Massage is one of the oldest medicinal techniques in the world. Hippocrates wrote about massage in his books, some 4.000 years BC and advised doctors to know about this technique. Modern massage is not just rubbing of the body, but more somatic therapy or bodywork.
One of the popular massages is Swedish but there are many other types of massage, including deep and soft tissue massages, connective tissue massage and various others. Massage can increase your flexibility and range of motion, decrease time needed for healing and stress in your life. It has many benefits for the well being of a person and many think of massage as a tool to relax and relieve negative effects of stress to the body.
Swedish massage’s main goal is to increase level of oxygen in the blood and release accumulated toxins from the muscles in the body. As the result of this massage, the body flushes the waste to the blood and then eliminates the toxins. Additional benefits of this massage include stretching of the muscles, stimulation of the skin and stimulation and calming of the nerves in the skin.
Different Techniques of Swedish Massage
Effleurage, petrissage, friction, tapoment and shaking are the techniques of Swedish massage.
Effleurage is performed using a thumb pads or whole hands and the strokes go from the neck to the hips, down the back. If it’s performed on one of the limbs, this massage is done from the fingers or the toes towards the heart. Masseuse use this technique to learn about the body of the patient in front of him and the patient get used to be touched during the massage this way.
Petrissage involves lifting, kneading and squeezing of the muscles. This technique is efficient to release the toxins and at the same time to increase circulation of lymph and blood.
Friction enables ease in the movements of the muscles and joints. The masseuse use either circular or transverse movements and thus release knot adhesions in the muscles with his thumbs or fingertips.
Tapoment technique includes tapping or striking of the muscles, usually with the edge of the hands or in some cases with the fingertips. This technique is known to relax tight and spastic muscles.
Shaking or vibration is usually done at the end of the massage. Therapist applies some pressure to the patient’s back or to his limbs and the effects depend on the amount of applied pressure. More pressure usually causes stimulation of the muscles, while less applied pressure relax the muscles and rest the body.