Saturday, January 17, 2009

What Is Swedish Massage

There are over 150 types of massage but Swedish massage is perhaps the most well-known type of massage. A Swedish massage is not related to the country of Sweden, where massages are quite uncommon. Swedish massage is European, although it may originally have been learned from the Turks, who used it in their bathhouses. It is a lighter relaxing massage that aims to increase the oxygen flow in the blood and release toxins from the muscles.

This type of massage is a body work that is specifically designed to relax muscles and is the foundation for other types of Western Massage, including Sports, Deep Tissue and Aromatherapy. It is recommended for the first time massage client and is usually available in 60 or 90-minute sessions costing around $1 per minute while more intense therapies can cost around $70 an hour. It is done with the person covered by a sheet, a technique called "draping" and can be performed as a full body massage or to specific areas of the body.

Swedish massage is a soothing technique that incorporates gliding, kneading and compressing strokes, improving circulation and lymph flow. It is comprised of five basic strokes and their variations: effleurage, petrissage, friction, tapotement (or percussion) and vibration. These five basic stokes include long gliding strokes, kneading, friction, tapping, and shaking motions.

This massage method has been shown to be helpful in reducing pain, joint stiffness and improving function in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee. It mainly relaxes the muscles and eases aches and pains. Another effect is the stimulation of the parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest) and relaxation of the sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight), thus reducing stress and allowing the body to rest and heal. It can also be very helpful for digestive problems including irritable bowel syndrome and constipation, as well as asthma and bronchitis.

Using a system of long gliding strokes, kneading, and friction techniques on the more superficial layers of muscles, generally in the direction of blood flow toward the heart, sometimes combined with active and passive movements of the joints. It is designed to increase circulation and blood flow. It is most commonly known as "the gentle massage" due to the full hand contact and soft, flowing strokes.

Swedish massage reflexology is a form of bodywork based on the theory of zone therapy, in which specific spots of the body are pressed to stimulate corresponding areas in other parts of the body. Relaxing techniques, like Swedish massage, can help reverse the effects that the shock and trauma of a car wreck can have on your nervous system.

These techniques modified slightly can help with the common aches and pains of pregnancy. Massage is now even built into massage chair recliners.

Sports massage uses techniques that are similar to Swedish and deep-tissue massage but are specially adapted to deal with the needs of athletes and the effects of athletic performance on the body. Physically, this massage technique can drastically cut recovery time for muscles sprains and strains.

Massage Therapy can be relaxing and extremely beneficial for your health. If you are interested in massage therapy as a profession or you are a massage therapist and want to increase your business, you can find out how at

No comments: