Swedish massage is a whole-body therapeutic massage treatment working soft tissues and muscles to help restore health, creating a calming and balancing effect on the nervous system.
The five main massage techniques used is stroking and gliding, kneading, rubbing, tapping or pounding and vibration
Unlike deep tissue massage, Swedish massage uses softer strokes on the bonier and more delicate parts of the body, and stronger strokes where there is thicker muscle coverage. The changes in pressure makes it an ideal massage for relaxation.
Although the main benefits is soothing tight muscles and boosting well-being it also has other health benefits, including:
- easing muscular strain by flushing out toxins
- improving blood circulation
- helping to keep ligaments and tendons supple and improving range of motion
- reducing emotional and physical stress
- easing back pain and chronic pain
Swedish massage is the foundation for other types of Western massage, including sports massage, deep tissue massage and aromatherapy massage.
Where did Swedish massage come from?
The techniques used were created by Johann Georg Mezger (although there does lie some confusion in the history books that Per Henrik Ling in fact created the Swedish massage). Mezger was noted for being a talented gymnast and for having a gifted understanding of physiology. Whilst completing his medical studies, Mezger was allowed to practice French “friction methods” on patients with minor sprains . Using the French massage techniques, Mezger applied his medical knowledge to develop a system of five therapeutic techniques for treating patients that are still used today, this include Effleurage, Petrissage, Friction, Tapotement and Vibration.