Swedish massage is the most common and best-known type of massage . If it’s your first time for a massage or you don’t get massage very often, Swedish massage is the perfect massage for you. A Swedish massage can be slow and gentle.
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
After the consultation, the therapist instructs you how to lie on the table — face up or face down, and underneath the sheet or towel — and then leaves the room. He or she will knock or ask if you are ready before entering.
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 efferulage, kneading, friction, stretching and tapping.
When he’s finished with the back, he or she works the back of each leg. When done with the back side, he or she holds the sheet or towel up and looks away while you turn over onto your back and scoot down; then he or she quickly covers you again. The therapist then massages the front of each leg, both arms, and generally finishes with your neck and shoulders.
Why It’s Called Swedish Massage
Swedish massage is based on the Western concepts of anatomy and physiology as opposed to energy work that is more common in Asian-style massage. Both Swedish massage and physical therapy were pioneered by a Swedish physiologist, Per Henrik Ling (1776-1839)at the University of Stockholm.
In the early 19th century he developed a system called “Medical Gymnastics” which included movements performed by a therapist. These became the known as “Swedish movements” in Europe and “the Swedish Movement Cure” when they came to the U.S. in 1858. Today it is simply known as Swedish massage.
Swedish massage is the foundation for other types of Western massage, including sports massage.
If you want deeper work and can tolerate more pressure, even momentary discomfort, to get relief from muscle pain, it’s better to book a sports massage.
What is Hot Stone Massage Therapy?
Hot stone massage therapy melts away tension, eases muscle stiffness and increases circulation and metabolism. Each 1 hour hot stone massage therapy session promotes deeper muscle relaxation through the placement of smooth, water-heated stones at key points on the body.
The premise behind hot stone massage therapy is that the direct heat of the stones relaxes muscles, allowing the therapist access to their deeper muscle layers. Combining hot stone protocols with a full body swedish massage provides a very healing and effective experience. The hot stones also expand blood vessels, which encourages blood flow throughout the body. The hot stones have a sedative effect that can relieve chronic pain, reduce stress and promote deep relaxation.
Benefits of Hot Stone massage
Provides relief from pain associated with fibromyalgia, arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome and other chronic conditions
Decreases pain and muscle spasms
Reduces chronic stress and tension
Increases flexibility in joints, aiding in easier mobility and movement
Relieves pain and tension created by strained and contracted muscles