Swedish Massage Definition
Swedish massage existed during the century by Per Henry Ling, a Swedish psychologist and fencing instructor, in Sweden. During the 19th century, he developed “Medical Gymnastics” which is now termed as Swedish massage.
It deals with various techniques which are aimed to relax muscles through utilization of soothing long strokes. It is also effective in reducing stress while making your circulation improve a lot. Aside from that, it also increases the flow of oxygen in your blood and effective in releasing toxins found in muscles.
In addition, it lessens the recuperation period from muscular strain through flushing of the tissues of uric acid, lactic acid and other metabolic waste. The idea is to apply pressure on deeper bones and muscles, and then rubbing them in similar direction of the blood flow that is going to the heart. This can be achieved through tapping, gliding, kneading, stroking, friction, and vibration. Standard session usually last for half an hour to one hour.
There are actually four types of Swedish massage namely Duet massage for couple, aromatherapy massage, hot stone therapy, and seated chair massage.
Duet massage is a kind of Swedish massage done either for couples, family or even best friends. It is done side by side together and is performed by two therapists as they perform the Swedish massage treatment. It is a fun way of sharing the massage experience with someone dear to you. It is the ultimate bonding experience.
Aromatherapy deals with the usage of essential oils that are warm. The oil is placed into your skin during massage therapy. It works by targeting the limbic system, which is a part of the brain that is associated with emotion. The sent will make you feel relax and rejuvenated. The oil also effectively improves the Swedish massage by treatment of certain physical problems specifically.
Hot stone massage
Hot stone massage involves using heated, smooth stones as an extension of the therapist’s hands or just placing them on the body, for instance in the client’s spine, while therapist will massage, using the Swedish massage, other body parts . The heat from this stone provides a relaxing feeling and it aids in warming tight muscles, as heat is known as having expansion or vascular dilation properties.
Seated chair massage
Seated chair massage, as the name implies, is a massage done when the client is sitting in a special designated chair. It primarily focus are the painful areas of the body which can be found in the back, neck, arms, and shoulders. The therapist relieves the tension in your muscles by using the Swedish massage while you remain seated.
There are actually six techniques of Swedish massage to choose from which includes the following:
From the French term “effleurer” which means skimming over. It is here where the main goal is to release tension all over the body through the use of thumbs, palms and fingertips. It also promotes relaxation. It aids in relaxation and the exfoliation of the skin. It is done in an array of gliding strokes that are longer and that is applied in the entire body by the use of a light pressure.
In Tapottement, it involves percussion or otherwise known as tapping or hacking briskly. For it to be done, the client must have enough adipose tissue. It uses rhythmic chopping strokes with the use of the sides of the hands or with clenching of the fists. It includes pinching, cupping, beating, pounding, and hacking. It is done to revitalize the area that is targeted and also to increase the flow of blood or its circulation.
Petrissage, is culled out from the French word “pertrir”, is the utilization of kneading that is firmly done and squeezing movements that aim to penetrate deep muscles. Here the therapist use fingers, hands and thumbs. It causes relaxation of the muscles, improves blood flow, and hastens removal of uric, lactic acids and other metabolic toxins.
It deals with the pressures done circularly with the use of the palms of hands, fingers, and or thumbs. The therapist exerts medium pressure. Prior to doing the massage, the therapist is known to rub his or her hands together, thus, producing friction. It is done to stimulate heat in the chosen area to be massaged.
What is done here are known as active and passive movements that deals with bending the arms, legs, and the client’s head and stretching the ligaments, muscles, and tendons. This is aimed to make the client feel more flexible, limber, and loose.
Vibration, on the other hand, deals with oscillatory movements which results in vibrating or shaking the body. It promotes circulation and loosens further the targeted area or areas. It is much difficult to do. It is often used along the pathways of the nerve. The therapist uses the side of the hand, fingertips, heal of the hand moving in back and forth motion just across the client’s skin.
There are actually a lot of benefits that one gets when one indulges into Swedish massage, such as:
- muscle spasm, pain, and tension reduction
- release of endorphins
- reduce anxiety
- overall relaxation
- circulatory improvement
- lymphatic drainage improvement
- improved mobility
- achieving equilibrium in the overall flow of natural life energy
- reduction of swelling
- aids in mental, physical and emotional vitality
Picture showing Swedish massage
Although the Swedish massage offers numerous positive effects, it also has its negative effects such as the following:
Most Swedish massage session usually last to a maximum of an hour to two hours. This great deal of time is very difficult to sacrifice most especially with people who are very busy. The best solution for them is to schedule massage sessions during the evenings or weekends. However, such sessions are often much costly. Also, there are some masseuse that charges you if you don’t show up on time or during the scheduled appointments.
Swedish massage is costly. The recommended massage sessions should be done at least every week. The charges for a weekly massage treatment can be very expensive and being able to avail such treatment for some persons, who has a limited budget, can be very difficult.
Some people will find it awkward to be in a semi nudity state left alone with only the masseuse. Hence, because of this, some people would just opt not to have second doubts of scheduling a Swedish massage session.
Despite the fact that masseuse makes it a point to, as much as possible, never hurt their clients, still there is a possibility that the client acquires injuries accidentally. Such injuries that can be accidentally acquires can either be damage of the nerves, acute soreness of the muscles, or bruising of the dermal area. In severe and rare cases, it can cause neuropathies and shingles or other nerve related illness.
Some of the unintentional aftereffects that one may experience is being able to have aromatic oil like smell and a greasy feeling after which you go out or probably continue with your work, which may result to feeling a bit of embarrassment. Aside from that, you will have flattened hairdos, which makes the condition worse. Lastly, the after effects of this kind of massage is producing a relaxing feeling that somehow makes you sleep, unintentionally, when you shouldn’t be because you have tons of work to do.