In this age where wellness is in demand and the spa is a common place for people to visit, the Swedish massage has become one of the most popular types of massage. In fact, many of the different kinds of massage, like the deep tissue massage, aromatherapy massage, and sports massage, are based on the Swedish massage.
Unlike Asian massages, which focus on the body’s energy lines, also known as meridians, the Swedish massage is based on anatomy and physiology concepts from the West, which means that they focus on stimulating circulation in order to flush the circulatory system, ease muscle tension, restore the body’s range of motions, and relieve body pain.
For those who have never had a massage (or don’t have one very often), the Swedish massage is ideal. The treatment is usually an hour long and gets better when done over a longer period of time because it gives the therapist more time to focus on every muscle tissue. Depending on the preference of the client and the type of treatment, the Swedish massage can be either slow and gentle or extremely vigorous, with both types of pressure having their own benefits.
For those who want something that helps with chronic muscle pain, the deep tissue massage is a variation of the Swedish massage that’s designed to address this kind of problem. In this case, note that it normally takes a few massage sessions for results to kick in.
Note: Not everyone can perform a Swedish massage or any other kind of massage. These are performed by therapists who have undergone training before earning their license.
What to expect during a Swedish massage
Before it begins, there is a consultation. Make sure to tell your therapist if you have any injuries or medical conditions that they might need to know about. The therapist will normally ask about these things before they begin. Some things you’ll want to mention are parts of your body where you feel tightness or pain, and you should also mention allergies or whether you’re pregnant. Finally, feel free to say whether you want light or firm pressure during the massage.
From there, you lie down on the bed table. Depending on the therapist’s instructions, you may have to lie face up or face down, usually with a sheet or towel covering you. Keep in mind that your cubicle or room is meant to be private for the duration of the massage. In fact, the therapist will knock before entering.
Swedish massage is not a dry type of massage. The therapist will lubricate the skin with essential and sometime scented oils to facilitate the massage strokes. Some of these massage techniques include vibration/nerve strokes, Swedish gymnastics, friction, effleurage, petrissage, and tapotement.
From there, you will start to feel your muscles loosening up. This is because the movement of the massage will relieve any tension in your muscles by breaking up those “knots” or adhesions. You will feel more relaxed, but the massage actually offers more health benefits than you realize.
What are the benefits of a Swedish massage?
Getting a Swedish massage will:
- Calm your nervous system and make you feel more relaxed overall.
- Reduce any anxiety you might be feeling. In some cases, the massage can help deal with depression.
- You’ll also feel better about yourself. Massages help with your sense wellbeing.
- Swedish massages improve blood circulation, which in turn has a lot of benefits. For one thing, you’ll feel more energized because of the oxygen flowing to your muscles.
- Your lymphatic system is also flushed, helping your body rid itself of the bad stuff a lot more quickly.
- Got muscle cramps? Swedish massages deal with cramps and spasms by providing relief in the short term and correction in the long term. It’s also been known to help deal with arthritis and sciatica.
These benefits, however, are only experienced when you’re in the proper condition to get a massage. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t be getting a massage if you have any of these medical conditions:
- Other conditions, which your therapist will enquire about
Normally the therapist will know if a massage is good for you or not. In case of doubt, talk to a doctor before getting a Swedish massage.
Massages and nudity
Those who are new to Swedish massages might be surprised that they have to be naked under the towel or sheet. During the process, the therapist is supposed to only pull back those parts of the cover where you’re currently being massaged. However, if you don’t feel like getting massaged while nude, you can opt to keep your underwear on.
Most massages have you lying face down with your head inside a cradle. This is to keep your spine in a neutral position. The therapist normally starts with your back and then works their way towards each of your legs. They then work on your arms and end with the neck, head, and shoulders.
However, each massage therapist has their own style, so the routine might vary slightly between different therapists. If you like the routine of one therapist, you might want to consider asking for them on your next visit. Of course, don’t forget to leave a tip.
The Swedish massage is one that works for all kinds of people, so it’s definitely a must-try for anyone who wants to try a new way of relaxing, whether you’re alone or with friends. It’s not a very expensive thing to do either – except for the very lavish types, most spas offer their services at very reasonable prices. Just keep in mind the information above so that you’re in the perfect condition to get a massage.