Swedish Massage

Swedish massage is probably the most popular massage in America today and is offered in most every spa. It involves the use of hands, forearms or elbows to manipulate the superficial layers of the muscles to improve mental and physical health. Benefits of Swedish massage include increased blood circulation, decreased stress and muscle tension, physical and mental relaxation, and improved range of motion. Swedish massage uses long flowing strokes in a light to firm pressure using five basic strokes: effleurage (sliding or gliding), petrissage(kneading), tapotement(rhythmic tapping), friction (cross fiber) and vibration/shaking. I recommend Swedish for those who don’t like the deeper, more specific or “therapeutic” massages’. Long strokes connecting distant parts of your body bring a greater awareness of your whole being, while soothing none-specific techniques relax and heal muscles.

In the 1830s, Swedish fencing instructor Per Henrik Ling, developed Swedish massage after he healed himself from injuries to his elbows. Dr. Charles and Dr. George Taylor later (1850s) brought Swedish massage to the United States where it has become the byword for massage. All ways talk to your therapist about the massage you want as Swedish has come to cover many varieties of massage.

Physical Benefits

There are numerous physical benefits associated with the use of Swedish massage:

  • Loosens and stretches muscles and connective tissues allowing them to heal correctly
  • Relieves cramps and muscle spasms
  • Decreases muscle fatigue
  • Improves range of motion by loosening muscles
  • Increases muscle strength by allowing muscles to function properly
  • Calms the nervous system
  • Increases blood flow to previously blocked areas
  • Firms up muscle and skin tone
  • Relieves symptoms of such disorders as asthma, arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, chronic and acute pain syndromes, myofacial pain, headaches, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction, and athletic injuries
  • Speeds up healing from multiple types of injuries and illnesses
  • Improves your overall health

Mental and Emotional Benefits

Mental benefits associated with massage therapy include the following:

  • Mental relaxation
  • Relieves stress
  • Improvement in length and quality of sleep
  • Increases ability to concentrate
  • Improves overall well-being