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. Swedish massage was developed in the 1700’s by a Swedish doctor named Per Henrik Ling.
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The Techniques Used in Swedish Massage
- Swedish massage techniques include: long strokes, kneading, friction, tapping, percussion, vibration, effleurage, and shaking motions. The usually sequence of techniques are:
- Effleurage: Gliding strokes with the palms, thumbs and/or fingertips
- Petrissage: Kneading movements with the hands, thumbs and/or fingers
- Friction: Circular pressures with the palms of hands, thumbs and/or fingers
- Vibration: Oscillatory movements that shake or vibrate the body
- Percussion: Brisk hacking or tapping
- Passive and active movements: Bending and stretching
The Benefits of Swedish Massage
By far, the most popular benefit of Swedish Massage is that it is both relaxing and invigorating. It is an excellent way to help rid the body of tension and to achieve a sense of overall well-being.
- A standard Swedish session lasts for 30 or 60 minutes, and addresses most major muscle groups of the body. The session is usually performed on a soft massage table, in an environment that is meant to relax the recipient. The strokes of the massage relax individual muscles, while the overall experience eliminates mental stress.
- Swedish sessions can target specific areas of pain like a sprained ankle, or they can be used to help manage the chronic pain that comes with conditions like arthritis. By using strokes that improve circulation and increase body-wide relaxation, the massage therapist can help make many painful conditions more bearable.
- The strokes of Swedish massage replicate the movements of the circulatory system. By performing the strokes toward the heart, Swedish massage drains metabolic waste from the limbs of the body.
- Swedish massage can break up muscle adhesions and help promote the healthy healing of scar tissue. Swedish Massage uses strokes like cross-fiber friction to work out the kinks that can accompany injured muscles. These strokes help get rid of scar tissue and return the muscles to their normal, healthy state.
What Should You Do After Swedish Massage
- Swedish massage has a detoxifying effect on the body and you can encourage this by drinking plenty of water and avoiding caffeine, nicotine and alcohol for the next 24 hours. Also try to avoid any strenuous exercise for 24 hours following treatment and try to rest and allow your body to heal from within
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