Swedish Massage forms the basis for all western styles of massage, and is sometimes referred to as relaxation, classic or therapeutic massage.
Swedish massage techniques include effleurage (those long flowing strokes), petrissage (kneading type strokes) friction (working across the “grain” of the muscle fibres) tapotement (percussion type techniques), and vibration (shaking).
Many massages, including remedial massage, will incorporate Swedish massage techniques into them as they help to loosen superficial muscles, relieve muscle tension, stimulate circulation, increase serotonin levels, improve muscle tone and promote total mind and body relaxation.
Pressure can be varied depending on the purpose of your massage from light to firm, but techniques are often performed with medium pressure.
So where does the term Swedish massage come from, and why do the techniques have French names? Per Henrik Ling - the fencing master at Lund University - if often credited with introducing Swedish massage as he developed a training program referred to as Swedish gymnastics in the early 1800’s. However the Dutch practitioner Johann Georg Metzger introduced the terminology and techniques.
For many clients at Hand2body Massage Therapy, we will include Swedish massage techniques in their treatment and use deep tissue massage techniques on problem areas. This provides a massage experience aimed at de-stressing them, while targeting those problem areas allowing them to feel relaxed and cared for.