Although referred to as the Swedish massage, this particular massage form does not have its origins in Sweden. The Swedish massage a classic massage form, is extremely popular in Europe and in America.
The origins of many western massages, which are in practice today, can be traced back to this classic massage form. This massage was developed solely for the purpose of treating health conditions like poor circulation, extreme stress, tension and sore muscles. The Swedish massage aims to increase blood circulation, relieve muscle soreness and remove the toxins which are stored in the body.
In a Swedish massage the masseur incorporates flowing hand movements which always work towards the heart. A Swedish massage session always leaves the person feeling emotionally relaxed and physically rejuvenated. This massage incorporates five basic hand movements to increase the circulation and eject the toxins from the body.
Effleurage is one of the hand movements which are used in the Swedish massage. The limbs are massaged with long gliding strokes. The hands particularly the thumb pads are used for applying pressure in order to increase the blood flow. The hand movements flow down from the shoulders to the finger tips and are again repeated from the base of the neck to the end of the spinal cord.
Petrissage another basic movement that Swedish masseurs follow uses kneading and compression strokes on the joints and the bones. The toxins which accumulate in the bones and the joints are released which this particular hand massage technique.
Deep circular pressure to remove the knots which form in the muscles and the nerves of the body are done through the friction method of Swedish massage. Here the finger tips are thumb pads help in making the muscles flexible and aids in easy movements of the body.
Tapotement is the rhythmic tapping of the body using the fingers to remove pent up stress and tension. The sides of the hands are used to pound the different parts of the body. Vibration is the last hand movement which a Swedish masseur follows. Here the hands are used in a manner to deliver strong vibrations throughout the body.
A Swedish massage normally lasts between 40-90 minutes. To get the best results the Swedish massage has to be done at least once or twice a month.