Swedish massage is the most popular and respected type of massage in North America. It involves the use of the Massage Therapists hands, forearms and elbows to manipulate the superficial layers of the muscles.
The therapist uses various techniques known as Effleurage, Petrissage, Friction, Vibration, Tapotement and Percussion during the massage in order to relax the various layers of muscle tissue. These techniques are performed in a specific sequence and direction that promotes proper venous return. Active or passive mobilizations of the joints are often used in this form of massage therapy.
Relaxes the nervous system, Speeds up the healing process for injuries and illnesses, Relieves cramps and muscle spasms, Decreases muscle fatigue, Loosens joints and improves range of motion, Increases muscle strength, Improves lymphatic drainage of metabolic wastes, Stimulates blood circulation, Promotes better muscle and skin tone, Loosens tight muscles, Stretches connective tissue.
Psychological and emotional benefits: Mental relaxation, Improves duration and quality of sleep, Decreases stress and anxiety, Increases concentration, Greater sense of well-being, Improves overall humor
Swedish Massage is used to treat people that are suffering from various serious health conditions.
Here is a partial list of some of most common conditions treated using massage therapy.
Anxiety | Depression | Migraines | Sciatica |Sleeping disorders
Inflammatory conditions | Asthma | Dislocations | Carpal tunnel syndrome
Multiple sclerosis | Stroke | Parkinson | Fibromyalgia | Muscle Cramps
Tendinopathies (tendonitis) | Fractures | Multiple sclerosis | Post-surgical rehabilitation
Autoimmune Rheumatic Disorders | Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) | Osteoarthritis (OA)
Frozen Shoulder | Golfers/tennis elbow (tendinopathy) | Emphysema | Muscle Tension/Spasm
Sprains | Strains | Osteoporosis | Contusions, Etc.
In Swedish massage, the person to be massaged lies on a massage table and is draped with either a towel or sheet. It is usually a full-body massage treatment, unless the client specifies otherwise. Each session usually lasts 60 minutes. Essential oils, Massage gels, lotion or unscented oil is used to facilitate the gliding movements of the various techniques.
A massage session usually involves the use of several or all of the following basic techniques:
Effleurage is the most common stroke in Swedish massage. It is a free-flowing and gliding movement towards the heart, tracing the contours of the body using the palm of one or both hands. Oil is applied with this stroke to begin the first stage of massage. The therapist applies a light or medium constant pressure. This stroke is used to warm up the muscles, relax the body, calm the nerves, improve blood circulation and heart function, and improve lymphatic drainage.
This technique resembles kneading dough. It involves lifting, rolling, and squeezing the flesh under or between the hands. Pétrissage is designed to release muscle tension, improve blood flow, and increase lymphatic drainage.
Friction strokes work on deeper muscles than the techniques previously described. The friction technique is a pressure stroke and is the deepest that is used in Swedish massage. The massage therapist applies pressure by placing the weight of his or her body on the flat of the hand and the pads of the thumbs, knuckles, fingers, or the back of the forearms, and then releases the pressure slowly and gently. This movement should be a continuous sliding motion or a group of alternating circular motions.
To effect vibration, the massage therapist gently shakes or trembles the flesh with the hand or fingertips, then moves on to another spot and repeats this stroke. Vibration is designed to release muscle tension in small muscle areas, such as those on the face or along the spine.
Tapotement, or tapping and percussion, is a quick choppy rhythmic movement that has a stimulating or toning effect.
You should advise your Massage Therapist if you have any of the following conditions and they will decide if it’s a conditional or absolute contraindication.
Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea / Fever / Broken bones, fractures, dislocations, or severe sprains
Contagious diseases / Open or unhealed sores or wounds / Body areas that are inflamed, swollen or bruised
Varicose veins / Recent surgery / Severe pain / Jaundice / Frostbite / Kidney disease / Large hernias / Hemorrhaging
Torn ligaments, tendons, or muscles / High blood pressure or heart problems / Certain kinds of cancer / History thrombosis phlebitis / Drug treatment with blood thinners