What is a Swedish Massage?
Swedish massage is based on the Western concepts of anatomy and physiology as opposed to energy work that is more common in Asian-style massage.
Swedish massage was pioneered by a Swedish physiologist, Per Henrik Ling (1776-1839) at the University of Stockholm in 1812.
In the early 19th century he developed a system called “Medical Gymnastics” which included movements performed by a therapist. These became the known as “Swedish movements” in Europe and “the Swedish Movement Cure” when they came to the U.S. in 1858. Today it is simply known as Swedish massage
Swedish Massage currently represents the western ‘standard’ for body massage and is the foundation for other types of Western massage, including sports massage, deep tissue massage and aromatherapy massage.
It is also known as therapeutic massage and represents a general massage system that focuses on increasing circulation and promoting relaxation.
How does the Swedish Massage work?
In all Swedish massages, the skin is lubricated with massage oil, whilst various massage strokes are performed. These movements warm up the muscle tissue, releasing tension and gradually breaking up muscle “knots“. Swedish massage promotes relaxation, among other health benefits.
Before the massage, you should relate any injuries or other conditions that you know about. Things you would want to mention include areas of tightness or pain, allergies, and conditions like pregnancy. You can also mention whether you have a preference for either light or firm pressure.
It’s best not to get a massage if you are ill.
What can I expect during a Swedish Massage?
You will usually start by laying face down with your head in a cradle so your spine stays neutral. The massage generally starts by working on your back, using various massage strokes that include:
When finished with the back, work then begins on the back of each leg. When done with the back side, you turn over onto your back so that the massage can continue with the front of each leg, both arms and finishing with your neck and shoulders.
You can ask to spend more time on a certain area.
Swedish massage usually includes some deeper work on areas of specific muscle tension, but if you truly want deeper, more intensive work and firmer pressure, book a deep tissue massage.
Please be aware:
You will be required to be appropriately unclothed for this treatment.
Some of the benefits include:
- Promotes relaxation, thereby reducing stress and anxiety
- Ease of muscular tension, soreness and stiffness
- Improved skin tone, circulation and elasticity
- Elimination of toxins and swelling
- Boosts immune system
- Relieves tired and stiff joints
- Increases energy levels by invigorating the body’s natural systems
- Aids better sleep and reduces insomnia