Massage Therapy: Swedish Massage

Swedish_MassageOne of the most commonly taught and well-known massage techniques, Swedish massage, is a system of treatment designed to energize the body by stimulating circulation. Swedish massage can relax muscles, increase circulation of blood & lymph, remove metabolic waste products from the muscles, foster feelings of connectedness, and increased awareness of the body.

One of the primary goals of Swedish Massage is to speed venous return of blood and lymph from the extremities. The massage techniques are 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 shortens recovery time from muscular strain by flushing the tissue of lactic acid, uric acid and other metabolic wastes, and it improves circulation without increasing heart load. It also stretches the ligaments and tendons, keeping them supple.

The client disrobes and is covered by a sheet and blanket, with only the area being worked on exposed. Therapists use a combination of kneading, rolling, vibrational, percussive and tapping movements, with the application of oil, creams or gels to reduce friction on the skin.

Swedish Massage stimulates the skin and nervous system while at the same time relaxing the nerves themselves. As it can help reduce emotional and physical stress, it is often recommended as part of a regular program for stress management. It also has specific clinical uses in medical or remedial therapy for injury rehabilitation and recovery. The many benefits of Swedish massage include generalized relaxation, dissolution of scar tissue, adhesions, muscular trigger points, and improved circulation, which may speed healing and reduce swelling from injury.