Swedish Massage

Swedish massage refers to various therapeutic techniques used for relaxation and healing. Dr. Per Henrik Ling, born in Sweden in 1776, suffered from physical pain due to rheumatism and gout. He noticed that by applying pressured movements like stroking or kneading, his pain was significantly reduced and his overall health improved. His work delved into the importance of movement and exercise in optimum performance and health. It included preliminary applications and ideas of massage. In the 1800’s a Dutch masseur Johann George Metzger systematized many of the massage strokes currently used today such as effleurage, friction and petrissage.

    Swedish massage involves strokes which are done in the direction of blood flow to the heart.   Light to medium stroke pressure can help to reduce swelling, improve circulation, promote relaxation and initiate removal of toxins. Deeper strokes are used to deal with painful adhesions and to reduce muscle tension. There are various main strokes used and variations on each.

    • effleurage: Gentle gliding motion used often as warm up or to spread oils & lotions
    • friction: Rubbing motion along muscle
    • petrissage: Techniques involving kneading, lifting, rolling of the skin
    • tipotement: Involves beating, tapping, cupping kinds of movements
    • vibration: circular motion or across the skin
    • traction: Gently pulling on limbs (sometimes the head as well) elongating muscles and connecting tissues

    Benefits of Swedish massage include but are not limited to: stress reduction, pain relief, better circulation, dealing with scar tissue, stimulation of lymph system.