Swedish Massage

Swedish Massage

Swedish Massage is the technique that comes to mind when most Americans think of massage: a combination of long strokes, kneading, and tapping. There’s a reason it’s so popular: book a Swedish Massage session today to find out why!

What is Swedish Massage

Swedish massage is the massage method most-practiced in the west and is the basis of many other massage methodologies including deep tissue massage and sports massage.

Unlike Asian massage techniques like Thai Massage or Shiatsu which focus on Eastern concepts such as sen lines and “chi” flow, Swedish massage is the method most compatible with western medicine.[1]

The massage therapist works muscle tissue using four basic techniques:[3]

  • Effleurage: a smooth, gliding stroke used to relax soft tissue
  • Petrissage: the squeezing, rolling, or kneading that follows effleurage
  • Friction: deep, circular movements that cause layers of tissue to rub against each other, helping to increase blood flow and break down scar tissue
  • Tapotement: a short, alternating tap done with cupped hands, fingers, or the edge of the hand

These four simple but effective techniques warm up the muscles and connective tissues and release knots (spots of muscle and fascial tension).[2]

Proven Improved Health Outcomes

Swedish massage feels amazing and unarguably leaves the client feeling relaxed, and with a penetrating sense of well-being. Clients report stressed, looser muscles, improved range of motion, and faster healing from sports-related injuries.

It’s is also one of only a few massage techniques with clinically tested and proven benefits.

  • A study from the Department of Acute and Chronic Care at Johns Hopkins University shows evidence that Swedish massage results in a significant reduction in salivatory cortisol, an indicator of stress and pain.[4]
  • The Center of Health Practice Innovations, Queensland, Australia reports a measurable reduction in lower back pain in clients up to 15 weeks after application.[5]

Resources

  1. What is a Swedish Massage, About.com
  2. What Causes Muscle Knots
  3. Massage Therapy Styles and Health Benefits, WebMD
  4. Reflexology versus Swedish Massage to Reduce Physiologic Stress and Pain and Improve Mood in Nursing Home Residents with Cancer: A Pilot Trial
  5. The effectiveness of Swedish massage with aromatic ginger oil in treating chronic low back pain in older adults: A randomized controlled trial