Swedish massage is one of the most popular types of massage that uses a hands-on technique to manipulate the muscles and aid in physical relaxation. It is different from deep-tissue massage as it targets superficial layers of the muscle making you feel more relaxed after the session. Swedish massage has been a great treatment for people visiting the spa for the first time and anyone looking for a classic massage.
Your therapist may employ a variety of techniques during a Swedish massage to enhance the benefits of your treatment. This article gives an overview of the techniques used in Swedish massage, what to expect during the session, benefits, and reasons to have a Swedish massage.
Techniques used in Swedish massage
The primary techniques of a Swedish massage include kneading, stroking and gliding, vibration, tapping or pounding, and rubbing. One of the main goals of a Swedish massage is to promote relaxation and is accomplished through a combination of long gliding strokes and rubbing the muscles in the direction of blood flowing back to the heart. Percussion-like tapping and firm kneading on topmost layers of the muscles help to relieve tension. The techniques used in Swedish massage can be both energizing and relaxing when combined with movement of the joints.
What to Expect During a Swedish Massage?
A Swedish massage takes around 60 to 90 minutes and is done on a massage table that is padded for extra comfort. You do not have to be exposed completely at any point since your therapist only focuses on one area at a time.
At the start of your treatment, the therapist will assess your complexion and choose the lotions and essential oils that suit your skin type. The massage techniques used for a Swedish massage may vary depending on what you want to achieve at the end of the session. Rubbing or kneading your shoulders helps to unwind any knots while long gliding strokes on your back promotes relaxation.
A Swedish massage also considers any tender or delicate areas of your body, which implies that the whole process should be comfortable and soothing. Most spas also include background music to help you unwind and you can always talk to your therapist if you are unhappy with anything in the treatment room.
Benefits of a Swedish massage
- Increased Blood Flow
A long stroking motion technique used in Swedish massage follows the direction in which blood flows back to the heart. It improves blood flow by opening up your blood vessels. Increased blood flow promotes the transfer of oxygen and essential nutrients to vital organs in your body.
- Pain Management
Individuals suffering from chronic pain or have a condition like osteoarthritis or sciatica can benefit from a Swedish massage, as it helps to manage pain naturally. It is important to talk to your therapist where you feel pain so that he or she can help reduce muscle tension and improve blood circulation in those areas.
- Promotes Relaxation
The techniques used in Swedish massage help to reduce stress and maximize relaxation. A combination of hands-on techniques and a peaceful environment is enough to lower the level of stress hormones in your body. This not only gives you more energy but also improves your overall health.
- Increased Flexibility
You are likely to experience a wide range of motion when your muscles feel more relaxed. A Swedish massage is one of the best ways to get the most out of your periodic exercises, as it also helps to eliminate workout-related injuries.
Research and General Acceptance
Swedish massage has gained acceptance from the health community as it is popularized as a complementary treatment. Several studies have shown that massage can help reduce stress and depression, decrease high blood pressure and promote relaxation. Swedish massage also lowers the level of cortisol hormone in your body, making your immune system to grow stronger. Doctors now prescribe Swedish massage as a symptomatic treatment for arthritis, headache, athletic injuries, stress, and other chronic conditions.
The techniques used in Swedish massage soothe your muscles, improve blood circulation, and make you feel more relaxed. The pressure used during the hands-on technique can be adjusted, making it an ideal massage for promoting relaxation. It is important to talk to your massage therapist about an existing medical condition or any concerns regarding the treatment session. They always consider a client’s needs as it helps them customize the treatment based on what suits you best. Additionally, if you are not sure whether Swedish Massage is the right treatment for you, consider talking to your healthcare provider.