The origins of Swedish massage
Even though the greatest majority of people might get theimpression that the origin of Swedish massage is in Sweden, the sources claim that aDutch is responsible for describing the basic strokes of this kind of massageand for giving them French names. In Europe, this type of massage actuallyrefers to the Classic massage today, while in the USA, it is known as massage therapyand it refers to the basic form of massage techniques. Regardless of the termsthat are used for this massage, the fact is that it has several purposes, andsome of them include relaxation of the muscles, getting rid of the toxins thataccumulate in the muscles, improvement of the circulation and increasing thelevels of oxygen in the blood. It is important to mention that Swedish massage is whatsports massage, deep tissue massage and even aromatherapy massage are actually basedon.
Benefits of Swedish massage
Thanks to this massage, the period needed to recover afterstraining of the muscle will be significantly shorter, because lactic and uricacid will be flushed from the tissues, as well as other metabolic wastes. Asidefrom this, it will help the tendons and ligaments to stretch, which will makethe affected parts of the body more flexible, and which will increase their abilityto move. Skin, nervous system and nerves will also benefit from it, since ithas the power to reduce any kind of stress and decrease the levels of cortisolin the body, which is known as stress hormone.
Several massage moves are used in Swedish massage, anddepending 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, whileothers are vigorous and bracing. Different moves require different parts of thehands to be used, and so, the technique called effleurage requires the use ofpalms, thumbs and sometimes fingertips. The moves are similar to glidingstrokes. The technique called petrissage is performed with hands, thumbs andsometimes fingers, and the moves are similar to kneading. Friction is atechnique that consists of circular movements with palms, thumbs or fingers,while vibration technique consists of shaking moves. Percussion technique isbased on tapping the body with fingers in a brisk and pounding rhythm.