You will encounter many different forms of massage depending where around the world you travel. However in this modern age, you can probably find all significant forms of massage within a close proximity.
Globally, clients usually ask for Swedish massage above every technique out there. This is because minimalistic pressure is applied on the patient’s body. However, it is done in a manner wherein relaxation and peace is experienced by the client.
If you’re an enthusiast and you wish to know more about Swedish massage, then this guide can help you. We’ll cover a lot of the questions asked with regards to the said technique and a whole lot more! Let’s begin.
Swedish Massage: History
Swedish massages didn’t originate in Sweden. It wasn’t developed by the Swedish gymnast named Peter Henry Ling. There is a lot of debate with regard to its history. Johan Georg, a Dutch practitioner is known to be the one who systemized basic movements used in massage. And now, it is popularly known as the Swedish massage.
The foundation of this type of massage is based on the physiology and understanding of Western anatomy. This is contrary to Eastern or Asian massages which focuses on energy.A Swedish massage is also known as the Classical massage. This term is popular in both the U.S. and Europe.
During the 19th century, classical massage and the Swedish Movement System both became affiliated. The latter was headed by Peter Ling. That’s why there are inaccuracies when it comes to the inventor of the Swedish massage.
What’s A Swedish Or Classical Massage?
First, What Should A Client Expect From Getting A Swedish Massage?
The main goal of a classic massage is to provide clients with optimal relaxation by using a combination of various techniques and intensities. Generally, the massage is done through gliding strokes that vary in length. This is in alignment with the direction of the blood going towards a person’s heart.
Based on the different concepts of physiology and anatomy, Swedish massages offers patients with a personalized massage routine. This incorporates different types of strokes such as gentle, slow ones and rigorous, intense motions. The use of strokes vary due to the different goals a person wants to achieve after the therapy.
Common Lengths Of Swedish Massages
Are you getting a massage for the first time? Professionals advise that you should get a classical massage first. All other types of massages have varying techniques and specializations. The ideal length you might want to get a massage for is about 75 minutes to 90 minutes.
Typical classical massage sessions include an hour long massage to target the whole body. The minutes spared can be used by the therapist to target specific muscle areas and help alleviate bodily pains.
For people who are used to getting Swedish massages, they might be comfortable and accepted the fact that nudity can be very beneficial during the process. However, newcomers might not be accepting of this.
During Swedish massages, clients are usually totally need and under a towel sheet. The therapists partially lifts this sheet step by step to massage specific parts of the body. This is done until the whole body is completely massaged.
Treatment For Specific Bodily Areas
Different strokes are utilized for targeting specific bodily parts. This is to provide relaxation, enhanced muscle flexibility, enhanced blood circulation, excretion of toxins (e.g. uric acid) and other types of wastes from a person’s body.
Persons suffering from frequent cramps and chronic pain should tell the therapist about these issues beforehand. In order to combat these problems, core areas are targeted to avoid build up of tension and knotting.
Sensitive and tender sections of the body are dealt with caution. Usually, these are massaged in a relaxing, soft manner. The intensity of the massage is increased especially for tension-prone areas including the shoulders and the lower back. The therapist also evaluates the body and skin type of the client and creates customised essential oils and potions for it.
The use of essential oil will lead to enhanced relaxation through aromatic therapy. Aside from this, it also enhances the comfort felt by the client as friction is smoothened out between the hands of the therapist and the body of the patient.
Deep Tissue VS. Swedish Massage
The core foundations of that of deep tissue massage came from that of Swedish or classical massages. However, there are still big differences between these techniques. They have different goals and purposes as well. To get a feel for which technique best suits you, check out the differences we have outlined below.
- The main goal of a classical massage is to provide bodily relaxation through a complete work on the entire body. This is also achieved by reducing the tension and knots within the client’s body.
- Various massage intensities aland types are combined. Usually subtle, this helps patients to experience full-body relaxation.
- The entire body is targeted during classical massages.
- A combination of strikes such as stretching, kneading, rolling, and tapping is used. Varying length of strokes are also applied.
- Sensitive and tender body areas are dealt with subtle pressure. On the other hand, body parts such as the shoulders and lower back are put under relatively higher intensity. This is to energize the patient’s body while simultaneously de-stressing it.
