When you hear the term “Swedish massage,” you might think that someone’s talking about a new, exotic, unfamiliar massage therapy treatment. They aren’t. In fact, they’re talking about the most common type of massage therapy out there—Swedish massage is the same as classic massage. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be excited when you hear about it.
The Swedish massage is the most common massage for a reason. It’s one of the best massages in the world for healing and relaxation. It improves your circulation, fills your blood with oxygen, and flushes the toxins from your body all at once. Here’s how it works:
When Per Henrik Ling and Johann Georg Mezger created this type of massage in the 19 century, they established five primary techniques to go along with it:
Swedish massages exert deeper pressure than most other types of massages, and they’re specifically geared to promote physical and emotional healing. If you’re stressed or recovering from an injury, a Swedish massage will take all that physical and mental tension away.
What can you expect if you go in for this type of massage? Here’s the process that your masseuse or massage therapist might use:
1. The therapist will briefly interview you. You need to tell him or her about your medical history so that they know how to best help you heal. Your therapist should target any injuries or tense areas for healing.
2. He or she will tell you how to lie down on the table and dress yourself with the towel. You’ll usually start out on your stomach, so you should undress, lie face-down on the table with your face in the U-shaped cradle, and drape the towel over yourself. The therapist will leave the room until you’re covered by the towel.
3. The therapist will massage your back and arms first, then move on to the legs and feet. He or she will lubricate the area with scented oils and massage you until you’re completely relaxed.
4. You’ll flip over. Your therapist will hold the towel for you while you flip onto your back, and they’ll quickly drape it over you before starting the massage again.
5. The therapist will work on the other side of your hips, legs, and feet.
6. He or she will finish with the arms, neck, and head. At this point, your therapist may ask you to do some bending and stretching. You should be completely relaxed.
For a fully effective experience, refrain from exercising, drinking alcohol or caffeine, or smoking for at least 24 hours after the session. The effects will last longer and you’ll heal more quickly if you just sit back and relax.