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Swedish massage techniques and benefits

What is Swedish Massage?

With several types of massage treatments being practiced all over the world, the Swedish body massage is considered to be one of the best ever. Since 19th century different massage therapies started gaining popularity and their health benefits were appreciated by all. The main focuses of Swedish massage are increasing blood flow and circulation, assisting in draining the lymphatic system to support immune system function, and creating a more relaxed state of being. Unobstructed blood flow and lymph drainage both help keep the body in good working order and are considered essential in maintaining the body’s defences against illness and disease.

The specific strokes and movements used in Swedish massage application are known as stroking, kneading, rubbing (friction), and striking. Swedish massage is focused primarily on the body and, therefore, is a more physical approach to relieving stress, aches, pains, and tension. One benefit of Swedish massage is its ability to relax the mind-brain connection—the mind being the energy and thoughts, and the brain being the physical matter. This is thought to contribute to a more balanced, stimulated, and integrated system. A healthy mind-brain connection may also help facilitate better physical health.

Although Swedish massage may seem to be a more aggressive application than other massage and bodywork techniques such as shiatsu or acupressure, practitioners take a gentle approach and may even incorporate shiatsu and acupressure in their sessions.

What Is a Swedish Massage Session Like?

Similar to Thai massage, in a Swedish massage the client’s joints and muscles are compressed and stretched. This can cause an immediate release of energy that might cause the skin to flush. Clients might also experience a few temporary aches as the body readjusts itself, depending on their level of flexibility and any current physical ailments. For example, a person who arrives at a practitioner’s office with an ultra-tight muscle that has been traumatized may experience some pain while the trauma is massaged out and worked through. In massage, areas of stress and pain can act as blockages to the body’s circulation, energy flow, and overall well-being. Sessions typically last 60-90 minutes.

During a Swedish Massage Session:

The therapist will use their hands, forearms or elbows to rub your muscles in long gliding movements pushing blood in the direction of your heart. Oils – sometimes warmed up - or lotion be applied to the skin to calm the body and mind. With these external applications, the body begins to release stress and is more receptive to receive the massage technique’s benefits.

Soft music is used to further assist in relaxation. To help facilitate the symbolic action of “letting go” of stress and blockages, the swedish massage therapist leaves the room and invite the client to disrobe, with a large towel always covering the client’s private areas.

Stroking in smooth movements, kneading to loosen muscles, rubbing or friction with using both hands back and forth in opposite directions, and striking (tapping or chopping the body with fingers or hands) are all used in combination. These movements help relax the body, increase circulation, and improve drainage in the lymphatic system. There’s also kneading and tapping and your limbs may be bent and stretched a little bit. If that all sounds a bit daunting and continental, think of the benefits. Massage is brilliant at combating stress and relaxes the mind and body. It’s not just about getting rid of those knots or for super sporty people. Your circulation and lymph system are boosted and massage helps with chronic pain.

 

​The pressure can be as light or firm as you like. Don’t assume that a pint-sized masseuse will go easy on you or that a giant can’t be gentle. Ask for what you’d like. Same goes for any areas that are off-limits due to injury or just feeling uncomfortable.

What Are the Health Benefits of Swedish Massage?

Swedish massage helps the body heal itself by physically manipulating and stimulating the body’s circulatory and lymphatic systems. This works to energize and help eliminate toxins in the body. Also, through Swedish massage, a high level of relaxation can often be achieved, and this relaxation can help prepare the body to act as an open, receptive vessel in which healing can more rapidly occur.

Studies have provided evidence that Swedish massage may be beneficial for specific conditions such as arthritis in the knees, symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, blood pressure, immune system issues, severe headaches and migraines, and fibromyalgia.

A study by the University of Miami Medical School also determined that massage therapy can have significant mental health benefits. Participants in a five-week massage experiment reported fewer symptoms of depression, lowered anxiety, and better overall social function when compared to a group that received only standard medical treatment.

Contraindications: fever, septic status (TBC, skin fungus, variola), inflamed veins, serious depressive status, oedema, lymphatic problems, in first day of menstruation (as the massage raises the circulation strength the blooding, but it has also a painkiller effect, so it individual decision), peacemaker, tumour, serious arteriosclerosis, untreated high blood pressure, over 140 blood pressure, open wound, drag or alcoholic status, pregnancy, the certain ulcerated status on foot in case of diabetes (other body parts can be treated), serious osteoporosis (only light smooth and rubber movements), Fresh trauma.

You can find Swedish massage in all my massage treatments.