Swedish massage is a relaxation technique that uses a wide range of methods to relax the muscles, by applying the pressure to the muscles against deeper muscles and bones, or rubbing the muscles in the same direction of the heart. The Swedish massage is actually a classic massage and the most commonly used type of this relaxation technique. It is most commonly offered in the spa centers. According to some sources, the Swedish doctor Per Henrik Ling developed this technique, in the 18th century.
Techniques used for Swedish massage
The goal of the Swedish massage is the same as for any other type of massage: to increase the blood flow and oxygen supply to the various parts of the body. At the same time, the toxins will be released from the muscles, building up to the feeling of relaxation and pain relief. Techniques often used in the classic Swedish massage include long strokes, rubbing, friction, tapping, hitting, shaking and effleurage motions. Effleurage involves gliding strokes with the palms and fingers, and it is especially pleasant and beneficial for the spine region. Friction makes the muscles relax and warms up the area. Kneading and squeezing the muscles of the body allows for deeper and more penetrating effects of massage. Tapping will energize the treated area.
Benefits of Swedish massage
The Swedish massage is very beneficial for patients recovering from muscular strains. This relaxation technique can clean various metabolic wastes from the muscles, such as lactic acid or uric acid, for example. Another fantastic benefit is a total increase of blood circulation without making any pressure to the heart. During the massage, all of the ligaments and tendons will stretch, improving the patient’s mobility. The massage also stimulates the nervous system and soothes the mind. The Swedish massage is often recommended as one of the easiest and most beneficial ways to balance the mind and the body - as one of the most recommended relaxation techniques for anxiety. Swedish massage has been shown to reduce anxiety, and person's general susceptibility to anxiety. This type of massage is very beneficial for the patients with osteoarthritis and patients with poor circulation. The Swedish massage can also temporarily reduce the blood pressure, which is usually due to the reduced anxiety and induced feeling of relaxation. However, massage also reduces the heart rate, which is another possible explanation for reduced blood pressure. Swedish massage also stimulates the immune system by increasing peripheral blood lymphocytes. The best results are achieved if the Swedish therapy is practiced with various aromatherapy oils such as sweet almond oil, lavender oil, cypress oil, and sweet marjoram oil.