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Effleurage is a massage therapy technique which encourages waste products to leave the body via the lymphatic system. A system that helps the body get rid of waste.

Effleurage is also used to increase the blood circulation and prepares the muscle for more vigorous techniques. Massage therapists at Manchester Physio can use effleurage as an effective treatment for a range of conditions.

Effleurage massage technique to warm up tissue and disperse swellingAbove: Effleurage massage technique to warm up tissue and disperse swelling

What is Effleurage?

Effleurage is a light friction technique commonly used to begin a massage treatment. Effleurage is made up of long, stroking movements which are performed using a flat hand or fingers. Effleurage is used to increase the flow of the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is part of the circulatory system that carries fluid directionally to the heart. The application of strokes is applied from the bottom of the limb upwards towards the lymphatic nodes. Lymphatic nodes are distributed widely throughout the body and linked by lymphatic vessels. When the strokes are applied towards the lymphatic nodes, the nodes will help drain any waste products via the lymphatic system. Effleurage stimulates the lymphatic system and improves its functioning. The lymphatic system helps transport nutrients, remove toxins and blockages in the body.

What is a massage technique Effleurage used for?

Effleurage is a massage technique used to:
  • Increase blood circulation
  • Stimulate lymphatic drainage
  • Promote relaxation
Effleurage is an effective massage techniques used for many reasons.Effleurage is used to increase blood circulation, stimulate lymphatic drainiage and promote relaxation.

Effleurage is used to increase blood circulation and lymphatic flow in the body. When the effleurage technique is performed, friction causes the temperature to increase and vasodilation and capiliarisation to occur. Vasodilation is the widening of blood vessels which results from the relaxation of the muscle cells. Capiliarisation is the development of blood cells causing the blood circulation to increase.

Effleurage massage technique on lower back in Manchester Clinic

Effleurage is also used to stimulate the flow of the lymphatic system in the body. Lymphatic drainage is the natural function of the lymphatic system allowing toxins to drain into the lymphatic vessels. Since the lymphatic system does not have any way to move the fluid on its own, it relies on the movement of effleurage from muscles in the body to push the fluid along, and valves to keep the fluid going in the right direction.

Effleurage is an effective technique to promote relaxation. Effleurage perform specific gentle massage techniques to increase temperature, activite the parasympathetic system and stimulate the release of feel good hormones. Effleurage for relaxation can be used to reduce stress and anxiety levels due to lifestyle or sporting performance.

What are the benefits of Effleurage?

Effleurage has many benefits. These include: Effleurage is a massage technique which has many benefits. The benefits of massage are improved recovery, increased healing and relaxation

Effleurage is beneficial to improving recovery in the muscles. Waste toxins, intra cellular swelling and lactic acid (which may occur post exercise) can then be removed. Lactic acid is built up during exercise and is released into the muscles when they are low in oxygen. When waste products are removed muscles are able to recover quicker and continuation of exercise can be completed.

Effleurage is also beneficial to increasing healing. Effleurage enables vasodilation and capiliarisation to occur in the blood stream, improving the blood circulation and the process of more cellular exchange to happen. Cellular exchange allows oxygenated blood and nutrients to transfer into the blood. More oxygen and nutrients in the blood help repair damaged tissues. Lactic acid which causes muscle stiffness can be removed using effleurage and result in a quicker healing process and faster recovery.

Effleurage induces a relaxation effect. Effleurage stimulates the parasympathetic system, releases feel good hormones and increses temperature. The parasympathetic sysytem is responsible for returning the body back to a relaxed and calm state after emotions such as stress. Effleurage relaxes the bodt and lowers the heart rate.

Effleurage massage technique to warm up tissue and disperse swellingAbove: Effleurage massage technique to warm up tissue and disperse swelling

How does Effleurage help?

Effleurage helps in many ways. Effleurage helps by increasing blood circulation, stimulating lymphatic drainiage and stimulation feel good hormones.

Effleurge helps by increasing blood circultion around the body. The friction of touch against the skin increases the flow of blood and increases of temperature to the body. Increased temperature also causes vasodilation and capiliarisation of the blood cells. Vasodiliation and capiliarisation widens blood cells and increases the number of cells allowing more cellular exchange. Cellular exchange allows oxygenated blood and nutrients into the blood stream and waste products out.

Effleurage also helps by stimulating the lymphatic system in the body. The direction of movement from effleurage improves the lymphatic system and allows lymphatic drainage to occur. An upwards stroke applied on the body towards the lymphatic nodes produce movements of the fluid that is carried by the lymphatic system and helps flush waste toxins out.

Effleurage helps the healing process by stimulating feel good hormones in the body. Feel good hormones such as endorphins, serotonin and dophamines from the brain. Feel good hormones contribute to relaxing the body and improving mood. Effleurage can help to relax people leading up to important sporting events.


Effleurage is a light friction technique used to encourage the lymphatic system to flow starting at the bottom of the limb and pushing back towards the heart. Effleurage enables a lymphatic drainage of waste and toxins to leave the body. Vasodilation and capiliarisation of the blood cells enhance cellular exchange allowing the oxygenated blood and nutrients in and waste products out. Effleurage is used by our massage therapists for number of conditions.

How can I arrange an appointment for effleurage?

To arrange an effleurage treatment, e-mail us at or call 0161 883 0077.

Why not book a massage appointment online and save £10!  -  Was £35, now only £25! Offer exclusive to new patients only.

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