Swedish Massage Therapy
What is Swedish massage therapy? It is a technique designed to help the muscles in the body relax by applying pressure and then rubbing it in the same direction as the flow of blood returning to the heart.
Unlike other methods of massage therapy, this was first developed in the 18th century. It is also called the “classic massage” because it represents the Western way of relaxing those muscles.
The primary purpose of the Swedish massage then and now is still the same. This increases oxygen flow in the blood, releasing toxins from the muscles. These toxins include lactic and uric acid as well as metabolic waste.
When this happens, circulation is increased without increasing the heart load. The ligaments and tendons are both stretched, keeping them supple and pliable. This also stimulates the skin and nervous system and soothes the nerves simultaneously. As a result, stress is reduced.
There are various techniques in Swedish massage. Some examples are friction, effleurage, kneading, tapping, long strokes, vibrations, and shaking motions. The therapist may use the fingertips, hands, or palms to achieve maximum effect and, of course, a slight bending and stretching.
During the session, the person must undress and lie on the mattress. They are then covered with a blanket; the only time it is opened is when the therapist has to massage that region of the body with oil so the body will absorb this.
If you do not feel comfortable being nude, bring some old loose clothes because the oil may stain fabrics.
A Swedish massage usually lasts for 60 to 90 minutes. Before the session begins, the therapist may check your complexion and then choose the type of oil based on your skin type. If you want to increase or decrease the pressure, say so, and the therapist will adjust accordingly.
In the room, you may hear some soothing music playing in the background, as this has been known to help people unwind. Tell them if you don’t like it so they can play something else or turn it off.
You might notice that the therapist would like to chat while working on you. Just like the music, just tell them if you don’t feel like talking. Don’t worry; they won’t be offended.
Lastly, some people sleep during Swedish massage therapy. Again, that is perfectly fine because it has been known to happen.
Swedish massage therapy is considered the foundation of other types of Western massage. This is because the principles are the same as when you try sports massage, seated chair massage, hot stone therapy, deep tissue massage, or aromatherapy. If you like how you were treated, try out the others the next time you drop by.
Before going for a session, check with your doctor if it is safe for you to do. You should also avoid eating a heavy meal before going in.
Swedish massage therapy is good. Once the session is over, you will feel relaxed and invigorated. Since you will feel thirsty afterward, you better drink up. Some places offer water while others hand out warm tea. When you are ready, it is time to get dressed and head home.