Swedish massage, also known as classic massage, is one of the most common and well-known massage techniques.
Swedish massage is primarily aimed at promoting relaxation, reducing muscle tension, and improving overall well-being. It involves a combination of five basic strokes:
Effleurage: Long, gliding strokes with the palms, thumbs, or fingertips are used to warm up the muscles and prepare the body for deeper work. Effleurage helps to increase blood circulation and promote relaxation.
Petrissage: This technique involves kneading, rolling, and squeezing the muscles using the hands, knuckles, or fists. Petrissage helps to release muscle tension, improve circulation, and increase flexibility.
Friction: The therapist uses circular or transverse friction movements, applying deep pressure with the fingertips, thumbs, or palms. Friction is used to target specific areas of muscle tension or adhesions, helping to break them down and restore normal muscle function.
Tapotement: Also known as percussion, tapotement involves rhythmic tapping or pounding movements performed with the fingertips, sides of the hands, or cupped hands. Tapotement can stimulate the muscles, invigorate the body, and promote circulation.
Vibration: The therapist uses a shaking or vibrating motion, typically by gently shaking or oscillating their hands or fingertips against the body. Vibration helps to relax the muscles, release tension, and promote a sense of relaxation.
Swedish massage is generally performed on a massage table with the client undressed or partially undressed (covered with a sheet or towel) and with the use of massage oils or lotions to reduce friction on the skin.