Swedish massage is a widely practiced and popular massage therapy technique in the United States. This form of bodywork aims to improve blood circulation to the heart, among other positive health perks. As part of a Swedish massage session, a therapist will use the hands, forearms and elbows to manipulate a client’s muscles using long, gliding strokes. Other techniques that may also be used include kneading, tapping, applying a circular pressure and stretching.
The benefits provided
Swedish massage can help alleviate many health conditions, in addition to providing totally relaxing experience. The technique can help the following:
Circulatory and respiratory disorders
Migraines and other headaches
Stress and anxiety
Specific techniques used
Swedish massage therapy uses many variations and techniques for therapeutic benefit and overall wellness. Learn about the various strokes used by therapists while performing Swedish massage techniques:
Effleurage: Involves using gliding strokes from the neck to the base of the spine or from the shoulder to the fingertips. Strokes done on the limbs are directed towards the heart to improve lymphatic flow and blood circulation.
Petrissage: Uses rolling, pressing and squeezing motions on the muscles to enhance circulation. Petrissage cleanses toxins from nerve and muscle tissue through kneading and compression.
Friction: Consists of circular or transverse movements near the joints, alongside the spine and in other bony areas. Increases muscle and joint flexibility and breaks down muscle fiber knots.
Tapotement: Uses a series of percussive movements to tap or strike the muscles to invigorate and reduce muscle spasms.
Vibration or Shaking: Consists of the therapist rapidly shaking hands on the limbs or back to boost circulation; often utilized for the treatment of low back pain.