What is a Swedish Massage?

A Swedish massage is the most common type of massage available all across Europe. If you head to Asia then the most common type of massage would be a Thai massage or variations of this practice.

Although these kinds of massage are available in the western world the most popular massage treatment is consistently the Swedish Massage. But what is a Swedish massage, read on to find out!

If you ever had any questions about the Swedish massage or whether you would be interested in getting one on your next visit to Europe there is all you need to know about this popular therapy treatment.

What is a Swedish Massage? 

The Swedish massage is in fact the basis for almost all other kinds of massage practiced and created in Europe, this includes the increasingly popular sports massage and classic deep tissue massage too.

The Swedish massage, unlike Asian massage techniques that are based on medians, is based on the principals of physiology and anatomy. As such the Swedish massage is much younger than a Thai massage for example.

A Swedish massage is a good choice if you seldom visit the spa or get a massage therapist come to your home. The beauty of a Swedish massage is that it is very versatile in the sense that it can really get deep into the tissues to release deep tension or be quite superficial and relaxing.

The Swedish massage is wonderfully relaxing and takes years to master, be sure to find yourself a fully qualified and licensed massive therapist to ensure that you get the full treatment so to speak!

Why is it called a Swedish Massage?

The Swedish massage is, as we mentioned above, based on the western concepts of anatomy and physiology, unlike Asian massage that is based on sen and meridian lines.

What is more, it was a Swedish physiologist who studied and taught at the University of Stockholm named Per Henrik Ling created a chart that he called ‘Medical Gymnastics’’ that depicted the strokes and movements that therapists should perform on their client.

This chart and combinations of movements was subsequently referred to as the ‘Swedish Movements’ and Swedish Movement Cure’ until this knowledge spread to the United States of America where they were renamed.

In the book ‘The History of Massage’ the writer Robert Noah Calvert notes that there is some confusion between Ling’s creation and another physiologist called Mezger. As a result, what is known in the United States of America as a Swedish massage is known simply in its namesake country of Sweden as a ‘Classic Massage’.

What to Expect in a Swedish Massage

As with anything to do with your body’s muscles you must warm them up before you, or rather your therapist, works them. Before you therapist really works your muscles they must first ensure that you are relaxed and then warmed up.

The initial movements and strokes are soft and gentle. A Swedish massage normally lasts 50-60 minutes. The strokes get harder and more focused on stressed deep tissue.

There are a few things you should discuss with your massage therapist before the massage commences. If you have any injuries or disabilities that could cause you pain or discomfort during you massage. Also if you are pregnant you should make your masseuse aware. Finally, if you really dislike hard pressure or equally very soft pressure you should also inform your therapist of your preferences.

If you are sick or ill then getting a massage is not recommended, best get yourself back in health before you set foot in the spa room.

The Dress Code for a Swedish Massage

The dress code for any massage is always a little confusing so if you take anything from this blog take this; you are nude. Don’t worry, a towel is placed over you to maintain some modesty.

During the massage your therapist will adjust the towel depending on which limb or body part they are working on. This towel movement is known in the industry as draping. If you do feely shy or embarrassed you can keep your underwear on if that helps you feel more comfortable and therefore relaxed. The more relaxed you are the more beneficial the massager.

What are the Health Benefits of a Swedish Massage?

Swedish massage benefits include relaxation, stress relief and improved flexibility. What is more the Swedish massage has been proven to lower blood pressure which is a health benefit many people should take advantage of.

The Swedish massage is particularly effective in releasing and removing muscle toxins. The Swedish massage also helps to drain the lymph nodes which can help boost your immune system.

What is the difference between a Swedish massage and a regular massage?

A Swedish massage is a type of therapeutic massage that is designed to relax the entire body. It is a gentler massage than some other types, such as deep tissue massage, and is often used to improve circulation, reduce muscle tension, and promote relaxation. Swedish massage techniques include long strokes, kneading, and circular movements on the top layers of muscles.

A regular massage can refer to any type of massage, including Swedish massage. In general, a regular massage is a therapeutic treatment that involves the manipulation of the muscles and other soft tissues of the body to promote relaxation, improve circulation, and reduce muscle tension. There are many different techniques and approaches to massage, and the specific techniques used will depend on the individual therapist and the needs of the client.

Do you take off your clothes for a Swedish massage?

It is common to disrobe for a Swedish massage, although it is not required. The therapist will generally provide instructions on how to undress and drape a sheet or towel over your body before the massage begins.

You should only remove as much clothing as you feel comfortable with. It is important to communicate with your therapist about your preferences and any concerns you may have.

During the massage, the therapist will only uncover the part of your body that is being worked on, and the sheet or towel will be used to maintain your modesty.

If you prefer to keep your clothes on, you can request a clothed massage or discuss this with your therapist before the session begins.

Swedish massage vs Thai massage

Swedish massage and Thai massage are two different types of massage therapy.

Swedish massage is a type of Western massage that uses long strokes, kneading, deep circular movements, vibration, and tapping to relax and energize the body. It is typically done with the person lying on a massage table, fully clothed or draped with a sheet. Swedish massage is intended to promote relaxation, improve circulation, and relieve muscle tension.

Thai massage, also known as Thai yoga massage, is a type of massage that originated in Thailand. It involves the use of hands, knees, elbows, and feet to apply pressure to the body in a series of yoga-like stretches. The therapist may also use compression, traction, and rocking techniques. Thai massage is done on a mat on the floor, and the person receiving the massage is typically fully clothed in loose, comfortable clothing. Thai massage is intended to improve flexibility, reduce stress, and promote overall well-being.

Both Swedish massage and Thai massage can be beneficial for relieving muscle tension and improving circulation, but they are different techniques and may produce different effects. It is important to discuss your specific needs and preferences with a massage therapist before beginning a massage session.

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The Swedish Massage isn’t just a special treat to give yourself on occasion. The Swedish massage is a great way to help improve your flexibility and lower your blood pressure too!

About Author: Linda Smith

I'm Linda Smith, the Hotel Expert, an experienced travel blogger who passionate about traveling. I'm here to share with you all my travel experiences and tips. I cover a wide range of travel topics, specializing in sharing information about the best areas, neighborhoods, and hotels in each city. I hope all these things will make your travel easier.

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