Human grooming by Daniel Laberge
Human grooming homepage Daniel Laberge homepage

Pressure grooming

Pressure grooming techniques are used to flatten and open up the folds in your skin.
By putting pressure on the flesh, you can gradually crush the folds to nothingness.
This applies also to their crossings or any hardened structure you find in your skin.

Using pressure to crush and open up the folds

Fingertip pressure grooming   Pressure grooming using the nail
With the fingertip   With the nail


Pressure grooming strokes

Grooming strokes

Pressure grooming is accomplished by repeating short gestures called "strokes".
Grooming strokes are simple, short, three part actions:
1- You place your fingertip or nail on your skin,
2- You apply pressure for one, two, ten, thirty seconds or more,
3- You remove your finger.

Mapping your skin

Pressure grooming, also called «deep skin grooming», involves putting pressure on your skin with your fingertip or nail.

Fingertip pressure grooming   Pressure grooming using the nail
               With the fingertip   With the nail

As soon as you press your finger unto your skin, you form a mental picture of what lies beneath the surface.
The idea is to repeat this gesture over and over to map out the bumps and valleys that you detect below the skin's surface.
If your fingertip or nail push into the flesh easily and without hindrance; then, it is not folded.
But, if you feel any irregularity or hardness in the skin; those are folds and their crossings.
These structures are unstable, delicate and collapsible. They can be flattened with your nails.

You can't see what's inside your skin,
but you can feel it with your fingers and nails.

Feeling what's inside your skin

We all have the experience of putting our hand to our skin and discovering a bump, a hole or some deformity.
Further investigation frequently reveals hardness inside the skin, in the form of a lump or mass below the surface.
When you pressure groom your skin, you go hunting for such problems and you take care of them immediately.

Crushing internal skin structures

These lumps, bumps and holes are rigid flesh structures inside your skin that have enlarged with time.
These deformations are unstable, delicate and collapsible.
They can be flattened with your nails.
You have to find;
• the exact spot to apply pressure,
• the right angle for your finger,
• the amount of force you should exert.
When your nail is precisely in the center of a skin flaw, putting moderate pressure on it will crush down its foundations.


Pecking your skin

As soon as you press your nail unto your skin, you form a mental picture of what lies beneath the surface.
The idea is to repeat this gesture over and over to map out the bumps and valleys below the skin's surface.

Pecking your skin

You can map the inside of your skin
by pecking an area with pressure strokes

You will discover all kinds of weird cutaneous formations; a world of mountains and deep pits.

Attacking both the highest summits
and the lowest depressions

In order to crush these skin structures, you have to put pressure on them in their center.
This point is usually found at the highest peaks and in the deepest chasms of the skin formations.
To your super-sensitive fingertips and nails, tiny skin imperfections feel like mountains and valleys. This is why I frequently use geological terms to describe skin details.



  Bumps, mounds and mountains  

Bumps and mounds are easy to find because your nail won't penetrate your skin the way it does elsewhere.
It just sits on top.

Nail searches for a bumby crossing

Your nail won't sink into the flesh when you're over a bump.
The skin is rigid and compact.

You want to locate the peak of these formations; the spot where they are most vulnerable.
The skin at that particular place is the hardest; so you're also searching for rigidity.
• When you locate a bump, evaluate its size and form and search for its center, generally its highest point.
• Position your nail and press down.
• Hold the pressure while adjusting your angle.

Pressure grooming a skin mountain

Find the summit of a skin formation
and put pressure on it with your nail
for several seconds.

These mounds aren't solid.
They're actually made out of four sections.
When your nail is at the right place, you will feel your skin open up as you increase the pressure.
Crush any structure or hardness you meet.



  Holes, depressions and valleys  

Right next to mountainous areas, you will find long valleys with occasional deep abysses.
For your nail, they present themselves as cavities in your skin, holes.

Nail searching for crossing     Nail has found the crossing

Your nail won't wander over your skin for long
before you encounter a cavity or a hole.

• You want to position yourself exactly in the center of these depressions.
• Once you're there; increase the pressure and hold it for several seconds.

Nail penetrating a fold crossing

Keep on searching until you find the deepest point

Your finger will penetrate your skin easily as you aim for the bottom of these gorges.

Pressure grooming a deep skin valley

Lodge your finger into a skin crevice
and apply pressure for several seconds.

When you attack and crush the central well, you open up the whole crater.
You can follow the valley, applying pressure strokes as you go.
Pay particular attention to the deepest holes; try to drive your nail right through their hardened bottom.

How much pressure?

You want to exert all the force you can without hurting yourself.
I can pressure groom my skin for hours and go meet people afterwards.
The marks that your nails leave on your skin are temporary and should fade away promptly.

Nail marks vanishing in 10 minutes

Nail marks should vanish within 10 minutes.
If they don't. You're putting too much pressure.

The skin of different parts of your body may react differently to pressure grooming.
Go slowly at first and test how far you should go.
If nail marks remain a problem for you, don't conclude that your skin cannot be groomed; refine your technique instead.

