Swedish Massage

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Swedish Massage History

The foundations of modern day Swedish Massage are drawn from a system of strokes devised in the 18th century by a Swede named PER HENRIK LING ( 1776 – 1839) . He created his method through personal knowledge of gymnastics & physiology from the Egyptians, Chinese ,Romans & Greeks technique’s.

It is believed it was introduced it  into the United States in 1858 ( some books I’ve read say he brought it to the US. But seeing he died in 1839 makes it a bit impossible ! ). It was called The Swedish Movement Cure. Many health spas, leisure & sports facilities across Europe & America continue to this day to offer Swedish Massage to alleviate muscular aches & pains.

Swedish Massage Description 

  • EFFLEURAGE : Meaning long slow strokes.
  • TAPOTEMENT or RHYTHMIC TAPPING : Meaning tapping using the fists of the cupped hand.
  • PETRISSAGE : Meaning kneading motion.Massage-hand-4.jpg
  • FRICTION : Meaning the hands are rubbed either together first then over the body to create heat that warms the muscles.
  • VIBRATION or SHAKING : Backward & forward movements with fingertips or heel of the hand.

Swedish Massage Benefits 

  • Improved circulation.
  • Releases Muscle Tension.
  • Promotes Relaxation.
  • Improves Flexibility.
  • Removes Waste Products From The Body.
  • Reduces Joint Pain.
  • Relieves Physical & Emotional Stress.

My Experience Of Swedish Massage ( Classic Massage )

It is very much like Aromatherapy Massage or should I say Aromatherapy Massage is like Swedish Massage ?

You start face down with towel covering your body. The therapist then begins massaging the feet, One at a time, using kneading technique & massaging & pulling each toe. From the feet they move the towel off one leg & starting with effleurage movements from calf to upper thigh, followed by petrissage usually spending approximately 5 minutes per leg. 

The lower & upper back are next, starting with effleurage movement over the full back. For me I ask for my lower back to be worked on more then upper back. Using a fanning movement (the therapist uses palms of the hand & works out from each side of the spine never touching the spine). Then the kneading technique is used finishing with fingertips been pressed in & released working all the way up the back.

We are now onto the Neck & Shoulders using all the techniques as before, only I usually have a knot on left shoulder, The therapist works it out with circular thumb movement and pressure with fingers. Then onto the arms, again one at a time. Holding the wrist the arm is massaged with a sweeping stroke from forearm up to the shoulder. Even the hands are massaged with thumb pressure been applied to the palm of your hand & all fingers massaged & pulled.

After this you will be asked to turn over & have a head massage, usually starting with thumbs & fingers (like washing your hair movements) on the scalp. Followed by the cheeks & jaw massaged. The therapist lifts your head slightly of the pillow and massages the nape of the neck. placing your head  back down they then work on the front & back of the shoulders, Using all the technique’s as before. My therapists have always finished with a massage around the eyes & nose finishing with slow circular motion over the temples.

I always have this massage with oils. gives the skin some nourishment.

I have been used at a spa as what they called a Model ! I call it a Guinea Pig ! lol For new therapists to practice Swedish or Aromatherapy Massage on me. They can all do the technique’s very good, but some forget to keep a hand on the customer at all times whilst doing say the back part of the massage, when moving from one side of the couch to the other. This doesn’t sound like a big deal ? But after a few massages from experienced therapists, you do feel it. You don’t seem to relax as quickly as normal.

If you have any views of your own on Swedish Massage Please message me.


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