitis, aneurysms and fresh clots in peripheral vessels,
  • uncompensated heart defects,
  • in stages III and IV of Buerger’s disease.

If none of the above contraindications describe you, then you can go for the treatment and enjoy the plethora of benefits that classical massage provides.



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