Russian Massage

Written by Heaven Stubblefield | Published on January 14, 2014
Medically Reviewed by George Krucik, MD, MBA on January 14, 2014

What Is Russian Massage?

Russian massage is a massage therapy technique developed in the former Soviet Union. It is most often classified as a sports massage. It is sometimes referred to as connective tissue massage, point massage, or reflexology massage, depending on the techniques used during treatment.

Russian massage techniques are similar to most sports massage practices, but they involve slower, softer motions. Russian massages focus on the use of friction to generate heat within the body. This, combined with vibration, is employed to ease muscle pain and stiffness. It also relieves mental stress, along with providing other benefits.

What Does Russian Massage Do?

A Russian massage relaxes the muscles. Massage therapists use a combination of kneading, slapping, and vibration techniques. The focus is on parts of the body that experience or cause pain. Practitioners of Russian massage say that it improves functioning of the nervous system, immune system, and respiratory system.

Who Benefits from Russian Massage?

Almost anyone may benefit from Russian massage. It is common among athletes. It is also sometimes used to treat symptoms of skin disease, blood disorders, acute stomach pains, and other conditions.

Patients should consult with a physician to see if a Russian massage can improve their symptoms.

How Is Russian Massage Administered?

Russian massage techniques can vary from one massage therapist to another. The main techniques are divided into four main groups: stroking, rubbing, kneading, and vibrations.

Russian massage includes range of motion exercises that are not used in other massage techniques. These practices target unused areas of the body. They are similar to the stretching practices in yoga.

Most distinctively, Russian massage involves a slapping technique known as "percussion,” which loosens muscular adhesions.

What Are the Benefits of Russian Massage?

Russian massages are used to treat all areas of the body. The main purpose is to reduce tension in the muscles. It also works to improve the circulation in the body, which impacts a patient's ability to breathe, digest, and heal properly.

Many patients experience an increased range of motion after therapy, as well as decreased muscle fatigue and increased metabolism. Russian massage may be used in combination with other medical practices to heal a specific disease, condition, or injury.

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