Classifications of Swedish Massage Movements: Cross-Fiber Friction in Petrissage

According to their application, the five basic Swedish massage strokes are placed into groups called effleurage, petrissage, friction, tapotement, and vibration. These strokes are categorized based on tradition, research, observation, and experience.

A variation of regular friction in petrissage is cross-fiber friction, which is also called deep transverse friction. Dr. James Cyriax (he was a doctor from London who advocated and developed many forms of massage) originally promoted the use of cross-fiber friction, as it is an extremely exact and piercing form of friction. When a therapist is performing it on a client, it should be used across and perpendicular to the pattern's muscle fibers. The therapist's capableness to pinpoint contracted or hurt tissue, using palpitation before using the technique defines the degree of success for this technique. Therefore, it is up to the therapist to be acquainted with all the muscle fiber patterns and to be able to correctly use his/or her knowledge during the application of cross-fiber friction on the client.

This movement entails using at least one finger directly on the injured area and then using strong and steady strokes to move in either direction in a back-and-forth movement. Also, remember to make this pressure constant. This pressure can be reasonably used for one minute or more and then repeated on the client if necessitated. The pressure in this stroke should be applied moderately or heavily, depending on what the client desires. If the fingers and the skin are not moving together as one entity, then it is possible for a blister to develop. Typically, this massage stroke is used for rehabilitation purposes and is especially potent with adhesions and fibrosis in healing muscular, tendinous, and ligamentous wounds in a client.