Swedish massage therapy is the perfect way to introduce yourself to the world of relaxation and leisure. If all you want to do is relax and watch your tension melt away with subtle pressings and rub downs on your body, then spa massage is definitely the way to go. But most people, who have never had a massage, are often confused by the large range of massage types available to them. They don’t know where to start from. Swedish massage is one the best known forms of massage used for relaxation which is done to relax the entire body and not just a body part. This is done by rubbing the muscles with long gliding strokes in the direction of blood returning to the heart. But that’s not all that the Swedish massage therapy does for relaxation.
According to a recent study, a 45-minute Swedish massage experienced significant decreases in levels of the stress hormone cortisol, as well as arginine vasopressin-a hormone that can lead to increases in cortisol. It was also observed that people had increases in the number of lymphocytes, white blood cells that are part of the immune system, and a boost in the immune cells.
Athletes find this to be quite important, as this massage can dislodge the buildup of lactic acids in muscles, which is caused due to regular exercise. It also helps in circulating fresh oxygenated blood to those muscles. This massage not only helps with physical relaxation, but its peculiar techniques help relive emotional and mental stress. It is also known to have other medical and therapeutic uses. It can also help with reducing joint pain and stiffness, and has also been known to help those with osteoarthritis. This massage can sometimes let the clients enjoy an enhanced flexibility due to improved blood circulation. Coming from the classic era of massages, this is also known as the classic massage in a few places.
The Swedish massage focuses majorly on five principles:
Long gliding strokes for entire body – the sliding or gliding Swedish massage techniques that cover different areas of the body. They are long sweeping strokes that alternate between firm and light pressure and with can be performed using the palm of the hand or the fingertips. The knots and tension in the muscles tend to get broken with this massage technique.
Kneading – This is the technique of kneading the muscles of the body to attain deeper massage penetration. The thumbs and the knuckles of the fingers are used to knead the muscles of the body and to squeeze them to prepare them for the other massage techniques that follow.
Tapping – As the name suggests, it consists of rhythmic tapping that uses the fists of the cupped hands. This helps to loosen and relax the muscles being manipulated and also helps to energize them. The sides of the hands are used in this massage technique.
Friction – This move seeks to create heat to bring about relaxation of the muscles. The palms of the hand are rubbed together vigorously with each other, or they are rubbed onto the skin of the person being massaged in order to produce heat by friction. This technique can be used as a warm up for the muscles of the body to be treated for deeper massage.
Vibration or Shaking – This is the one among Swedish massage techniques that helps to loosen up the muscles by using a back and forth action of the fingertips or the heel of the hand over the skin. The muscles of the body are literally shaken up to loosen and relax the muscles. The sides of the hand, and any part of the hand such as the tips or heel can be used by the masseuse to shake up the muscles of the person.
Swedish massage is exceptionally beneficial for increasing the level of oxygen in the blood, decreasing muscle toxins, improving circulation and flexibility while easing tension.