The most common type of massage, the Swedish massage does not necessarily mean that the technique originated in Sweden as the name suggests. It was originally put together and created by Dutch practitioner John George Mezger and is often referred to as the classic massage in Europe.
Massage therapy that involves Swedish massage uses soft, long, kneading strokes as well as light, rhythmic, tapping strokes, on the topmost layers of muscles. The strokes are going in the direction of the blood that is returning to the heart. The technique is combined with movement of the joints to relieve muscle tension, which can be both relaxing and energizing. It is also found to help a person recover after an injury. It also aims to stimulate the nervous system.
Swedish massage is the best-known type of bodywork performed with the primary goal to relax the entire body. However, it can go beyond that. It is also done to help increase the level of oxygen in the blood, decrease muscle toxins, and improve circulation and flexibility while it eases tension. Additionally, it targets your metabolism and helps to increase digestion and easily get rid of wastes in the body.
Gentler than the deep tissue massage, people who are more interested in relaxation and tension relief prefer the classic massage. It is often chosen by those who want to loosen up some tight muscles caused by daily activities such as prolonged sitting or exercise. It can be very helpful to those who experience a lot of tension in their lower back, shoulders, and neck.
During a Swedish massage, the therapist use kneading, long strokes, deep circular movements, and passive joint movements. The techniques are intended to relax the patient, stimulate nerve endings and increase blood flow and lymph drainage.
The traditional massage involves the whole body and it either starts at the back or stomach then you will be flipped over at the halfway point. If there is a particular area in your body that concerns you, like a tight neck, you can ask the therapist to focus on this area and spend more time on it. Make sure that you let them know your preferences so you can ask them if they can use light, medium or firm pressure.
During most of the full-body massages, you will be asked by the therapist to undress and it will be up to you to be totally naked or keep your underwear on. A sheet will be draped over your body to keep you covered most of the time. It will only be pulled back and adjusted while they are working on your body.
You have to expect that the therapist will use oil or lotion to perform smooth and long strokes. They may also use aromatherapy scent if you prefer this one over oil or lotion.
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So, if you are looking for relaxation and relief from tense, tight muscles, Swedish massage is probably the right type of body massage for you. Choose a therapist who is an expert in this particular type of massage so you will feel lighter and better after.