What exactly is a Swedish Massage?
Swedish massage is the most popular style of full-body massage and an excellent place to begin. While this massage provides health advantages, the therapist would most likely proceed slowly and avoid more intense treatment that may be painful. Therapists utilize massage oils or lotions to create smooth, gliding strokes over your whole body during Swedish massage. Swedish massage employs five different types of long, flowing strokes to massage. Effleurage (sliding or gliding), petrissage (kneading), tapotement (rhythmic tapping), friction (cross fiber), and vibration/shaking are the five fundamental strokes. The development of Swedish massage is often inaccurately credited to Per Henrik Ling. However, the Dutch practitioner Johan Georg Mezger adopted the French names to denote the basic strokes. The term “Swedish” massage is only recognized in English, Québécois, or Dutch-speaking countries. Elsewhere the style is referred to as “classic massage.”
What are the benefits of a Swedish Massage?
A Swedish massage is good if you need to relax and are sensitive to pain or if you had much deep work done the day before at a spa that offers daily massage. Swedish massage has been shown to help reduce pain and joint stiffness and improve function in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee over eight weeks. It has also been shown to be helpful in individuals with poor circulation.
How is a Swedish Massage done?
When you arrive at the spa, you will be accompanied to a changing area where you will remove all your clothing and put on a comfortable robe. A foot bath will be generally offered before the massage to help you relax and discuss any needs with your therapist. The therapist will then lead you to a room where you will lie face down on a massage table. The therapist will work on your muscles literally from “head to toe” and will ask you to turn over so that the therapist may continue working on your muscles while you are on your back.