Swedish massage is the most common and best-known type of massage in the West. If it is your first time at the spa or you don’t get massages often, Swedish massage is the best place to start. Swedish massage and other types of therapeutic massage are performed by trained, licensed massage therapists.
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.
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 tissues, releasing the tension and gradually breaking up the muscle “knots” or adhered tissues, called adhesions. Swedish massage promotes relaxation, along with other health benefits.
Before the massage, the therapist will ask you about any injuries or other conditions that he or she should know about. Things you would want to tell your therapist include areas of tightness or pain, allergies, and conditions like pregnancy. You can also tell them if you have a preference for light or firm pressure. It is best not to get a massage if you are ill.
You usually start by lying face down with your head in a u-shaped face cradle so your spine stays neutral. The therapist generally starts by working on 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 60 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 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.