Swedish Massage 101: Everything You Should Know

 In Lincoln Park

When you think of massage, Swedish massage is what typically comes to mind. While there are other forms of therapeutic treatments, the Swedish massage is the foundation for many. Despite the commonality, the Swedish massage has a very distinct method and certain benefits that other types of massages don’t provide. Here is what you should know about this type of bodywork:

The Swedish massage uses a series of five strokes developed by Swedish doctor Per Henrik Ling:

Effleurage – It’s a French term that means to glide. This is usually the first one performed because it helps the client relax before getting deeper into the tissue. It’s essentially gliding strokes on either side of the spine.

Petrissage – Another French term that means to knead or lift. The therapist will use thumbs and hands to get deeper into the tissue. This also increases circulation while making the tissue pliable.

Tapotement or Rhythmic Tapping – Using the sides of their hands, the therapist will create a firm tapping motion, increasing the tissue surface circulation. This allows the muscles to loosen up while also energizing them.

Friction – This involves compression with circular movements across the muscle fibers, causing the muscles to rub up and down. The palm or forearm is used to create a circular motion, which helps spread the tissue and release muscle tension.

Vibration or Shaking – The fingers are used to create a vibrating motion to wake up the nerves and tissues, as well as increase blood flow to any targeted area.

Most people request a Swedish massage to release physical tensions. While it definitely improves the body’s physical functionality, a Swedish massage can also relieve a lot of emotional stress that we endure on a daily basis. By increasing blood flow and improving digestion and muscle movement, Swedish massages are starting to be accepted as a medical necessity, not just for one’s recreation.

If you’ve never had a massage but plan to schedule one soon, a Swedish massage is the best place to start. At Spavia, we welcome the opportunity to show you the many therapeutic advantages massages have to offer.