Swedish massage is one of the most popular styles of relaxation massage. What distinguishes Swedish from other styles is its smooth, rhythmic meandering movements.
There are five distinct elements to a traditional Swedish technique as identified by Virginia Henderson, an American physical therapist who lived in Sweden during WWI and studied their health care system.
These elements are stroking (long gliding or effleurage kneading (rhythmic pressure) petrissage (lifting and kneading the muscles with cupped hands or thumbs circular movements friction (firm skin rubbing).
What is a Swedish Massage?
The term Swedish massage comes from the 19th century when people sought medical treatment in spas. The Swedes then began to develop forms of physical therapy that later became known as the ‘Swedish’ method of relaxation massage. It is part of the four basic types of massage, which includes deep tissue, sports, Swedish and aromatherapy (to name a few).
This type of massage is based on the Western medicine approach, which uses general terms for body parts like back or shoulders instead of naming individual muscles. Most styles are based on this idea; however, it can vary depending upon where you live and your training.
What benefits does a Swedish Massage provide?
Swedish massage is very gentle, so it’s excellent for people with medical conditions or injuries. The strokes are long and smooth, which allows the masseuse to manipulate your muscles to increase circulation in the area. This type of massage can be performed on most parts of your body, including head and face if you choose. It helps open up blood vessels and increases blood flow to release tension in your muscle. It also relaxes your muscles that often hold most tension like back, hips, shoulders and hamstrings (legs).
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What is Swedish Massage used for?
This form of relaxation therapy helps relieve anxiety, insomnia, stress allergies , constipation, menstrual cramps, sinusitis (runny nose), stiffness in joints, migraines, reduced appetite and many other conditions. It’s also great for athletes or people who are always on their feet because it stimulates blood flow to release lactic acid build up in your muscles. It can help reduce the time you need to recover after high-intensity exercises.
What is the difference between a Swedish Massage vs Deep Tissue Massage?
Deep tissue massage uses more pressure to work deep into your muscle tissue using slow strokes that go down the full length of your muscle. This type of massage is used when you have specific areas of tightness or pain. A Swedish massage is gentler with smooth, long strokes that can be used all over your body if needed. It’s best used as a relaxation massage, which is why it’s often used for conditions like anxiety or insomnia.
Starting in the 1970s, sports and fitness enthusiasts started to recommend that people classify their training routines based on the type of exercise they enjoy best. This distinction made it easier to decide how intense your workout should be. The two types of exercise are aerobic (or cardio) and anaerobic (or strength). These terms indicate whether your body is using oxygen while you train or if you’re building muscle without using oxygen.
Deep tissue massage works deep into muscle tissue while Swedish massage does not go very deep and is very gentle and light. Deep Tissue Massage focuses more on anaerobic exercises like strength training while Swedish Massage focuses on aerobic exercise.
How can you distinguish it from other types of massage?
Swedish massage has a lot of the same features as a deep tissue massage because it uses slow, long strokes all along your muscle. The main way to distinguish Swedish from other types of massages is how gentle it is. This type of relaxation therapy doesn’t involve much pressure to manipulate your muscles, which makes it great for people with injuries or who are recovering from illness or surgery. It’s also beneficial if you’re looking for something that feels more sensual, instead of intense, during your next spa visit.
How can you make a Swedish Massage more beneficial?
To get the most benefit from a Swedish massage, it’s important to be specific about what you want.
For example, if you’re at the spa and need help with stress relief, tell your massage therapist that you would like them to focus on your head and shoulders. It’s also crucial to let them know if you have any injuries or other medical conditions that they should be made aware of.
This way, your masseuse can avoid putting too much pressure on areas where there might already be problems and will ensure the session is as relaxing as possible.
When is the best time to go for a Swedish Massage?
There are many times when people benefit from a Swedish massage, depending on their lifestyle. If you’re feeling tense or anxious, it’s one of the best ways to relax because it releases endorphins that make you feel good. It’s also great if you’ve had an injury and need to relieve some pain, since it can get rid of lactic acid build up in your muscles. Athletes who train at high intensity levels often go for this type of relaxation massage because it stimulates blood flow to release more toxins than other forms of massage .
What are some tips for getting a Swedish Massage?
When it comes to receiving a Swedish massage, you’re probably wondering what you should expect and how you can get the most out of it. You can ask your therapist to use light pressure or deeper strokes — either one will be beneficial — but if there’s an area where you feel pain, tell them not to focus on it so much. But, remember: make sure to communicate with them before they begin about any concerns or issues you may have.
How long does a typical Swedish Massage last?
A full-body Swedish massage usually lasts between 45 and 90 minutes. It’s easy to incorporate one in your weekly routine because it isn’t too time consuming. As long as you make the appointment with plenty of time to spare, you’ll be able to relax completely when you go in for your session.
How does it benefit you?
Swedish massage is beneficial for many people. It can help with getting rid of lactic acid buildup in your muscles, release toxins, decrease anxiety, and soothe soreness. Some people find it especially great to use after they workout because it helps them recover faster.
How often should you go for this?
A Swedish massage only takes about 60 minutes to complete, but most spas offer packages that last longer than an hour (typically 90 or 120 minutes). You can get this type of deep tissue massage once weekly or every other week on what your therapist recommends.
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Who should get one?
Anyone can benefit from a Swedish massage. This is one of the best ways to soothe sore muscles and reduce stress. Newborn babies even get this type of relaxation massage when they’re in their incubator, because it helps them grow and develop! The simple movements help with brain development, muscle formation, and much more.
What to expect during the massage
It’s common to feel more relaxed during the massage. Alternatively, if you want a firmer pressure, let them know ahead of time. If you’re not sure what to expect, talk to them before they begin about any concerns or issues you may have. They’ll use gentle strokes that smoothly move over muscles. Swedish massage can either be very light or slightly deeper depending on what your body needs at that time. You can ask for lighter or heavier pressure during the session as well.
Who performs it?
Swedish Massage is one of the most popular forms of relaxation massage and can be used by a variety of licensed massage therapists.
When should you get one?
Swedish massage can be used as a regular relaxation therapy or just for specific problem areas. You can schedule a session once a week or even every other week, based on how it makes you feel and what your therapist recommends.
It’s recommended that you get one if you’re experiencing pain caused by lactic acid buildup in your muscles, because it helps break down the acid so that your body can return to normal function. This type of massage is also good to use if you need help managing stress because it keeps blood flowing smoothly throughout all parts of your body. Many people love using Swedish massage for this reason.
What are the benefits?
Besides being extremely relaxing, this style of therapeutic massage offers several different health benefits that are essential to your bodily functions. Some of these benefits are:
- improved circulation
- improved immune system function
- releases toxins from the body through sweat, saliva, and urine
- reduces levels of cortisol (a stress hormone) in your bloodstream
- decreases anxiety by releasing neurochemicals that promote a calm state of mind
- relieves lactic acid buildup that causes pain and soreness
Where can I find a Swedish massage near me
If you’re looking for a place to receive an authentic Swedish massage, there are many different spas that offer this style of healing. You can also visit your chiropractor or physical therapist if they provide these types of services. The more work you do now, the bigger payoff later!