Swedish Massage and its benefits If you have never tried a massage before, this therapy is a perfect starter for you.
Swedish Massage is a widely used massage therapy of the western world. In this therapy body is usually lubricated with essential oils and then followed by gliding and pressure strokes which warms up the muscles and also breaks the muscle knots. The pressure applied during strokes is softer on delicate areas of the body and more pressure is applied on muscular regions.
Also sometimes known as Classic Massage it uses five styles of strokes designed to improve blood circulation, soothe the muscles and make you feel relaxed.
Commonly used strokes used in Swedish Massage
- Effleurage (sliding or gliding)
The name Effleurage is a French word meaning “to touch lightly on” and it consists of continuous rhythmic circular strokes made with the palm of the hand. It is basically a warming up procedure for muscles before any deep tissue therapy.
- Petrissage (kneading)
This involves slow and rhythmic massage movements with extra pressure applied to the deep underlying muscles. The commonly used petrissage movements are kneading, skin rolling and pick-up-and-squeeze.
- Tapotement (rhythmic tapping)
The name Tapotement is derived from French word “tapot” meaning “to tap”. It’s a rhythmic movement in massage given using edge of the hand, finger tips and cupped hands. Its activates the nervous system with its systematic movements.
Benefits of Swedish Massage
According to a study conducted by researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, Volunteers who received Swedish massage experienced significant decreases in levels of the stress hormone cortisol in blood and saliva, and in arginine vasopressin, a hormone that can lead to increases in cortisol. They also had increases in the number of lymphocytes, white blood cells that are part of the immune system.
Source: New York Times
Others clinical studies reported that Swedish massage can reduce low back pain and its effect can last up to 15 weeks. Swedish massage has shown to be helpful in reducing pain, joint stiffness, and improving function in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee over a period of eight weeks.
Other benefits of swedish massage:
- Increased blood circulation
- It improves the immune system
- It reduces stress and helps in mental relaxation
- Improves your quality of sleep
- Calms the nervous system
- Loosening of joints and soothing muscle pain
- Flushes out toxins from muscles
What to look out for before getting this therapy?
Before the massage you should inform the therapist about any health condition and areas that you do not want to be a part of the session.
This therapy uses oils and it is advisable that you visit a spa that offers disposable undergarments
This therapy involves percussive movements and it is highly advisable that your therapist is a experienced professional.