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Swedish massage is a whole-body therapeutic massage treatment that works the soft tissues and muscles to help restore health—creating a calming and balancing effect on the nervous system.

It is a form of manual therapy that emphasizes long strokes, kneading, and friction motions to encourage proper circulation. The technique involves rubbing muscles together in the same direction as blood flows to the heart. There are four types of massages: standard Swedish, Deep Tissue Massage, Head Scalp Massage, and Meridian Massage. Experience these relaxing massages from Spring Beauty Spas with 25% off applicable for a first-time purchase.

Swedish massage improves circulation, relieves muscle tension, stretches tight ligaments, and reduces emotional stress.

Keep reading to understand more about Swedish massage.

Swedish Massage: The Foundation of All Modern Massage

Swedish massage is simply referred to as “classic massage” in Sweden. It is widely practiced in the United States and other parts of the western world, and that’s precisely what it is—a classic procedure representing the western standard for massage.

It is performed on a massage table using oil or lotion and is based on modern anatomy and physiology knowledge.

What Is the History of Swedish Massage?

The natural therapeutic properties of massage have long been understood by civilizations worldwide. Every region in the world has its own distinct approach to massage, influenced by that region’s cultural conceptions of the human body and health and wellness. Massage therapy, in general, can be divided into eastern and western schools of thought.

Swedish massage is the foundation of all western massage modalities and was developed by western concepts of the human body. Johann Georg Mezger, a Dutch physician, is widely regarded as the inventor of Swedish massage.

Merzger focused his doctoral studies on French friction therapies on patients with mild sprains. He was also known for being a gifted gymnast with an impeccable understanding of physiology. The bedrock and foundation of Swedish massage are the methods he describes in his 47-page dissertation on The Treatment of Distorio Pedis with Friction.

Techniques Used in Swedish Massage

Swedish massage therapists use various techniques, such as passive joint movements to keep joints healthy and lubricated; long gliding strokes toward the heart to encourage circulation and lymph flow; compression on the major muscle groups; and attachment sites to gently release tense muscles.

Merzger outlines the five therapeutic methods at the core of contemporary Swedish massage:

  • Petrissage-: the act of kneading a muscle;
  • Effleurage: a long, gliding stroke;
  • Friction: rubbing actions that produce heat;
  • Tapotement: tapping or percussion movements
  •  Vibration: muscles shaking or jostling

Even though Swedish massage has evolved over the years, all current Swedish massages involve and build upon these five fundamental techniques.

Each therapist brings their unique energy and toolkit to the table, and there is no fixed order or protocol for a Swedish massage. The primary intention of a Swedish massage is to relax, stimulate, and loosen stiff muscles in a tender and nurturing manner. Some therapists may use deep tissue and other advanced methods when asked about particular areas.

Should I Try Swedish Massage?

There are countless physiological and psychological advantages to receiving a massage. Massage therapy is advised for physically active and healthy people and those dealing with medical conditions. Whether you have soreness or pain, or just want to relax, a Swedish massage can make you feel amazing and rejuvenated.

The team of experts at Spring Beauty Hillsborough Spa makes every client feel at ease with our individualized services. Our therapists pamper you with massages and other customized services while you sit back and unwind. Start your season with our rejuvenating therapy, and make a reservation for your upcoming therapeutic experience right away.