Swedish Massage

Definition - What does Swedish Massage mean?

Swedish massage is a massage technique that uses long strokes of the hands, combined with light taps, to stimulate the outer muscles layers of the body. A Swedish massage is often recommended for those wanting to relieve tension. Swedish massage also stimulates blood and lymph flow. The goal of Swedish massage is not to reach deep muscle layers, but to relieve tension and relax the body as a whole.

WorkplaceTesting explains Swedish Massage

One of the most popular forms of massage in the United States, Swedish massage is what is known as a superficial massage. Unlike a deep tissue massage, a Swedish massage practitioner does not probe for deep muscle layers but works with body’s surface muscles. Four types of strokes characterize a Swedish massage: effleurage, petrissage, friction, and tapotement.

Effleurage is the smooth gliding stroke used to relax the outer muscles. This step is often followed by the squeezing or kneading motions know as petrissage. Friction is used to cause layers of muscles to rub against one another, usually accomplished by a circular movement by your practitioner. The light tapping of the body that is used by Swedish massage practitioners is known as tapotement. Some gentle joint movement may also be included as part of a Swedish massage.

Together, these steps increase blood flow to the outer surface layers of muscle and tissue. The lymph circulatory system is also stimulated by Swedish massage. The overall goal of a Swedish massage should be to relax and energize the subject.

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