The origins of Swedish massage
Even though the greatest majority of people might get the impression that the origin of Swedish massage is in Sweden, the sources claim that a Dutch is responsible for describing the basic strokes of this kind of massage and for giving them French names. In Europe, this type of massage actually refers to the Classic massage today, while in the USA, it is known as massage therapy and it refers to the basic form of massage techniques. Regardless of the terms that are used for this massage, the fact is that it has several purposes, and some of them include relaxation of the muscles, getting rid of the toxins that accumulate in the muscles, improvement of the circulation and increasing the levels of oxygen in the blood. It is important to mention that Swedish massage is what sports massage, deep tissue massage and even aromatherapy massage are actually based on.
Benefits of Swedish massage
Thanks to this massage, the period needed to recover after straining of the muscle will be significantly shorter, because lactic and uric acid will be flushed from the tissues, as well as other metabolic wastes. Aside from this, it will help the tendons and ligaments to stretch, which will make the affected parts of the body more flexible, and which will increase their ability to move. Skin, nervous system and nerves will also benefit from it, since it has the power to reduce any kind of stress and decrease the levels of cortisol in the body, which is known as stress hormone.
Several massage moves are used in Swedish massage, and depending on the purpose or the preferences of the person who is to be massaged, it can be light or firm, which means that some moves are gentle and slow, while others are vigorous and bracing. Different moves require different parts of the hands to be used, and so, the technique called effleurage requires the use of palms, thumbs and sometimes fingertips. The moves are similar to gliding strokes. The technique called petrissage is performed with hands, thumbs and sometimes fingers, and the moves are similar to kneading. Friction is a technique that consists of circular movements with palms, thumbs or fingers, while vibration technique consists of shaking moves. Percussion technique is based on tapping the body with fingers in a brisk and pounding rhythm.