Cyriax Friction Massage

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Cyriax Friction Massage was developed by James Cyriax an orthopedic doctor in the 1930's. The technique that he is know for is deep transverse (cross-fiber) friction which can be used to help relieve pain and increase flexibility. Applying deep pressure across the grain of muscles acts to increase blood supply to the muscle and separates fibers which separates adhesions and scar tissue. It can be applied with fingertips, thumbs or knuckles. He also used deep effleurage to help relive swelling.


Cyriax Friction Massage is one of the basic tools taught in massage school as a part of Swedish Massage. It is one of the 5 basic massage techniques that are usually uesd.


Massage therapists work to find discover the problem and assess the clients condition (diagnose when in the scope of practice of the practitioner) and create a plan of treatment. Within the Cyriax method, there are different treatment options : infiltration, injection, deep transverse massage or friction massage, manipulation (spine and extremities), mobilization and traction. This can easily be combined with self treatment elements and/or home exercise programs.

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