The battement manoeuvres applied on the skin and soft tissues of the body are the most exciting techniques of massage.
They derive from “whipping with small branches” technique, which is the massage applied after steam baths, since the oldest times.
These manoeuvres are performed either mechanically or manually. They consist in applying rhythmical strokes with various parts of the hand.
HOW TO DO IT
The battement techniques are grouped in:
1. Rattling manoeuvres – which can be done using the sides of the palms, the fingers, or the inferior third of the forearms.
2. Treading manoeuvres – which can be done using either the palm and the fingers held so as to form a cup, or a dipper (treading “in cup”, “in cupping glass” or “in dipper”), or with the fist (the palm or
3. Splashing manoeuvres
4. Percussion manoeuvres
1. The rattling manoeuvres are the most known and most used. A first form is the tangent rattling using the fingers.
For this technique, bring the elbows close to the trunk, palms out front, and the tips of the fingers “fall” perpendicularly on the surface of the skin.
This is the finest form of rattling, applied on the sensitive areas such as the abdomen and face. This is a surface manoeuvre, without getting to the deeper areas of the body.
It requires a lot of mobility and suppleness from the part of the masseur.
Another rattling variant is the “whipping with small branches” technique. For this, spread the elbows from the trunk, the fingers slightly bent and spread; the fingers touch the skin at a small distance from one another, in an alert rhythm, stroking with their lateral-dorsal sides.
When stroking the skin and when hitting themselves, the fingers produce a certain characteristic sound, similar with “whipping with small branches”.
Yet another rattling manoeuvre is done with the side of the palms. In this case, the elbows are close to the trunk, palms out front. The massage of this region is done with the side of the palm. This is a more incisive manoeuvre.
In the variants of rattling with the tips of the fingers, using the sides of the palms, the fingers, or the inferior third of the forearms, the arms need to stay close to the trunk, and the forearms need to stay close to the massaged area, so that the strokes are not too high or too powerful.
The intensity of the strokes needs to be reduced when applying the strokes on a sensitive area or tissue, and it needs to be medium or even high when applying the strokes on large muscles or thick layers of less sensitive tissues.
The rhythm usually indicated for rattling is very alert, but in certain areas – for instance the head – it can be also done slowly.
2. The treading manoeuvres are done with the fingers close to one another and the palms forming a cup (treading “in cup”, “in cupping glass” or “in dipper”), or with the fist.
The treading in cup is less harsh, and because of the air compressed between the palm and the skin, the strokes cause a special muffled sound.
The treading with the fist is a powerful manoeuvre, indicated especially in the muscular and less sensitive areas (thighs, buttocks) of strong, healthy
There are 2 variants: treading with the fist (when the fingers are closed into the palm, and they massage the skin) and treading with the lateral of the fist (with the fist closed, stroke with the side). These manoeuvres are a bit tougher.
Less tougher are the treading manoeuvres done with the fist partially closed, so that between the fingers and the palms there still is a small space, ensuring the elasticity.