Swedish massage is the best-known and most common type of massage used in Western countries. It is also the ancestor of several other types of massage, including deep tissue massage, aromatherapy massage and sports massage.
Why Is It Called Swedish Massage?
Swedish massage wasn’t really developed in Sweden or by a Swedish therapist. The name stems from confusion over two types of therapies that were both developed in the 19th century by Europeans. The first one was developed by a Swedish physiologist named Per Henrik Ling (1776-1839), and it was called “Swedish Movements” or the “Swedish Movement Cure.”
Several decades later, a Dutch practitioner named Johan Georg Mezger (1838-1909) devised a systematic massage therapy, and he gave the different strokes French names. His treatment was the forerunner of Swedish massage. People confused it with Ling’s treatments and so they started calling it Swedish massage.
What Does It Involve?
Each massage at New Beauty Wellness is tailored for the individual. During the treatment, the therapist will use a variety of oils to lubricate the client’s skin. Swedish massage techniques can be gentle and relaxing, or they can be invigorating. It all depends on your unique needs.
What Is Effleurage?
Effleurage or stroking is the most basic technique in Swedish massage. It is a smooth and gliding stroke that can be used on large parts of the body, like the back, or smaller surfaces, like the face. There are two types of effleurage: superficial and deep.
The therapist may use superficial effleurage at the beginning and end of the massage. Superficial effleurage is a series of slow and light strokes. The therapist may use this technique at the start of the massage to relax the client and get them used to being touched.
Deep effleurage is used to warm up the muscles for even deeper treatment. The therapist will increase the pressure to stretch the client’s muscles.
Other Massage Techniques
Petrissage or kneading is another common technique, and the therapist generally uses it on big curved muscles, like the shoulders, thighs, buttocks or upper arms. It involves squeezing a muscle between the thumb and fingertips.
Friction is a technique in which the therapist targets muscle knots or adhesions to work them loose and relax the muscle. Using their thumb and/or fingers, the therapist presses down on the knot. They might rub it in a circle, follow the band of the muscle or tendon, or they might rub across the band in what is called “cross-fiber friction.” Friction is most commonly used in deep tissue massage, and it is the part that “hurts so good.”
Percussion is a series of quick, striking movements. In movies, the therapist will sometimes be depicted “chopping” with the sides of their hands. Other forms of percussion include tapping the face and beating big muscles, like the thigh, with clenched fists. Percussion is used to stimulate the body.
Schedule an Aromatherapy Massage
If you are experiencing muscle tension or stress, an aromatherapy massage at New Beauty Wellness in Westport might be for you. Our skilled therapists incorporate various Swedish massage techniques into this soothing, relaxing massage. Contact us today to schedule your appointment.