Treating yourself to a Swedish massage is perhaps one of the best ways you can indulge your body while being good to it at the same time. Why? Well, this massage is known to significantly improve your health and well-being, while leaving you blissfully pampered. Swedish massage is very popular because it has a lot of proven benefits.
Learn all about its wonderful qualities in this article.
Swedish massage provides a strong foundation to traditional massage. A well-known classic, it uses five main techniques: stroking and gliding; kneading; rubbing; tapping and vibration – all the essential movements that enthusiasts look forward to in a great massage.
The primary goal of Swedish massage therapy is to relax the entire body. Swedish massage uses long,flowing strokes to replicate the body’s natural blood circulation, thereby helping increase blood flow and eliminating toxins. The rhythmic movements make for an overall experience that leaves the body feeling rejuvenated.
The popularity of this massage type is largely because it combines relaxation and repair of the body into one treatment. It is addressing both your mind and body’s needs. This why many people swear by its benefits:
Some lesser-known benefits that have also been linked to Swedish massage include: improving skin complexion due to lymphatic stimulation, reducing headaches, and easing stomach constipation. Swedish massage can even help in improving delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the cells, therefore strengthening the immune system.
Swedish massage consists of light to firm, but gentle, gliding pressure continuously applied along the upper and lower back, over your shoulders and arms, and legs. The massage involves both the back and front sides of the body, so halfway through, you will be asked to lie face up to complete the treatment. A standard massage session can last from 30 to 90 minutes, covering most of the body’s major muscle groups.
The techniques that massage therapists use include: effleurage or the smooth gliding movements meant to relax; petrissage, which means lifting, squeezing, wringing or kneading the muscle tissues; friction or the rubbing pressure created using one’s fingertips to target muscle stiffness; and tapotement, which is the rhythmic pounding that stimulates the tissues.
Since Swedish massage provides a base foundation to all types of western massage, it has become the basis for other forms of massage. One example is deep tissue massage, a more intense type of massage where firm pressure is applied to reach the deeper layers of tissue (fascia), relieving chronic pain on the muscles, tissues and joints.
There have been a lot of comparisons made between Swedish massage and Thai massage. Some people even confuse the two types! While there are, indeed, some similarities among the contact movements, there are huge differences between how the Swedish and Thai massages are performed.
For instance, in terms of approach, Thai massage is focused on unblocking trapped energy by applying pressure along the body’s energy paths (ki or chi). Thai massage therapists use yoga-like stretching by pushing, pressing, rocking, and compressing the body. This includes sitting and walking on your back, cracking knuckles, and pulling the ears and fingers. Swedish massage, meanwhile, is concerned with the anatomy of the body itself – the gentle stroking, kneading and pounding motions are designed to realign and restore the musculo-skeletal, digestive, and nervous systems.
In terms of intensity, Thai massage is more rigorous and physically demanding compared to the calming, more relaxing Swedish massage. And in terms of materials used, Swedish massage therapists apply aromatic oils and moisturizers on the skin, and the treatment is done while you’re lying down on your stomach on a massage table. On the other hand, there is no use of oils in Thai massage, and the session is done on a floor mat.
Despite these differences, both Swedish massage and Thai massage each have their own distinct merits, as both are proven to improve one’s physical and psychological wellbeing. It really depends on your preferred results after a massage treatment: go for Thai massage if you want to feel stretched and enlivened, and if you want to feel soothed and relaxed, opt for Swedish massage.
Now that you know what techniques are used in Swedish massage, it’s important to choose a reputable business. Bear in mind that a massage is a therapeutic activity; therefore, the place should be a calming and inviting retreat.
It’s also best to make sure that the business employs professionally trained massage therapists. Remember, a Swedish massage is an personal and customizable experience – your therapist should be able to cater to your specific medical conditions, so be mindful of your specific requests in terms of the level of pressure. Overall, it should turn out to be an overall satisfying session for you.