What is a Swedish Massage?
Swedish massage was developed in the 1700’s by a Swedish doctor named Per Henrik Ling and refers to a variety of techniques specifically designed to relax muscles by applying pressure to them against deeper muscles and bones, and rubbing in the same direction as the flow of blood returning to the heart.
The Purpose of Swedish Massage
The main purpose of Swedish massage is to increase the oxygen flow in the blood and release toxins from the muscles.
Swedish massage shortens recovery time from muscular strain by flushing the tissues of lactic acid, uric acid, and other metabolic wastes. It increases circulation without increasing heart load. It stretches the ligaments and tendons keeping them supple and pliable. Swedish massage also stimulates the skin and nervous system and soothes the nerves themselves at the same time. It reduces stress, both emotional and physical, and is suggested in a regular program for stress management. It also has many specific medical uses.
Swedish Massage Techniques
Swedish massage techniques include: long strokes, kneading, friction, tapping, percussion, vibration, effleurage, and shaking motions. The usual sequence of techniques are:
Effleurage: Gliding strokes with the palms, thumbs and/or fingertips
Petrissage: Kneading movements with the hands, thumbs and/or fingers
Friction: Circular pressures with the palms of hands, thumbs and/or fingers
Vibration: Oscillatory movements that shake or vibrate the body
Percussion: Brisk hacking or tapping
Passive and active movements: Bending and stretching
Benefits of Swedish Massage
Swedish massage feels good, is relaxing and invigorating. It affects the nerves, muscles, glands, and circulation, while promoting health and well being.