What is Swedish massage?
In Sweden, “Swedish massage” is simply known as “classic massage”. And that is exactly what it is – a classic treatment which represents the western standard for massage.
Swedish massage has been portrayed on TV in the past as a very hard massage performed by some sadistic therapist in a medical-style uniform, but this is just TV…
Actually, the five main techniques used in Swedish massage – stroking and gliding; kneading; rubbing; tapping or “pounding”; vibration – are probably what spring to mind when you think about a “typical” massage. They’re designed to improve your circulation, soothe your muscles and make you more relaxed.
What is Swedish massage good for?
Swedish massage uses softer strokes on the bonier and more delicate parts of the body, and stronger strokes where there is thicker muscle coverage. This sensitivity to pressure makes it ideal for relaxation.
Besides the calming benefits, Swedish massage is thought to be good for:
* easing muscular strain by flushing out toxins
* improving circulation by increasing oxygen flow in the blood
* helping to keep ligaments and tendons supple
* stimulating the nervous system
* reducing emotional and physical stress.
All massage can leave you feeling thirsty and needing to go to the toilet more than usual – this is because it’s got your lymph circulation going and your body is flushing out toxins. Drink plenty of water afterwards as you slowly drift back to planet Earth.
You’ll probably feel quite relaxed and maybe even sleepy, so give yourself plenty of time to unwind. Savour the feeling of having every muscle in your body gently stretched and smoothed out.
Different kinds of Swedish massage
Because Swedish massage is one of the most classic forms of massage, its strokes and techniques form the basis for many other treatments.