The Origins of Swedish Massage
Swedish body massage is the manipulation of the body’s soft tissues with specific techniques to promote or restore health.
Swedish massage history dates back to the ancient Chinese, Greeks and Romans, who all practiced forms of this massage. Swedish body massage itself originated with Henric Linc, a 19th Century Swedish athlete. Linc adopted Swedish massage therapy as a way to help athletes improve their physiques and advance in their sports.
Swedish massage comprises of 5 main strokes:
The chief purpose of using these various Swedish massage techniques is to release toxins from the muscles and to increase the level of oxygen in the blood. Swedish massage stimulates and soothes the nerves while at the same time provides a stretching of the muscles and a stimulation of the skin. Thus by using these techniques of massage, the whole body is stimulated, soothed and relaxed and toxins are released and the causes of stiff aching muscles are eliminated, bringing health to both body and mind.
What is Swedish massage good for?
Swedish massage uses softer strokes on the bonier and more delicate parts of the body, and stronger strokes where there is thicker muscle coverage. This sensitivity to pressure makes it ideal for relaxation.
Besides the calming benefits, Swedish massage is thought to be good for:
* easing muscular strain by flushing out toxins
* improving circulation by increasing oxygen flow in the blood
* helping to keep ligaments and tendons supple
* stimulating the nervous system
* reducing emotional and physical stress.
Deep Tissue Massage
Deep tissue massage is a strong type of massage therapy that focuses on realigning deeper layers of muscles and connective tissue. It is especially helpful for chronically tense and contracted areas such as stiff necks, low back tightness, and sore shoulders. Some of the same strokes are used as the Swedish massage, but the movement is slower and the pressure is deeper and concentrated on areas of tension and pain.
How does deep tissue massage work?
When there is chronic muscle tension or injury, there are usually adhesions (bands of painful, rigid tissue) in muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Adhesions can block circulation and cause pain, limited movement, and inflammation. Deep tissue massage works by physically breaking down these adhesions to relieve pain and restore normal movement. To do this, the massage therapist often uses direct deep pressure or friction applied across the grain of the muscles
Will deep tissue massage hurt?
At certain points during the massage, most people find there is usually some discomfort and pain. It is important to tell the massage therapist when things hurt and if any soreness or pain you experience is outside your comfort range. There is usually some stiffness or pain after a deep tissue massage, but it should subside within a day or so.