Swedish massage is the most common type of massage in the West. It is based on the Western concepts of anatomy and physiology.
Swedish massage involves soft, long, kneading strokes, as well as light, rhythmic, tapping strokes, on topmost layers of muscles. This is also combined with movement of the joints. By relieving muscle tension, Swedish therapy can be both relaxing and energizing. And it may even help after an injury.
Massage oil is applied to the skin and the therapist will perform the strokes to warm up the muscle tissue, releasing tension and gradually breaking up muscle "knots" or adhered tissues, called adhesions.
- loosening tight muscles and stretching connective tissues
- relieving cramps and muscle spasms and decreasing muscle fatigue
- loosening joints and improving range of motion
- calming the nervous system
- stimulating blood and lymphatic circulation
- firming up muscle and skin tone
- speeding up healing from injury and illness
- mental relaxation
- improvement in length and quality of sleep
- relief of stress, depression, anxiety and irritation
- increased ability to concentrate
- improved sense of well-being
An Insight into History
Professional therapeutic massage is an age-old healing art, which can alleviate physical, mental and emotional ailments. The practice dates to the Chinese in 3000 BC. Other references in the bible refer to anointing the body with oil. In 460 BC, Hippocrates, who is considered a father of medicine prescribed it as a beneficial treatment for his patients.
In one form or another, it developed in all the nations of the old World. Hippocrates said that all physicians should have experience of the techniques of rubbing, It is recognised that rubbing can bind a joint that is too loose and loosen a joint that is too rigid. Furthermore, rubbing can make the flesh and cause parts to waste, it is these latter beliefs that are so important for those concerned with figure improvement.
The development of Swedish massage is credited to Per Henrik Ling in the early 1800s However, the term "Swedish" massage is not really known in the country of Sweden, where it is called "classic massage".
In 1813, the Royal Central Institute was established in Stockholm, Sweden, and here the known massage movements were studied scientifically and systematised. This was the most important single development in the field in modern times and it is because of this that remedial massage is often called "Swedish".