Swedish massage is one of the most common types of massage in the Western world, as it is the cornerstone of sports massage, deep tissue massage, and massage accompanying aromatherapy, in addition to many other types of massage known in the West. Swedish massage is based on the principle of anatomy and physiology, in contrast to Asian massage types that mainly rely on the principle of energy in the body.
Swedish massage sessions range from 50-60 minutes and may extend to 90 minutes for best results. Swedish massage may include slow and soft movements or vigorous movements. The technique used depends on the preference of the treating masseur and the result he wants to achieve.
For people who are more tolerant of pain and pressure or who suffer from chronic muscle pain, it is best to resort to deep tissue massage, which is one of the types of Swedish massage, noting that the sufferer of chronic muscle pain usually needs several treatment sessions to obtain the desired results.
It is worth noting that the implementation of therapeutic massage should be limited to qualified specialists, and not allow unlicensed people to work in this field.
The benefits of Swedish massage
The benefits of Swedish massage are many. Like other types of massage , there are many physical and psychological benefits of Swedish massage. Swedish massage benefits may include:
- Having Swedish massage sessions contributes to increasing the relaxation of the body, calming the nervous system, reducing anxiety, tension, disturbances, and agitation in general, and all of these factors contribute to enhancing the benefits of Swedish massage to reduce depression .
- Swedish massage improves blood circulation, which means increasing the passage of oxygen-rich blood to different parts of the body, especially the muscles, and this increases the activity and internal energy of the body.
- Swedish massage also stimulates the lymphatic system and speeds up its work.
- It contributes to the treatment of pain resulting from a specific injury and muscle cramps and spasms , and this benefit is obtained from the benefits of Swedish massage by conducting massages dedicated to the affected area.
- Also, one of the benefits of Swedish massage is that it contributes to relieving chronic pain caused by some diseases such as arthritis and sciatica .
- Also among the benefits of Swedish massage are the benefits of Swedish massage for the skin , as Swedish massage:
- Helpful in increasing the speed of scar healing.
- Makes skin tighter than before.
- Contributes to combating skin aging, and this is one of the most popular Swedish massage benefits.
How to work Swedish massage
When doing a Swedish massage, the therapist rubs the person’s skin with massage oil and then begins to do various massage strokes, and Swedish massage includes a number of movements, which may include:
- Kneading with fingertips and thumb.
- Circular stroking and straightening, which is done with the palm of the hand.
- Friction movements, which are short circular movements on the body that generate heat on the body, and this method is one of the most preferred methods of Swedish body massage.
- Rapid and repeated strokes of the body with the edge of the palm.
- Squeezing movements on the muscles.
- The stretching and tightening movements of a person’s arms and legs in different directions, and this movement is generally performed at the end of Swedish massage.
The traditional Swedish massage includes the whole body, where the masseur will start with it either in the back or abdomen area and then turn the patient in the middle of the treatment session. If you want to focus on a specific area where there is muscle pain that you want to treat, then the patient can ask the therapist to spend more time in this area. Also, depending on the individual’s preferences, one may request a massage therapist to use light or medium pressure.
Usually, the individual is asked in most Swedish massage sessions to take off his clothes and leave the individual free to choose whether he wants to wear his underwear or not.
The difference between Swedish and deep tissue massage
The following are the main differences between Swedish and deep tissue massage:
- Although Swedish massage is the most popular type, deep tissue massage is more beneficial for treating pain caused by small muscle injuries and chronic muscle pain.
- Deep tissue massage, as the name indicates, focuses on deep muscles, by applying frequent strong pressure on the muscles to relax them.
- Deep tissue massage is more effective than Swedish massage in treating muscle injuries resulting from sports activities, treating pain resulting from prolonged sitting, and chronic muscle strain, but Swedish massage is more comprehensive and more stimulating for relaxation than deep tissue massage.
Swedish massage precautions
It is advised to avoid massages in general, and to undergo a special Swedish massage session, in the following cases:
- When suffering from fever, infections, osteoporosis , or some other diseases, consult a specialist before undergoing massage sessions.
- When suffering from influenza or some infectious diseases, in order to avoid transmitting the infection to the therapist or to other people who want to undergo massage.
- When consuming alcohol, because alcohol interferes with the state of consciousness that requires its presence to feel the amount of pressure exerted by the therapist on the body.
The individual must inform the therapist about any injuries in the body, or health problems and diseases that he suffers from, and whether the woman is pregnant.