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Etymology: AS, cloeppan, to beat
(in massage) the procedure of making percussive movements on a patient's body, usually on the chest wall or back, by lowering the cupped palms alternately in a series of rapid, stimulating blows. In this procedure the movement of the hands is from the wrist. Clapping stimulates the circulation and refreshes the skin. It is often done to improve the comfort of bedridden patients, especially during administration of a bed bath. Also called percussion.
1. A technique for clearing the airway in which the therapist rhythmically strikes with his or her cupped hands the chest wall to help loosen thick secretions in the lungs. Synonym: cupping (1)
2. A similar, rhythmic striking of any body part, used in massage therapy.