What is Swedish Massage?
The term "Swedish Massage" refers to a variety of techniques specifically designed to relax muscles by applying pressure to them against deeper muscles and bones, and rubbing in the same direction as the flow of blood returning to the heart. It involves the use of kneading, stroking, friction, tapping, and vibration and may provide relief from stiffness, numbness, pain, constipation, and other health problems. Other possible benefits include stimulation of circulation, an increase in muscle tone, help the recipient obtain a feeling of connectedness, a better awareness of their body and the way they use and position it, and a balance of the musculo-skeletal systems. Swedish massage shortens recovery time from muscular strain by flushing metabolic wastes. It increases circulation without increasing heart load.
Swedish Massage also stimulates the skin and nervous system while at the same time relaxing the nerves themselves. As it can help reduce emotional and physical stress it is often recommended as part of a regular program for stress management. It also has specific clinical uses in a medical or remedial therapy.
The usual sequence in which a Swedish massage strokes are conducted are Effleurage, Petrissage, Friction, Vibration, Percussion, and finally passive and active movements (bending and stretching).