Swedish massage is now known as “traditional” or “classical” massage. It is also the form that most of us think of in North America when we say the word, massage. In the 1820s a Swedish doctor, Dr. Per Henrik Ling, developed the first modern method of massage through his study of physiology, gymnastics, and the massage techniques borrowed from China, Egypt, Greece, and Rome. This is considered to be one of the most popular types of massage. Swedish Massage uses a system of long gliding strokes, kneading, friction, percussive, and shaking motions or vibration techniques on the more superficial layers of muscles. Swedish Massage is not only mechanical, but it also works on the nervous system. It is performed with oils or lotions and a session lasts anywhere from 30 – 90 minutes.
Shorter treatments are more condition or pathology focused. Longer treatments promote general relaxation and stress reduction. Massage is effective for a broad variety of ailments, because massaging the skin (the body’s largest organ) sets up a chain reaction that produces a positive effect on all layers and systems of the body. It affects the nerves, muscles, glands, and circulation, and promotes health and well-being. Swedish Massage also relieves muscle tension, reduces anxiety, strengthens the immune system, improves blood circulation and calms the nervous system.