These massage techniques are intended to soothe tired and stiff muscles, ease tension, and encourage healthy blood circulation all over the body for the effective delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the limbs and organs.
Oftentimes, massage therapists will perform gentler and slower movements over areas of the body – such as the shoulder blades, or bonier sections of the arms and legs – that are delicate or less muscular. In addition, they will perform more intense movements over thicker areas of muscle in the body, such as the quad or hamstring muscles. This variation in pressure decreases the chance of bruising and makes Swedish massage a pleasurable, rather than painful, experience in general.
Many feel apprehensive about Swedish massage because the client must undress for the session. Normally, recipients of a Swedish massage undress completely and are given a pair of disposable underwear to wear during the session. However, the therapist will never completely bare the recipient during the massage. Rather, they follow a step-by-step procedure of folding and unfolding towels to expose and isolate areas of the body that they are going to focus on. As a result, the experience is not uncomfortable and overly intimate for the recipient, and the therapist can do their best work with respectful access to their client’s body.
The benefits of Swedish massage are numerous. This technique is used to relieve muscle pain and tension in a natural way by improving circulation, and releasing tight and sore areas of the muscle. Swedish massage can also boost flexibility as it allows tight and ‘short’ muscles to be safely stretched and mobilised. In addition, Swedish massage, as is the case with many other traditions of massage, is a wonderful tool for stress release and, as a result of easing stress, is also linked to improving immune systems.