A good massage can leave us feeling relaxed, stress-free, and ready to face what life has to throw at us. There are lots of different kinds of massage and each has its merits. They all use a range of techniques to increase blood flow and release tension in the muscles and the health benefits are well documented.
One of the most common types is Swedish massage which is offered at Cecily Medi Spa in Marlow. Here we take a closer look at the techniques used in Swedish massage as well as the benefits for the individual.
What is a Swedish Massage?
Swedish massage was first invented by Per Henrik Ling around the early 1800s. He was a fencing instructor who injured his elbow but managed to cure it by using a tapping motion with his fingers on the affected area. He later broadened this into different techniques for the whole body that finally became the Swedish massage that we know today.
Four main techniques will be used by a practitioner if you go for a massage:
- Effleurage: This involves long, smooth strokes using a gliding movement over the muscles. It is normally directed from one part of the body towards the heart. It’s designed to warm up the muscles and relax the body as well as improve blood circulation.
- Petrissage: This is more of a kneading technique and involves squeezing, rolling, and lifting the flesh gently. This also increases blood flow but is also thought to help drain the lymphatic system which helps control our immune response.
- Vibration: The flesh can also be vibrated using movements of the hand or fingertips and this is designed to help release tension in smaller muscle groups. It is often used in specific areas such as the face or along the spine. Included with this are various tapping techniques that can help tone the skin and muscles.
- Hacking: This uses a chopping motion that also helps tone muscles and improves blood flow to the skin.
Swedish massage is generally used in conjunction with aromatic oils that help create a sense of calm and eases movement over the skin and muscle. A Swedish massage can take anywhere up to an hour to complete and should be a relaxing, enjoyable, and restorative experience.
The Benefits of Swedish Massage
Because it improves blood flow and relaxes the muscles, a Swedish massage has several benefits. It’s a great option if you are suffering from muscle soreness after overdoing things with the exercise. The massage also helps drain toxins and gets fresh oxygen to the muscles, improving general health and well-being.
If you suffer from muscle stiffness, a regular Swedish massage can also gently help encourage a greater range of movement and flexibility. It’s not just good at relieving physical stress but mental stress as well – if you have a hectic life, there’s nothing better than a relaxing massage to help you feel at one with the world and recharge your batteries.
Not only does a Swedish massage relax you but it can also benefit your immune system and promote a better night’s sleep with all the benefits that come with that.