Swedish massage is one of the most well known techniques of massage and the foundation for most Western approaches to massage therapy. It is called Swedish because its principals were developed and promoted by Per Heinrik Ling of Sweden, in the early 1800's.

Swedish massage is a system that uses a variety of strokes applied with oil to the soft tissue (muscular) structure of the human body.

These techniques include:

effleurage (touching lightly)
petrissage (kneading)
friction (rubbing)
tapotement (tapping)
 vibration (shaking)

Swedish massage can help remove toxins, improve circulation, enhance mobility in the joints, deliver nutrients to tissues and cells more efficiently and help in recovery from sprains, strains and trauma by breaking down adhesions (scar tissue).

This technique has a beneficial impact not only on the physical body but on the mental and emotional being as well, by promoting relaxation through the stimulated release of endorphins and enkephalins (the bodies natural painkillers). The release of stress from Swedish massage also boosts the immune system.

An experience of this type of massage is relaxing yet invigorating due to its rapid movement of stroke techniques. Swedish massage is widely used in the sports field especially for a warm-up before competition or training because of its effect on rapidly circulating the blood.

Very similar to Swedish, is Esalen massage. Here the therapist's intention is much more focused on a soothing, flowing movement in technique to promote a more tranquil, euphoric sensation for a therapeutic yet spiritual experience.



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