Massage Techniques: Petrissage

What is it?

Petrissage is a technique that is deeper and more focused than effleurage. It is also known as kneading.

The basic movement is to compress, pick up and then release the soft tissues. Petrissage techniques include:

  • Squeezing
  • Picking up
  • Shaking
  • Rolling
  • Wringing

How Does It Help?

Petrissage helps reduce muscle tightness by increasing temperature of soft tissues, increasing blood circulation, breaking down adhesions and decreasing tone. This technique stimulates the increase of temperature by friction against the skin. When temperature increases, the muscle fibres relax and loosen allowing more movement. Petrissage is also a relaxation technique that can produce a therapeutic effect.

There are many benefits of kneading and it can be effective in decreasing tension, increasing flexibility, decreasing muscle pain and reducing stress.


  • A deeper technique used following effleurage stroke;
  • Helps to reduce muscle tightness by increasing temperature of soft tissues;
  • Relax the muscles;
  • Reduces tightness by applying pressure to knots and adhesions;
  • Helps to increase flexibility of the muscles;
  • Increase blood and lymph flow, thus aiding in the removal of waste products.

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