It is distinguished from other types of massage in that a quasi-static pressure is applied to the skin with the aim of stimulating specific areas of skeletal muscle. Often these areas of muscle are myofascial trigger points.
The therapist uses fingertips, knuckles, and elbows to apply pressure to these sensitive and sore areas. Usually the technique is uncomfortable, and deep, controlled breathing is essential. Communication between the client and therapist is critical, as this will determine the changing amount of pressure the therapist uses. After the treatment, the trigger point should release and begin to absorb oxygen, and the soreness should disappear.