Swedish massage is one of the most popular and effective massage therapy modalities. It is a "traditional" full-body massage that applies gentle and vigorous pressure, or light touch. Think of this method as a wonderful combination of massage and physical therapy, a process that promotes total relaxation and muscle tension release.
Take note that proper Swedish massage therapy should only be performed by a licensed massage therapist. If you are new to experiencing this technique and don’t know what to expect, put your mind at ease and check to see if the spa or massage clinic you’re planning to visit is staffed with a licensed, registered practitioner. Most of the time, your massage therapy studio will pair you with a massage therapist who has pressure levels that are equivalent to your massage goals.
Swedish Massage Therapy: How is it Done?
Prior to the start of the massage treatment, the therapist will ask you about any history of previous physical injuries. The main purpose of this is so the therapist can take special care to prevent further damage and assist in the healing process to tissues surrounding injured areas.
Like many other massage therapies, Swedish massage involves the use of oil which is applied to the skin to help the massage therapist’s hands glide over the body without friction, and to help the soothing, even pressure penetrate deep into the muscles.
After the gentle application of the oil, the therapist will begin the massage. You have the option to choose whether you want the massage to be relatively gentle or done with more intensive pressure. Most of the time, soft, long strokes are used. Don’t be afraid to ask your therapist to lessen or increase the pressure applied, in accordance with your own tolerance and level of comfort.
Ways that Swedish Massage Therapy Can Benefit:
Dr. Per Henrik Ling, a Swedish doctor, is credited with creating this type of massage, but it not only includes Swedish influence but also techniques from China, Egypt and Greece. Swedish Massage Therapy has long been used by experts to provide many notable benefits. Here are just a few:
- Relaxation – One of the major benefits of Swedish massage therapy is true relaxation. For busy professionals who have long weekdays ahead of them, a trip to the spa for a great Swedish massage can loosen up tensed back muscles and an aching neck and shoulders. Complete relaxation follows suit!
- Helps with stress – Many of us lead very demanding lives, and the resulting stress can manifest in the body, making muscles noticeably tight and stiff. If you’re already feeling stressed, this can set up a cycle of anxiety and further discomfort. Swedish massage therapy eases the body’s unwanted responses to stress and helps to clear your mind of worry.
- Better flexibility – After an hour of this kind of rejuvenating massage therapy, you can’t help but notice the way your body’s movements improve. The increased full range of motion of your hands, arms and legs and decreased swelling are all significant benefits of the Swedish massage experience.
With good reason, Swedish massage therapy is a sound and highly beneficial treatment. Stick with tried and true techniques over passing fads. Treat yourself soon!