Swedish massage is also known as classic massage. It is a characteristic treatment that usually involves gentle use of hands, elbows, and forearms to work the outer layers of your muscles to improve physical as well as mental health.
There are five main techniques involved in a Swedish massage. These techniques include gliding, rubbing, pounding (tapping), and vibration.
This therapy is not only helpful to relax your body but also to improve the level of oxygen in the blood, to improve overall blood circulation, to ease tension, and to remove muscle toxins.
How It Works
The basic techniques that your therapist will include:
It is the most common stroke during Swedish massage and is characterized as a sliding and free-flowing movement towards the heart. The therapist traces the contours of your body by using the palm of one or both of his hands.
The massage therapist will apply oil over your body with effleurage technique and begin the massage. The therapist applies very light pressure, enough to warm up your body muscles in order to calm your nerves, relax your body, improve your heart function, and blood circulation.
This technique is just like kneading the dough. The therapist lifts, roll and squeeze your muscles between his hands.
This technique is useful in releasing muscle tension and increasing lymphatic drainage.
The friction technique is for deeper muscles where the therapist applies more pressure by placing his body weight on his/her hands, thumb pads, fingers, knuckles, and back of the forearms.
After massaging, the pressure is lowered gently and slowly.
In this technique, the masseur lightly shakes the muscles and flesh with his fingertips and hands then move on to other stress-causing areas to repeat the strokes.
Vibration is intended to relieve muscular tension in small muscular areas such as areas along the spine and face.
Tapping or Percussion
These are quick, fast, and choppy movements that have a toning effect over the body.
Some of the variations of the tapping technique involve cupping, hacking, and pummeling.
Swedish massage is relatively safe, effective, and has few contraindications as compared to drug therapy. Swedish massage is associated with various physical and mental benefits of a Swedish massage. A classic massage can be used to:
- Lose the tight muscles and to stretch the connective tissues
- Relieve muscle spasms and cramps
- Decrease muscle fatigue
- Increase your muscle strength and power
- Calm the nervous system
- Improve and stimulate more blood flow to the body
- Firm up the body muscles as well as skin tone
- Relieve symptoms of diseases like arthritis, asthma, carpal tunnel syndrome, acute and chronic pain syndrome, headaches, athletic injuries, and myofascial pain, etc.
- Speed up recovery and healing from any injury
- Improve lymphatic drainage
Some of the mental benefits linked with a Swedish massage are:
- Mental relaxation and comfort
- Improvement in the quality and timing of sleep
- Relief from depression, stress, irritation, and anxiety
- More ability to stay concentrated and focused on work
- Improved sense of well-being and health