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What is a Swedish Massage?

Swedish massage is the most common and best-known type of massage in the West. If it's your first time at the spa or you don't get massage often, Swedish massage is the best place to start.  

If you want deeper work and can tolerate more pressure to get relief from chronic muscle pain, it's better to book a Deep Tissue Massage, which is another form of Swedish massage.  If you have pain, it will likely take a series of massages to get results.

A Swedish massage can be slow and gentle, or vigorous and bracing, depending on the therapist's personal style and what he or she is trying to achieve based on your goals and preferences you indicate on your consultation form.

Swedish massage is based on the Western concepts of anatomy and physiology, as opposed to energy work on "meridiens" or sen lines in Asian massage systems. Most people get a 50 or 60-minute Swedish or deep tissue massage, but 75 or 90-minutes gives the therapist more time to work the muscle tissue and achieve results.

What Happens During A Swedish Massage?

In all Swedish massage, the therapist lubricates the skin with massage oil and performs various massage strokes. These movements warm up the muscle tissue, releasing tension and gradually breaking up muscle "knots" or adhered tissues, called adhesions. Swedish massage promotes relaxation, among other health benefits.

Before the massage, the therapist usually ask you about any injuries or other conditions that he or she should know about which you may also indicate on your consultation form that we provide. Things you would want tell a therapist include areas of tightness or pain, allergies, and conditions like pregnancy. You can also tell them up front if you have a preference for light or firm pressure. It's best not to get a massage if you are ill.

After the consultation, the therapist instructs you how to lie on the table - face up or face down, and underneath the sheet - and then leaves the room. The therapist will then knock and ask if you are ready before entering.

The Nudity Factor

During a Swedish massage you are generally nude underneath a towel or sheet. The therapist uncovers only the part of the body he/she is working on, a technique called draping. If the nudity gets you out of your comfort zone, you can keep your underwear on, and many newcomers do.

You usually start by laying face down with your head in a u-shaped face cradle so your spine stays neutral. The therapist generally starts by works your back, using various massage strokes that include effleurage, kneading, friction, stretching and tapping.

Some therapists work in a different order, and all have their own style and techniques. If you only have 50 minutes, you can also ask them to spend more time on a certain area. If the pressure is too light or too firm, you should speak up and ask the therapist to adjust it. Swedish massage usually includes some deeper work on areas of specific muscle tension, but if you truly want deeper, more intensive work and firmer pressure, book a Deep Tissue Massage.

Benefits of Swedish Massage?

  • Calms the nervous system and promotes a sense of relaxation and well being.
  • Reduces tension and anxiety.
  • Improves blood circulation, which delivers oxygen and nutrients to the cells.
  • Stimulates the lymphatic system, which carries away the body’s waste products.
  • Prevents and relieve muscles cramps and spasms.
  • May help with pain management in conditions such as arthritis, sciatica, muscle spasms.

Disclaimer: The information contained on this site is intended for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for advice, diagnosis or treatment by a licensed physician. It is not meant to cover all possible precautions, drug interactions, circumstances or adverse effects. You should seek prompt medical care for any health issues and consult your doctor before using alternative medicine or making a change to your regimen.