The Swedish massage has become the classic and most popular treatment which represents the western standard for massage. The various Swedish massage techniques are designed to improve your circulation, soothe your muscles and make you feel more relaxed. Fans of Swedish massage swear by its overall health benefits (we do!) and in fact, several studies have looked at the technique’s benefits for issues other than just stiffness or muscle aches and pains.
What techniques are used during this massage?
Swedish fencing instructor Per Henrik Ling is often credited with inventing the technique in the 19th century, but it’s actually Dutch practitioner Johan Georg Mezger who deserves the credit. He developed the treatment as we know it today and gave the classic stokes their French names including effleurage, the smooth gliding strokes; petrissage, squeezing, rolling and kneading; and tapotement, rhythmic tapping.
What are the benefits of a Swedish Massage?
- Relaxation: Swedish massage’s main benefit is the overall relaxation that it provides. A standard Swedish session addresses most major muscle groups of the body and the calming environment and soothing aromatherapy oils helps to relax the recipient.
- Increased circulation: The strokes of the massage relax individual muscles, while the overall experience eliminates mental stress but they also replicate the movements of the circulatory system. By performing the strokes toward the heart, Swedish massage drains metabolic waste from the limbs of the body. Some of the strokes used in Swedish therapy increase blood flow, which further quickens the removal of bodily waste.
- Pain relief: Swedish massage is also used as an integral part of pain management protocols for sports injuries and chronic pain conditions such as fibromyalgia. Sessions can target specific areas of pain like a sprained ankle, or they can be used to help manage the chronic pain that comes with conditions like arthritis.
- Decreased fatigue: Studies have shown that regular Swedish massages helps to fight fatigue; due to the massage helping to increase blood circulation, flushing out of toxins and the release of endorphins.
- Reduced depression and anxiety: Swedish massage is the most popular massage to assist with stress release, but various clinical studies have shown that Swedish massage can also assist with the treatment of depression and anxiety due to massage helping to reducing cortisol, or the “stress” hormone, and may help the body devote more resources to healing.