- Swedish massages usually involve circular motions of the hand to provide optimum relaxation. Rarely do therapists use knuckles. This is because the main objective is to provide comfort and relaxation instead of recovery and rehabilitation.
Deep Tissue Massage
- The main goal of this technique is to alter fascia and the person’s musculature to help with recovery.
- Different massage motions are used. However, the intensity is constantly maintained to extreme ranges in order to thoroughly target particular bodily areas.
- The entire body is mildly pressed. However, the focus of deep tissue massage is to help certain body parts recovery physically. For instance, it is used to treat chronic back pains within the lower part of the back. Thus, this area is given the most time and treatment.
- The main stroke used in this type of massage is called Linear Friction.
- The art form of using static pressure helps a person’s muscles to gain a balanced posture. Thus, chronic pains that resulted
- from incorrect posture and positioning are eliminated.
- Usually, knuckles and elbows are utilized in order to apply consistent high-intensity pressure. This is used to remove knots that have been formed within a person’s body.
The differences stated above can help you and your therapist determine which technique would suit you best. People who are used to doing heavy and extreme activities benefit from that of deep tissue massage for quick recovery, pain relief, and better posture. If you experience chronic pain, a deep tissue massage is best for you. Even though it might be an intense form of massage, it can benefit you in many ways.
On the opposite end, if you are a newcomer when it comes to massages, then you would be suited to getting a Classical massage. This will help you achieve a relaxed and comforted experience.
Tips & Techniques Of Swedish Massage
It is always recommended that you get Swedish massages from professional therapists. This is due to the fact that they are trained and fully equipped with regards to the implementation of massage therapy. Their training can help you gain optimal results. Take note that only knowledge and experience (and training) in the field can make a person qualified to provide Swedish massages.
If you’re a curious cat and would love to know more about what techniques are used for Swedish massages, then this section is for you. We don’t recommend doing them yourself. Always book a massage therapist that is trained and qualified.
The most common technique used in Swedish massage is the use of varying motions that are directed towards the person’s heart. However, there are 5 different and basic techniques that are used in combination to provide a total body massage depending on the specific customer’s needs and objectives. These are:
1. Friction Strokes
This involves using fingertips or thumbs with enhanced pressure. These are applied in deep circular movements. Increased levels of pressure helps these circular motions to penetrate down towards the inner muscles. This helps to decrease or remove present adhesions.
2. Effleurage Strokes
This is known as the type of stroke that soothes the most. It utilizes steady pressure that starts with the shoulders and going towards the mid back portion of the body. This is used to release the strains trapped within the person’s anatomy. When Effleurage is done to perfection, it is applied with that of a stabilized pressure and is done at a particularly languid pace. Although, for many people, this might seem stagnant.
Effleurage is used initially during a Swedish massage. This is to locate, assess, and evaluate a body’s tension points. Another reason for using this stroke initially is to help clients get familiar with pressurized strokes.
3. Tapotement Strokes
This is usually applied during the finale of the Swedish massage. In this technique, rhythmic movements are delivered through constant, rapid strikes of the therapist’ wrists. Relaxed wrists are tapped repetitively on the body.
Aside from that, the fingers, fists, and sides of the therapist’ hands are used to gain optimum benefits. Intensities of repetitive tapping varies depending on the objective of the particular massage done.
4. Petrissage Strokes
This is more intense compared to Effleurage Strokes. Its aim is to pull muscles away from the bones through the use of kneading motions. Between kneading movements, muscles are rolled and squeezed to eliminate trapped body toxins.
Although Petrissage delivers increased pressure, it still helps a person relax. This is done by breaking up tension knots. Thus, blood flow or circulation is enhanced.
5. Vibrational Strokes
This type of stroke is not really used for a long period of time. However, it is still efficient in releasing tension or strain within the body.
Vibrational strokes involve placing finger tips firmly upon targeted bodily parts. After which, it is vibrated to provide deeper penetration. This helps to release and decompress nerves thus enhancing oxygen flow.
Putting It All Together
To deliver an effective Swedish massage, therapists utilizes a variety of combinations with regards to intensities and techniques, among others.
To get a perfectly-relaxing Swedish massage, find a therapist today. The said classical massage is best for first timers and people who wish to experience optimal relaxation.