Massage Therapy

What you ought to Know about Swedish massage

What you ought to Know about Swedish massage

‘Swedish massage’ is a term which embraces a range of techniques specially designed to relax joints and muscles by applying pressure on them and rubbing in the direction in which blood flows into the heart. Contrary to common belief, Swedish massage did not originate in Sweden. This is the most commonly practiced and the best among all massage techniques.

The five movements in Sewdish massage

Swedish massage generally employs five types of movements:

  • Long, gliding strokes
  • Massaging individual muscles
  • Tapping or hacking
  • Friction
  • Vibration

The therapist usually makes use of massage oil in order to facilitate smooth, long strokes over the body. The focus is on complete relaxation, increase the flow of oxygen in the blood, eliminate toxins from body muscles.

Swedish massage techniques

The six basic techniques employed in Swedish massage are effleurage, friction, petrissage, tapottement, traction and vibration.

  1. Effleurage: The therapist makes use of sweeping, long strokes aimed at covering more than a single area of the body. Although a little hard on the muscles, the purpose of this technique is to connect one body muscle with the others.
  2. Friction: As the name suggests, friction is generated by rubbing the palms on the client’s body and applying pressure using circular motions. This heat helps the muscles relax.
  3. Petrissage: This technique involves usage of hands, thumb or fingers to massage the body in a manner similar to kneading. This allows the massage to be deeper and more penetrative in its effects.
  4. Tapottement: This technique employs strokes aimed at rejuvenating the tired muscles of the body subjected to treatment. With the sides of the hands, the practitioner massages in a way similar to chopping. This is also done by tapping the areas rhythmically using the fist or cupped hands.
  5. Traction: Traction is done by gently pulling at the limbs of the client and at times his/her head too. This is often the final part of the therapy, since pulling body parts would require them to be fully relaxed. It might hurt otherwise.
  6. Vibration: The aim of vibration is to give some movement to the areas being treated in order to improve the blood circulation. The heel of the head is moved forward and backward to loosen the muscles in that area. Sometimes, the finger tips and the side of the hand are treated in the same manner.

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