This can be deep or superficial.
a. Deep stroking involves applying enough pressure as you run your hand or hands firmly over the body contours to bend back the fingers slightly. Pressure is always applied on the push-away movement, but gentle contact is maintained also on the draw-back. Whole hands can be used or just thumbs and fingers.
b. Superficial stroking, sometimes called efflourage, is complementary to deep massage, which it often follows. It should be continuous and light, one hand following the other to keep up a constant body contact. Its action is quick and relaxing but should not be too prolonged, otherwise it will seem like a friction, or become tickly or irritating.
This gentle wringing or squeezing technique is applied to large muscle groups that are gently lifted, usually with both hands, and gently but rhythmically squeezed and wobbled. The skilled masseur will glide his hands from one muscle group to another, keeping constant body contact while kneading. Too drastic kneading is unnecessary and ineffective. What is more, it is liable to produce bruising – particularly in the fair-skinned.
This is to loose areas of skin – say, on the upper arm and abdomen – and is to skin what kneading is to muscles.
In massage terms friction is multiple deep pressure massage given by the tips of the fingers pressed well into the tissues and usually rotated in a 3-inch (7.5-cm) circle for about three minutes.