Swedish Massage is a very popular form of massage therapy. It is soothing, pleasant to the body and is the least resistant massage to receive. It usually involves the whole body, including the neck, back, torso, legs, arms, and head.
Massaging the head promotes fluid flow throughout the body and can often alleviate headaches and TMJ (temporal mandibular joint) dysfunction / pain.
A Swedish massage involves stroking and rubbing the body with gentle techniques often with oils to allow for a comfortable friction-smooth massage.
It is good for relieving stress and anxiety and can help promote activation of the parasympathetic nervous system. That rest and relaxation feeling we often feel after a good night’s sleep.
This style gets its name from a 19th-century Swedish physiologist, Per Henrik Ling, whose system of medical gymnastics included massage. Johan Georg Mezger (1838-1909) coined a reduced set of techniques of Dr. Ling’s system as the “Swedish massage” system.
The Swedish massage is known for four major therapeutic techniques called Efflurage, Petrissage, Tapotement and Vibration.
Efflurage is a Swedish massage long stroking – gliding technique that usually captures the whole length of the muscle from origin to insertion points on the correlating bone.
Petrissage is where the therapist kneads the body. Thumbs, knuckles, or elbows are often used to apply pressure on to the muscle fibers. Skin rolling, squeeze and wringing are all part of the petrissage technique.
With petrissage the overall direction is from proximal to distal, as opposed to effleurage, in which the direction of the overall technique is from distal to proximal length of the muscle being worked on.
Tapotement is a rhythmic percussion on to the muscles with cupped hands or the edge of the hands in a rapid alternating hitting of muscles.
Vibration in Swedish massage technique often achieved with a hand-held tool such as a percussor or topical vibrator. Usually, the intensity of the shaking can be adjusted as needed on such machines which offer a very good therapeutic value.
An important consideration with a Swedish massage is the correct hands-on placement during the session to not incorrectly use strokes with a client / patient as to cause a build-up in the sinuses. Often the person lying down on the table can get stuffed in the nose and cannot breath, which is the result of incorrect application and direction of strokes. If this happens to you during your Swedish massage you need to find a different therapist to work with. All our therapists are well aware of this potential unpleasant side-effect.