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What is a Swedish Massage?
Swedish massage is the most common type of massage requested to reduce stress and increase relaxation. In Swedish massage, the massage therapist uses oil or lotion to apply basic strokes with light to medium pressure depending on the client’s preference.
Origin of Swedish Massage
Swedish massage is based on many Western concepts of anatomy and physiology. Per Henrik Ling, a Swedish physiologist, developed Swedish massage in the early 19th century. He created a system called “Medical Gymnastics” that became known as “Swedish movements” in Europe, and “the Swedish Movement Cure”, when it came to the U.S. in 1858. However, today we recognize this method as simply Swedish massage, which acts as the foundation for other types of massage such as sports massage, deep tissue massage and aromatherapy massage.
Benefits of Swedish Massage
Swedish massage has many health benefits which can explain its popularity among massage clients. Stress relief is one of the most significant benefits of a Swedish massage because it lowers the client’s blood pressure and the risk of developing anxiety, depression, stokes, heart attacks, etc. Stress can cause the client’s muscles to be fatigued and sore. The massage not only relaxes the muscles but allows the blood flow to deliver oxygen and nutrients to the muscles, which reduces the inflammation, stiffness and pain. The stress hormone in our bodies is known as cortisol. Elevated levels of this hormone can instigate weight gain and immune system failure. Cortisol attacks the body’s defensive cells that kill off bacteria and viruses. However, Swedish massage decreases the level of cortisol and allows the body to be in a more relaxed state and improve the functioning of the immune system.