The Swedish massage is one of the most common types of massages in the world – for good reason. Swedish massage puts an emphasis on atmosphere, and when you think of a pampering day at the spa, the Swedish massage is the one most often imagined. It was developed by a professor of sports medicine as a method to heal the body by increasing blood flow. Today, a large emphasis is also put on the psychological and spiritual sides of this therapeutic massage. If you’ve always wanted to learn how to give a really good massage to your loved ones, you are hereby welcome to get to know the health benefits of the Swedish Massage as well as 6 different ways to do it yourself.
Five Health Benefits of Swedish Massage
1. Increasing blood flow
Using long movements and body taps and light slaps, the Swedish Massage helps broaden the blood vessels and increase the speed of blood flow towards the heart. Increasing the blood flow speed helps increase the supply of oxygen to the body’s muscles and in addition, helps the process of detoxification.
2. Rehabilitating damaged muscles
By using the massage’s movements various muscle injuries can be treated, such as the constriction and stickiness of the Fascia tissue – the tissue that is wrapped around the muscles. Many of those who undergo this massage often testify that this technique really helps calm their muscles, even after one single treatment.
3. Improving the flexibility of the body
The more relaxed your muscles are, the more their movement range. When you combine Swedish massage with daily stretches, you can really avoid the possibility of injuring yourself while you work out. So if you do so often, it’s highly recommended to get a Swedish massage every few weeks.
4. Decreasing stress
The relaxation that is created by the massage helps release not only the muscles but also the mind, especially when you take the longer massage times, such as an hour to an hour and a half. Swedish massage performed in a place that is relaxed decreases the level of the hormone cortisol in the body, which in turn decreases headaches, gives the body more energy and aids sleep.
5. Strengthening the immune system
Continuing from number 4, one of the most significant benefits of reducing stress and the levels of cortisol in the body is making the immune system stronger, meaning your body is more disease-resistant after the massage.
6 Techniques to Perform a Complete Swedish Massage
The Swedish massage is based on 6 basic principles, and here they are with photos to show you how to perform the techniques, one after another. Give each stage about 10-15 minutes to give the full experience.
Move the palms of your hands softly over the person’s body, from the 2 sides of the spine (not directly on it). This is recommended to be done while putting massage oil on the person’s body. Make sure your movements are as long as possible and don’t put any heavy pressure on. This is just the first part of the massage, and its goal is to put the person in a state of relaxation.
Use the entire hand and your fingers, go down from the shoulder blades to the lower back and come back up from the sides. Do this towards the shoulders and then towards the neck. Your weight should be on your legs and not directly on the hands. You can continue this with the other body parts.
2. Deep Massage
At this phase, you will push and roll your palm over the person’s muscles in a kneading motion. You will need to put a bit more pressure than before, but not too much, and move your hands more slowly. You can use the root of your hand or the fingers – whichever feels more comfortable.
Start from the lower back and from there go up with kneading motions. Once you get to the upper back, move your hand down and start again – try to focus on the same area in the back at least 3 times before moving to another area. Afterward, you can repeat the massage with both hands – one on top of the other – and using a bit more pressure this time.
At this phase, your goal is to warm up the tissues by rubbing. To do this, you must rub your hands together to make heat, and then do the same on the person’s body to warm up their muscles. Keep your fingers stuck to each other and move your hands in counter movements in parallel along the back, meaning when one hand moves towards the upper back, the other one moves towards the lower back.
4. Rhythmic Tapping
This technique is perhaps the most famous Swedish massage technique, with the tapping motion helping to release and relax the muscles and reinvigorate them. You can perform this phase in a number of ways – using just the fingers as they are pointing forwards, sticking together and made hard; using both sides of your hands with your fingers lightly loose; or using the sides of the hands with them stuck together and the ring finger, the little finger and the middle finger pointing forward.
At this phase, you will be directly pressing on the muscles with your thumbs in order to penetrate them deeply. You will need to do this for each area of the body until you feel it grow softer and warmer.
Now finish the massage with quick vibrating movements of the hands that will help release and warm the muscles. You should focus on one area at a time or move your hands along the entire body – as long as the person feels relaxed and released in the end.
One final bonus tip: It’s important to choose the right music to create a relaxed, pleasant and nice, just like a spa. If you want to pamper one of your loved ones, you can use the music we have added here below, which is just perfect for a good, relaxing massage.