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Russian massage is a massage therapy technique developed in the former Soviet Union. It’s most often classified as a sports massage. Russian massage 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. The masseuse combines this with vibration to ease muscle pain and stiffness. It also relieves mental stress.
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 believe that it improves functioning of the nervous system, immune system, and respiratory system.
Russian massages 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. This can impact a patient's ability to breathe, digest, and heal properly.
Many patients experience an increased range of motion and metabolism after therapy, as well as decreased muscle fatigue. Russian massage may occur in combination with other medical practices to heal a specific disease, condition, or injury.
Almost anyone may benefit from Russian massage. It’s common among athletes. It has also been used to try to help symptoms of skin disease, blood disorders, acute stomach pains, and other conditions.
Consult with a doctor to see if Russian massage can be used in combination with or alone as treatment for your symptoms.
Russian massage techniques can vary from one massage therapist to another. The main techniques are divided into four main groups: stroking, rubbing, kneading, and vibration.
Russian massage includes range of motion exercises that are uncommon in other massage techniques. These practices target unused areas of the body and are similar to the stretching practices in yoga.
Most distinctively, Russian massage involves a slapping technique known as "percussion," which loosens muscular adhesions.
Written by: Heaven Stubblefield
Medically reviewed on: Jun 16, 2016: University of Illinois-Chicago, College of Medicine
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