ISCHEMIC Compression Massage, Ischemic or Static Pressure Massage



Ischemia means a lack of blood supply, with associated tissue irritation and congestion. Ischemic compression is a massage technique used in both Shiatsu and trigger point work (often called static pressure)

Ischemic compression is a therapy technique used in physical therapy, where blockage of blood in an area of the body is deliberately made so that a resurgence of local blood flow will occur upon release.[1]

Ischemic compression is commonly applied to trigger points, in what is known as trigger point therapy, where enough sustained pressure is applied to a trigger point with a tolerable amount of pain, and as discomfort is reduced, additional pressure is gradually given.

Ischemic Compression


squeezing together; the exertion of pressure on a body in such a way as to tend to increase its density;
the decrease in a dimension of a body under the action of two external forces directed toward one another
in the same straight line.

Compression with Manipulation

noun- A neuromuscular technique in which the practitioner picks up the tissue and then rolls or
twists it between the thumb and fingers. The practitioner applies this technique after the
tenderness in the tissue has been lessened
by static compression and gliding strokes.

Deep Compression Massage

type of massage in which muscle bellies are pumped and squeezed in rapid succession; the muscle is thus treated as if it were the heart of open-heart massage. Deep compression massage is believed to accelerate the healing

of muscles that have an intrinsically low blood flow.

All massage strokes offer some degree of compression, whether one is working with a traditional Swedish massage or the various forms

of Eastern bodywork, such as Shiatsu or Thai massage. Pressure can range from extremely light, such as manual lymphatic drainage massage,

to very deep, as in deep tissue massage and certain sports massage procedures.

In massage schools, if taught as a separate technique, compression is often taught simply as a stationary laying on of hands or fingers with a slight pushing down on to the tissue, a lifting up of the hands and then moving over and repeating. This might be used on the clients back at the opening or closing of a massage session in conjunction with a slight rocking movement, which is meant to encourage the activation of the parasympathetic nervous system.

In addition to relaxation, effective use of compression has many physiological benefits, including an increase in circulation, reduction of edema and releasing of adhesions. Light compression can be used on almost anybody under any circumstances. It can be used during traditional on-the-table massage, chair massage or massage on floor mats, and can be used over clothing. A lubricant is not needed for most compression techniques, as it is not typically a gliding stroke.

How Can Deep Compression Therapy Massage Help My Health and Well-Being?

Generally, people use deep compression massage for either overall relaxation and well-being, or to address a specific complaint, such as pain or limited range of motion. Research suggests massage therapy may contribute to both goals.

Some of the general benefits of deep compression massage therapy may include:

  • Physical relaxation
  • Improved circulation, which nourishes cells and improves waste elimination
  • Relief for tight muscles (knots) and other aches and pains
  • Release of nerve compression (carpal tunnel, sciatica)
  • Greater flexibility and range of motion
  • Enhanced energy and vitality
  • Some clinical styles may help heal scar tissue as well as tendon, ligament, and muscle tears
  • What specific conditions can massage therapy help?
  • Massage therapy may help the body in many ways. Massage can relax muscle tissue, which may lead to decreased nerve compression, increased joint space, and range of motion. This may lead to reduced pain and improved function.

Deep Compression Massage therapy will improve circulation, which enhances the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to muscle cells and helps remove waste products. These circulatory effects of massage may have great value in the treatment of inflammatory conditions, such as arthritis or edema (an excessive accumulation of fluid in body tissues).

Deep Compression Massage therapy is also thought to induce a relaxation response, which lowers the heart rate, respiratory rate, and blood pressure; boosts the immune system, and generally decreases the physical effects of stress.

Friction Massage

Friction massage is typically done using the ball of the thumb or a pointed object. It is a deep pressure massage done in small circular movements to penetrate deep tissues. The technique involves pressing on the tissue and rubbing it back and forth over the underlying muscle.

These massage techniques can include the following:

  • Longitudinal Gliding. Longitudinal gliding is a basic but effective massage technique administered in the direction of the blood flow. …
  • Kneading. …
  • Myofascial Releases. …
  • Trigger Point Therapy. …
  • Deep Transverse Frictions. …
  • Compression Massage. …
  • Cross-Fibre Massage.


    Friction is another technique in massage therapy that rarely requires the use of oils or crèmes to be effective. Because it is a focused stroke used in a small, localized area, usually no bigger than a 50-cent piece, the hands or fingers of the therapist need to maintain a certain amount of stability and consistent pressure to achieve maximum results.

    There are two broad classifications of this technique, circular and transverse. In circular friction, the fingertips of the first two fingers and/or sometimes the thumb are used to create small circular movements. The fingers do not glide over the skin but, rather, press firmly on the skin, which then moves over the underlying tissue. Friction is a very effective way to break up adhesions, especially in areas such as the intercostal muscles, as well as the infraspinatus portion of the scapula.

    In transverse friction, the tips and pads of the fingers are used and, if the pressure desired is to be deep, one hand may be placed over the other as reinforcement. As in circular friction, the fingers do not glide over the skin, but press down on it and move across underlying tissue. Instead of circular movements, the direction of transverse friction moves either at a 90-degree angle or, in some cases, slightly oblique to the muscle fibers.

    Friction strokes should not be used on pregnant women. During pregnancy, the hormone relaxin is produced, which results in a softening of ligaments, tendons, and fascia. This can easily result in the dislocation of joints if certain friction techniques are used. Friction is also contraindicated over varicosities, active inflammation, skin infections or recently strained muscles. While friction techniques are a great way to increase circulation locally, it can also act as an irritant and aggravate underlying conditions and must be used with care.


    Vibration is probably the least used of massage techniques. Done correctly, though, it is one of the most effective techniques for soothing irritated muscles. Vibration uses the tips of the fingers moving in a very rapid back and forth trembling movement on the skin with a light pressure. The vibration originates in the forearm muscles of the therapist and moves down through the hands, creating a motion similar to shivering. It is used only for very short periods of times, anywhere from five to 20 seconds in a given spot, as it is extremely tiring for the therapist.
    Using vibration helps stimulate circulation and promotes healthy glandular activity, improves lymphatic flow and muscle tone and, if used along with friction techniques, loosens scar tissue.

    Can massage help with Tendonitis?
    Massage can help provide relief before that happens, regardless of whether your tendinitis is caused by overuse or other factors. Factors like injury frequently result in scar tissue, but regular massage therapy can loosen that tissue to keep it from clogging your muscle fibers.
    Further Reading





*Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider.
Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition.
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