This self-massaging technique, as is suggested by the name, is the lightest and softest of all the basic massage strokes. Feathering is great to start or end a massage, mainly due to the gentleness and graceful nature of the technique.
How to do it
- Imagine your hands and fingers to be feathers and that you’re stroking your skin with these feathers.
- Let your hands be loose and relaxed while letting the pads of your fingers do the stroking.
- Make sure to do the strokes in long and sweeping motion in different directions over the body.
- Your fingertips should barely touch the surface of your skin, try to avoid contact with the palms of your hands.
- When finishing a stroke, make sure to release each touch very slowly at the end. The sensation of each stroke floating away smoothly should be the goal.
Feathering can be done with both hands simultaneously, like say on your forehead or cheekbones, or by alternating between strokes from each hand to create a sequential wavelike motion, where one stroke follows the other, like on the top of your hands and arms.
Most of the pleasure and effectiveness of this technique is derived from the repetition of gentle and rhythmic movements. By barely adding pressure to the strokes, you activate and calm the sensory nerve endings on your skin.
Feel free to continue feathering for as long as it feels good.
Where to use
Because of the lightness and gentleness of the feathering technique, it can be applied to all parts of the body and during any time during the massage session. Being such a safe technique, it is frequently used on children and frail people. We’ve found that the best places to perform feathering is on the forehead and face. Moreover most of the times it best to avoid ticklish areas of the body.
Try some light and gentle strokes on your forehead to relax a furrowed brow and to relieve tension in and around the forehead.
Hands and arms
Try some long and light strokes along the tops of the hands and outer arms. Alternate between the hands to induce a full body relaxation.
Palms, wrists and arms
Do the same as the one above but on your palms, wrists and inner arms instead. Full long strokes and alternate. You can either have your hands raised or rested along your sides, the latter is easier to perform.
Benefits of feathering
If you’re looking for calm, peace and lightness both in body and mind, the soothing gentle motions of feathering is good for you. Whereas the holding technique is great for rejuvenation, focus and stillness, the feathering technique is ideal for easing anxiety, stress especially before bedtime to enjoy a good night’s sleep.