The word, tapotement is derived from the old French term tapir, meaning “light blow.”

This massage technique involves a series of brisk percussions, in rapid, alternating, and rhythmic fasion.  This is done by chopping the area with the sides of the hands or hitting the area being treated with cupped, fisted hands, palm, or fingers.

This Swedish Massage stroke involves a series of tapping, percussing, or pounding strokes. There are a number of variations to tapotement stroke. It can be done using the finger tips, cupped hands, or the edges of the hands; whichever the massage therapist prefer. Tapotement aims to reduce muscle spasms and revive overworked muscles.

There are six types of tapotements:

  •  Hacking/quacking: performed using the ulnar side (little finger side) of the hand in alternating blows with the wrists kept loose
  •  Beating: performed with the ulnar side of the hand and loose fists
  •  Cupping: performed with the palmar side of the hand in concave position
  •  Slapping: performed with the palmar side of the with usually more finger surface than palm
  •  Tapping: performed using the fingertips
  •  Pincement: performed using the fingertips

Any heavy tapotement massage technique is not performed over any bony prominence, the kidneys, abdomen or any fragile tissue.

Characteristic of tapotement Massage

Relaxation **

Therapeutic ***

Intensity:   Mild – Storong

Lubrication: No

Undressing: Yes

Tip: Depends on facility

How to interpret the rating scale

Hacking performed on the Back

Pincement using whole fingers on the scalp