The classic Swedish massage is one of the most popular forms of massage in the west, based on western anatomy and physiology instead of eastern medicine and meridians. It’s a straightforward, effective and very relaxing form of massage which was introduced by Swedish physiologist Per Henrik Ling, in the early 19th century.
The massage involves firm strokes all over the body with a medium pressure, using movements designed to warm up your muscles. As your muscles warm up, they relax and the therapist can get deeper in—allowing her to get stuck in on getting rid of any knots of tension she finds.
What to expect
At first, you’ll need to undress, although you can keep your underwear on if you prefer. The therapist won’t re-enter the room until she knows you are covered so there’s no need to be shy. It’s usual for a Swedish massage to start on your back, and while she is working on one area of your body, the other areas will stay covered up.
The massage uses kneading, friction, stretching and tapping, and a special massage technique called effleurage that’s designed to warm your muscles up. She’ll work on your back and the backs of your legs to begin with, and once you’ve turned over, she’ll carry on working on the front of your legs, shoulders and arms.
A Swedish massage isn’t a deep massage it’s designed to be relaxing and soothing. If you prefer a harder pressure or have specific needs, ask for a deep tissue massage as a Swedish massage probably won’t give you the same effects.
What is Swedish massage good for?
It’s a great massage for chilling out with, as it helps to enhance your inner calm and wellbeing. In addition to reducing stress and tension, it can be a good massage for improving your circulation, and if you suffer from muscle cramps it can help to relieve and prevent them.
When to avoid a Swedish massage
You shouldn’t have a massage if you’re not feeling well on the day—we recommend that if you have a fever, infection, or any areas of inflammation, reschedule. If you suffer with osteoporosis, ask your doctor’s advice before you book, and if you’re pregnant, be sure to tell our therapists as soon as you come in for your session.