When you discover pain

The great majority of your pressure grooming strokes should be pain free.
Yet, here and there, you will find places that hurt when you press on them.
Don't let the pain stop you from grooming these areas.
The ache comes from knotted skin formations and your grooming disturbs them.
Any tension you remove now from those spots now will relieve you from pain in the future.
You will notice that your skin immediately reacts by anesthetizing the area you are grooming.

Imaging the cutaneous deformation

The skin defect you are trying to groom away has its own specific shape, size, hardness, orientation, ...
It is essential to have a mental representation of the object you want to unknot.
When you press your nail on it and all around it, you can obtain and gather a lot of information about it.

Image of a fold crossing beneath the skin

Try to form a mental image of the skin imperfection
you're working on

These formations are made up of draped skin.
You can perceive the tensions and knots within them and deduce their form.
Your acuity will grow with time.

Crushing the structures

The logic behind pressure grooming is that the structures inside your skin have developed with time and they are brittle.
Once your nail has crushed them, they don't recover completely and can be flattened out over time.

Compressed fold crossing

Skin flaws aren't made of steel.
They can't withstand the pressure of your nail.

Your goal is to flatten out each structure over time.

Orienting your nail

Skin formations are usually made out of four sections tightly held together.
This creates a void where they meet, some kind of chimney.
It drives into the skin, but not necessarily straight down.
• Try to feel where the bottom of the crossing you are grooming is.
• Reorient your finger and nail so that the pressure you apply is in line with the chimney.
• Aim for the bottom.

Diagonal fold crossing

Match the angle with your nail

If you are precisely positioned on the center of a crossing, you will feel its chimney open up, as your nail penetrates it.

The jerk

The jerk

  At the end of a grooming stroke, your nail is often lodged deeply into your skin.
You could simply remove your nail or you can give a final attack by swiftly twist-pulling the nail out of the fold crossing.
Therefore, the jerk is an optional and violent ending to your pressure strokes.
You mostly use it when your stroke has reached a point of resistance that hampers further movement.


Four finger pressure grooming

Most of the time, you should use only one finger for your pressure grooming strokes because you have to put all your attention and agility on the task you are performing.
However, when the assignment seems impossible to accomplish with only one finger, you can bundle up to four fingers together.

Four finger pressure stroke

Four finger pressure stroke

This position gives you a powerful grip on your skin.
Use it on large folds and on diffuse pain.
Painful areas often follow long muscle bands.
Place your four fingers along them and press your nails into the aching skin.
This will relieve the tension temporarily, but repeating this gesture will solve the problem in the long run.

More and more pressure

Instead of just relying on the strength of your fingers, you can use the force of your entire arm to pull the nails into the flesh.
In some places, you can even place your thumb on the other side of a limb, so you can grasp it.

Uneven finger use

You normally want to put equal pressure on each finger but, because the skin is so uneven, some nails always do more work.
Since your middle finger is longer, it sometimes takes the lead and blurs the distinction between single and four-finger grooming.
It could also be called “two-finger” or “three-finger” grooming depending on the situation. Your strokes will benefit if you practice individual control over each finger’s action.
Some fingers press in deeply while others open up the fold more.


Two-handed pressure grooming

Single and four finger two-handed pressure grooming strokes

These techniques give you the most punch.
They are very powerful and effective, but you may hurt yourself if you exert too much strength.
Only use them after you've explored the area with single finger pressure strokes.


Two-handed  single finger 
pressure strokes

This stroke involves using one finger from each hand to groom one single spot on your skin.

Two handed single finger pressure grooming

The pressure from both hands is applied to one location

You can use this stroke in two manners:
Alternating hands; each hand takes turn tackling the problem,
Synchronized hands; you lock the movements of your hands together. You can apply short or long strokes using the force of both arms.


Two-handed  four finger 
pressure strokes

When you need all your strength to reach deep problem or painful areas, these strokes provide more pressure than any other.

Two handed four finger pressure grooming

This eight-finger line-up is very effective

For best results, your strokes on both hands should be synchronized.
• Start with short one-second strokes until you meet a skin imperfection; then lengthen them up to ten seconds.
• In many places on your body, you can use your thumbs (and even the palms of your hands) to grasp the member you are grooming.


Fingerpressing strokes

Groom without using your nails

Finger strokes use the flat or the side of your finger to perform the grooming tasks.
No nail is involved at all.
Simply apply pressure on your skin with the flat of your fingertip.
Your finger acts as an iron would on clothes.
Your whole fingertip covers a larger area than just your nail.

Finger pressing stroke

Apply pressure.
Move your finger nearby.
Reapply pressure.

Unfolding will occur even if very little pressure is applied.
Pressing can be done with any part of the finger, even in conjunction with nail strokes.
Finger strokes are particularly effective underwater or when your skin is wet.


Left arrow Previous   Next Right arrow