Fluff and Buff?

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Fluff and Buff?

Postby naturalhealing on Tue May 04, 2010 3:50 pm

Does anyone actually do this type of massage? How would they possibly stay in business? Have you ever gotten a fluff n buff? :lol: I am partly serious. Is this what some people think of swedish? Do they ask the MT to work deeper? I just hear that a lot "Well, I don't do fluff and buff." So, who are these people out there doing these terrible massages?
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Re: Fluff and Buff?

Postby GreenDragonfly on Tue May 04, 2010 5:05 pm

I don't think that they are "terrible" massages, just general Swedish is often referred to as 'fluff and buff' because it doesn't address any specific concern per se.

I actually LOVE a good Swedish massage - so I guess I am considered easy to please which is fine by me! I believe that there are many people who love it for it's relaxing nature.
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Re: Fluff and Buff?

Postby naturalhealing on Tue May 04, 2010 5:58 pm

Ahhh, see I wouldn't consider a good swedish massage fluff and buff at all. I would love it! It's not deep tissue, but it works the muscles, imo. I have always thought of F&B as like someone just rubbing oil on you for an hour. So, that's why I was wondering would someone with a license, really do that?
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Re: Fluff and Buff?

Postby GreenDragonfly on Wed May 05, 2010 6:23 am

Oh ok I misunderstood you. You know, I think that some people do work very lightly but I have heard many more complaints from people who got their first massage and were literally brused and feeling worse than when they saw the MT.

I have heard MTs refer to Swedish as fluff and buff, but I suppose it could also apply to a massage that was overly light.
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Re: Fluff and Buff?

Postby mtnlionz on Wed May 05, 2010 6:55 am

I know some therapists who believe anything other than elbows in erectors is "fluff and buff". I've always found that opinion (and the term fluff and buff) dismissive, arrogant and ignorant at the same time. There are some astoundingly effective systems and methods that employ a lighter contact actually causing the client to have a more internal and informative experience of their own body.
Who's to say what's therapeutic for everyone? Maybe a very light massage is profoundly beneficial and appropriate for a person for a wide variety of reasons, neurological, emotional, etc. I think the key is listening. I have had some massage clients recently who had very nearly given up on having massages because more than one therapist imposed their will upon the client and insisted on doing work that was deeper than the client could tolerate (and the clients did voice their discomfort, so it wasn't a matter of laying there and taking it without giving feedback). They walked away thinking ALL massage therapists practiced that way, which is a shame. One, in fact, said "never again". She happens to be my hairdresser and trusts me as a person, and we talked for quite a while about what happened and I presented lots of options to her and did my level best to help her feel safe in session with me. And she loved it. I'm just happy she has a better opinion of massage therapy in general, it's good for our industry.
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Re: Fluff and Buff?

Postby kathryn on Wed May 05, 2010 7:05 am

The term "fluff and buff" is only used by massage therapists. I haven't yet heard an actual client use that term, unless they were repeated something they heard another therapist use. It is used by therapists to denote a Swedish style light pressure massage. I also percieve it as arrogant as there are so many health issues created by stress that many folks need a "fluff and buff" just to relieve their blood pressure!! I will admit I had a similar mind-set in the first years of my massage practice but have since then completely changed (thank goodness!) my attitude towards using massage strictly for relaxation purposes.
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Re: Fluff and Buff?

Postby JasonE on Wed May 05, 2010 9:25 pm

I have heard the term used by clients, usually by those who have had a lot of massages before. However, some newbies come in using the term too... :roll:

Anyway, there are tons of MTs out there doing all those terrible massages. Likely as not, I've been one of them. :grin: Most of us are probably guilty of the occasional "bad massage" - even if the work was great - because a client will decide for themselves whether it was good or bad.

That said, I have been told by a number of other massage employers that certain schools in my area aren't much good at "serious work" but they are "okay for fluff-n-buff (if you're hiring for that)". Sometimes we interview graduates from those schools, and sometimes those grads are no better than their school's reputation. :P However, each interviewee is a new person, and we have been very pleasantly surprised a number of times.

It would be interesting to see a comprehensive rating of local massage schools as rated by employers of massage therapists, especially if those employers also noted what they criteria they are most interested in. It would speak volumes about hiring standards.
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Re: Fluff and Buff?

Postby ukgal99 on Sun May 09, 2010 9:12 am

I would consider a fluff & buff massage to be one where the therapist is using a very light touch, quite fast, going through a set routine, counting the strokes and not focussing on any areas of concern or tightness as they come across it. Not to say that a light touch is bad - I've had a few clients who only wanted the lightest of touch which was appropriate for how they were feeling. I don't consider Swedish massage as fluff & buff as it forms the basis of my massage before I start using more specific techniques to focus on pain issues.
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Re: Fluff and Buff?

Postby Kneadfulthings on Fri May 14, 2010 6:37 pm

I do all kinds of massage (both with my hands and with my feet) and over the years I have had 10x more clients coming in saying "What ever you do to me, please don't hurt me like the last person that massaged me did! I was sore for days after!" then I have had say "I'm not looking for a fluff and buff."

In fact I would bet I have built a good portion of my practice with clients that felt their therapist wasn't listening to what their needs were versus what the therapist thought their needs should be.

Just a thought.
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Re: Fluff and Buff?

Postby palpable on Fri May 14, 2010 7:11 pm

JasonE wrote:
Anyway, there are tons of MTs out there doing all those terrible massages. Likely as not, I've been one of them. :grin:


Ain't that the truth! :lol: I am undoubtedly guilty of some lousy sessions, too. Never on purpose, never because I don't try, but, well, sometimes it is just not meant to be.

And I agree with ukgal about the idea of "fluff and buff" being more of a set routine as much as anything. At least, that is what I think of when I hear that term- a routine that is the same for every person regardless of any specific complaints or needs.
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Re: Fluff and Buff?

Postby moogie on Sat May 15, 2010 3:37 am

Kneadfulthings wrote:In fact I would bet I have built a good portion of my practice with clients that felt their therapist wasn't listening to what their needs were versus what the therapist thought their needs should be.


BINGO!! We have a winner!

Different clients have differents needs. Different strokes for different folks.

There is no right/wrong or good/bad as far as massage goes. It's about doing the massage that the clients needs and wants.

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Re: Fluff and Buff?

Postby lhmassage on Tue Jul 23, 2013 10:00 am

I always had a bad taste in my mouth concerning F&B because of my massage therapy teacher. She hated anything that was not trigger point therapy...and I mean anything and everything! She did not show us hot stone which some think is F&B. She didn't tell or show any of the "extras" that clients love so much (hot towels, scrub and mask of feet, table warmer, ect.)
I say all that to say I love the F&B or little extras that I offer my clients. They feel more relaxed and I love to see the smiles on their faces after putting hot towels on their feet. Plus the F&B can be very therapeutic for you clients...its all about what they want and their experience.
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Re: Fluff and Buff?

Postby fishtaco on Wed Sep 30, 2015 6:15 am

I have always referred to the "fluff and buff" as a more intention-related phenomenon, where the therapist is basically checked out mentally and/or going through the motions of massage.

We all know that lack of intent is felt in the touch of the therapist.

Or it could be the truly lazy, one-handed massage that I've seen waaaaay-hay-hay too many times over 20 years during couples massages, lol. :smt009
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Annie get your gun

Postby holley on Sat Oct 03, 2015 2:06 pm

'Fluff and Buff procedures are used "with guns for prevention of accelerated wear, along with lubricating correctly, before firing ". My guess is that this is the origin of the term and the crossover to use in massage was not quite inadvertent.
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