Russian Olympic Massage

What is  Russian Olympic Massage?

Russian Olympic Massage is a type of bodywork originating in the former Soviet Union. This type of massage is used to aid in stress and pain relief. There are four main techniques used in Russian Sports Massage: Effleurage, Friction, Petrissage and Vibration. Together, these elements combine to create a minimally invasive and relaxing form of therapeutic massage. They are especially useful in easing muscle pain and stiffness.  Russian Olympic Massage also relieves mental stress.

Russian Olympic Massage is used to treat all areas of the body. The main purpose is to reduce tension in the muscles and stress. It also works to improve the circulation in the body which impacts a patient’s ability to breathe, digest, and heal properly.

Many patients experience an increased range of motion after therapy, as well as decreased muscle fatigue and increased metabolism. Russian Olympic Massage may be used in combination with other medical practices to heal a specific disease, condition or injury.


The main distinction of Russian massage is its 100 percent use by the Russian medical community since its inception in the late 1700s. Until the 1990s  under Gorbachev’s “Perestroika”, Russian massage was taught in medical and athletic establishments only. The only two ways someone could receive massage in Russia were to have a physician’s prescription or to be a member of a state funded athletic team. Massage for pampering and relaxation was only available to the super rich political elite. Although practices and education have changed since that time, massage still is one of the most requested forms of physical rehabilitation in Russia to this day.

Manual therapy was used extensively during World War II as a part of complex rehabilitation treatment of the wounded. After the war, such prominent Russian physicians as A.F. Verbov, V.N. Moshkov and L.A. Kunichev developed a special methodology for manual therapy use for all dysfunctions.

Russia continues to be at the forefront of massage therapy research. Russian athletes still acknowledge the instrumental role massage plays in their performance and recovery. Most of them will tell you that Russian Olympic Massage has prolonged their athletic ability.

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