What is a Swedish Massage - and what's 'Swedish' about it?
Swedish massage is so-called because it was introduced at the University of Stockholm in the late 18th century, by a physiologist named Pehr Henrik Ling. Ling used his knowledge of anatomy and physiology as a basis for his therapeutic massage methods rather than the popular energy producing massages widely accepted in Europe and Asia at the time. This method is the foundation for many other forms of modern massage therapies including deep tissue, sports massage and aromatherapy. So effectively we can say that Ling is the 'godfather' of all other forms of massage we understand today!
Because Swedish massage is based upon a comprehensive understanding of human anatomy and physiology it should only be performed by trained and licensed massage therapists. Depending on the needs and medical condition of the individual, a Swedish massage will be performed with slow and gentle movements, or vigorous and bracing ones. The choice of treatment is based upon the needs of the individual and dependent on the desired results and individual preferences.
A licensed massage therapist will establish a full health history, asking about recent injuries or other medical conditions that may affect the results of the session. They will take into consideration things such as: any pain you may be experiencing; any allergies you could possibly have to massage products; and other important medical conditions (for example diabetes) when developing the best program for you.
Does it Work?
After taking feedback from clients and patients over a five year period, the answer has been a resounding 'YES' - and it feels good too...
Individual results will vary, but Swedish massage is highly effective in creating and maintaining a healthy and balanced lifestyle and can greatly increase your physical, mental and emotional well-being by significantly decreasing stress. Setting aside some 'me time' for one hour to have a massage allows you a quiet space with time to forget about the hassles of the day and recharge your batteries. When performed on a more frequent and regular basis, Swedish massage can also be a highly effective component of an overall treatment plain for injuries or other minor medical conditions.
Benefits may include:
- calming of the central nervous system,
- relaxation and stress reduction,
- significant reduction of tension and anxiety,
- improved blood circulation,
- stimulation of the lymphatic (waste) system,
- reduction of muscles cramp and spasms due to sports or other injuries,
- increased energy and positivity,
- improved mental health and overall well being.
A safe Pain Management Technique
One of the most effective ways that Swedish massage can help is through effective pain management. The problem with many medical conditions is the excessive use of pain medications that interact negatively with medications used to treat disease. These interactions cause dangerous side effects and as a result, many individuals have no alternative but to seek alternative ways to control pain. Pain medication can also be highly addictive and this has severe consequences.
However please also be aware that massage is not recommended when you have a fever, infection, inflammation, osteoporosis and other similar types of medical conditions. It is suggested that you wait until your fever or infection has completely subsided before you continue with your massage program. In the case of osteoporosis, massage is not recommended at any time because bones are simply too brittle and could break.
How often should you schedule a Swedish Massage?
The actual number of appointments depends upon the benefits you feel. I once heard a practitioner tell a client to come back in a month: the client decided to return one week later as the benefits they felt were so outstanding that they just had to return for more!
Like any other health program, proper diet and exercise along with routinely scheduled massages are essential and will exponentially increase the chances for achieving desired results. Swedish massage can be a good entry point for creating change in your life, and as a component in a regular exercise, nutrition, health and lifestyle plan - which we can provide.