Massage is one the earliest methods of reliving pain and promoting healthy body functions and it is believed to be the most natural and instinctive way of achieving healthy body balance. Massage is a natural way of soothing away minor pains and aches and bringing relief from nervous tension and general fatigue. Regular massage has enormous effects frequently unattainable even by pharmaceutical treatment.
Swedish massage is also known as Relaxation Massage. It is one of the most popular forms of massage in the Western world. It was developed by Pehr Henrik Ling, a Swedish physical therapist, in 1812.Pehr Ling observed massage techniques from Eastern and Western cultures to develop his own scientific style which have become the roots of many other massage techniques today. In 1831 Pehr Ling became a member of the Swedish General Medical Association, this demonstrates that Ling gained professional recognition for his development of massage. The popularity of Swedish massage maybe because of its adaptability, it can range from a gentle and relaxing massage to a more deeper and firm massage, and of course it is up to the client how they would like to experience their Swedish massage.
Swedish or Relaxation massage is beneficial to the body in various ways:
Swedish massage is considered a full body massage as it focuses on the major muscle groups in the body. A massage oil or balm is used to lubricate the skin to ensure smooth gliding. The techniques utilised by Swedish/Relaxation massage are:
A long gliding stroke that typically goes from the neck to the base of the spine. Effleurage techniques promote the flow of blood and Lymph to the heart. It also removes waste products and has a soothing effect on the nervous system. The technique is applied by the therapist leaning in on the tissues with a flat palm.
Petrissage involves a group of techniques that repetitively lift, roll, stretch, compress or squeeze the underlying tissue. Petriassage helps with stretching and softening hard and contracted muscles, it also removes fatigue and clears out toxins.
The hands are applied to the body in a repeated, rhythmical, and firm striking movement that is followed by a quick rebound. Tapotement is used to stimulate the nervous system, and increase the alertness of the client.
A deep non-gliding technique that penetrates specific areas of the body. The strokes are applied with the fingers, palms, knuckles, forearm, and sometimes elbow. This technique relieves muscle pains and enhances movement.