WHAT IS A SWEDISH MASSAGE?
Swedish massage therapy is the modality that comes to mind when most people think about massage. As the best-known type of bodywork performed today, one of the primary goals of the Swedish massage technique is to relax the entire body. This is accomplished by rubbing the muscles with long gliding strokes in the direction of blood returning to the heart. But Swedish massage therapy goes beyond relaxation. Swedish massage is exceptionally beneficial for increasing the level of oxygen in the blood, decreasing muscle toxins, improving circulation and flexibility while easing tension.
A study conducted by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, and published in The New York Times, found that volunteers who received a 45-minute Swedish massage experienced significant decreases in levels of the stress hormone cortisol, as well as arginine vasopressin-a hormone that can lead to increases in cortisol. Volunteers also had increases in the number of lymphocytes, white blood cells that are part of the immune system, and a boost in the immune cells that may help fight colds and the flu.
SWEDISH MASSAGE TECHNIQUES
Additional Swedish massage techniques include circular pressure applied by the hands and palms, firm kneading, percussion-like tapping, bending and stretching. Before and during your Swedish massage session, communication is encouraged with your professional massage therapist so that your massage is customized to your specific needs.
COMMON CONDITIONS TREATED
Swedish massage is sometimes considered to be more soothing than therapeutic, but research by the Touch Therapy Institute in Florida shows that Swedish or classic massage has many therapeutic benefits including the treatment of the following.
- Anxiety and Depression
- Cleanses the Body of Toxins
- Increases Circulation
- Promotes Healing
- Reduces Fatigue
- Headaches and Migraines
- Pain, Including Muscle Tension, Back, Shoulder & Neck Pain
- Repetitive Strain Injury (E.G. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome)
THINGS TO REMEMBER
Dehydration can stiffen the fascia and muscles, which translates to a more painful massage. Ensure you’re sipping adequate amounts of H20 before you hop on the table. If you are dealing with a serious injury though, and don’t have a diagnosis, definitely see one of our doctors. While a therapist can identify and attempt to alleviate any tightness and inflammation in the body, it is very important you first consult with a doctor. Once a diagnosis is given, your massage therapist can work with that information and use massage as a helpful tool in recovery.