What is Swedish Massage?
Swedish massage is based on western anatomy and physiology rather than the Sen or meridians that are used in Thai and eastern massage therapies. It’s called Swedish massage because it was introduced by a Swedish physiologist, Per Henrik Ling who worked at the University of Stockholm in the early 19th century.
Swedish massage is one of the most popular types of massage in the west – a full body treatment that uses firm strokes but not too much deep pressure. The movements in a Swedish massage are designed to warm up your muscles, which helps the therapist to un-knot any areas of tension and relax the whole body.
What to expect
You’ll undress first and lie on the comfortable massage bed, face down to begin with so that your therapist can work on your back. Usually, she will only uncover the areas she’s working on so there’s no need to be shy. You can keep your underwear on if you prefer.
The massage uses several different types of strokes including kneading, friction, stretching and tapping, and what’s called effleurage, a light movement that’s designed to warm muscles up. She’ll work on your back and the backs of your legs and then you’ll turn over so that she can work on the front of your legs, shoulders and arms.
A Swedish massage should be pleasant and relaxing – it’s not a deep massage. If you want a deeper massage, perhaps for sports injuries or to work on a specific issue, ask for a deep tissue massage.
What is Swedish massage good for?
It’s a very good treatment for stress, as it really helps to induce a feeling of inner calm and wellbeing. Great for reducing tension and anxiety, improving your circulation, and if you suffer from muscle cramps it can help to stretch the muscles and increase blood flow, relieving and helping to prevent them.
Swedish massage has also been known to help with managing chronic pain in people with arthritis or sciatica.
When to avoid a Swedish massage
You shouldn’t have a massage if you’re poorly – so if you have a fever, an infection, or any areas of inflammation, give it a miss. If you suffer with osteoporosis, ask your doctor’s advice before booking a massage, and if you’re pregnant, be sure to tell our therapists when you book your treatment.