Swedish is the western standard in massage therapy – and one of the most popular. Using longstanding and influential techniques, Swedish massage is proven to optimise circulation, release toxins and address tendon, ligament and joint problems. Long, gliding strokes are combined with kneading and various classic pressure applications to relax the entire body. The steady pressure of a Swedish massage has many associated benefits including an increased range of motion, pain relief and long-term tension release.
How is it different from other massage?
Swedish massage is renowned for both its relaxing and energising effects. Targeting the upper muscle layers, Swedish is aimed at relieving muscle tension across the body – rather than focusing on a specific area. The famous long and kneading strokes are combined with joint movement and a rhythmic, tapping motion to increase blood flow, reduce toxins in the muscle tissue and create a body-wide sense of welling. While other massage therapies target existing injury, regular Swedish massage can help to prevent injury occurring. Regular treatments, in tandem with your exercise regimen, can both minimise the risk of muscle strain and decrease recovery time by flushing lactic acid and metabolic waste from your system. Like all massage treatments, this works best when performed on a regular basis.
What happens on the day?
Prior to treatment your therapist will ask about your general health, the type and intensity of your exercise and what you are hoping to gain from the massage. Once it’s confirmed a Swedish is best suited to your needs – as opposed to a more targeted deep tissue or remedial – the treatment will begin. The room and massage table will be warm and initial strokes and movements will be aimed at muscle warming and relaxation. Neutral massage oils will be introduced and your therapist will move through some of the following classic strokes: Effleurage is a gliding movement designed to relax soft tissue, Petrissage is the typical Swedish kneading or rolling motion, Friction is a firm, circular movement which encourages blood flow and targets scar tissue – and Tapotement is the well-known ‘tapping,’ either with the sides of the hands or fingers.
What are the benefits?
Swedish massage is usually chosen for its relaxing properties – but it can have more specific benefits. Athletes or very active people can use Swedish to help them perform at their peak potential, as well as improve their recovery time post exercise. Therapeutically, Swedish can be useful in reducing very high stress levels, anxiety, chronic pain and persistent
muscle tension. Additional benefits include improvements in skin health and a general sense of both physical and emotional wellbeing.
As a complementary therapy, Swedish massage can help people cope with serious illnesses like cancer, fibromyalgia, and heart disease – although a doctor must be consulted prior to commencing treatment.
Pre and Post Treatment
As with any massage treatment, being as relaxed as possible on the day will increase the benefits. Keeping well-hydrated, both before and after, will optimise the detoxifying effects of the treatment.
What are the benefits of Swedish Massage?
Swedish massage is a popular form of massage therapy that involves the use of long, flowing strokes, kneading, friction, and other techniques to help promote relaxation and reduce muscle tension. Some potential benefits of Swedish massage include:
Stress relief: Swedish massage can help promote relaxation and reduce stress by releasing tension in the muscles and promoting a sense of calm and well-being.
Pain relief: Swedish massage can help reduce muscle soreness and stiffness, as well as alleviate pain associated with conditions such as fibromyalgia and arthritis.
Improved circulation: The long, flowing strokes used in Swedish massage can help improve circulation and increase oxygen and nutrient delivery to the muscles.
Increased range of motion: Swedish massage can help improve flexibility and range of motion by releasing tension in the muscles and improving joint mobility.
Improved immune system function: Some studies suggest that Swedish massage may help boost immune system function by increasing the activity of white blood cells.
What’s the difference between Swedish massage and Deep Tissue Massage?
Swedish massage and deep tissue massage are two different types of massage therapy with distinct techniques and goals.
Swedish massage is a gentle form of massage that uses long, flowing strokes, kneading, and other techniques to help promote relaxation and reduce muscle tension. The therapist typically uses light to moderate pressure and works on the superficial layers of the muscles.
Deep tissue massage, on the other hand, is a more intense form of massage that targets the deeper layers of muscle tissue and fascia. The therapist uses slow, deep strokes, kneading, and other techniques to release chronic tension and knots in the muscles. The pressure can range from moderate to very deep, depending on the individual’s needs and preferences.
While both Swedish massage and deep tissue massage can help reduce muscle tension and promote relaxation, deep tissue massage is generally more effective for individuals with chronic pain or injury, as it targets deeper layers of muscle tissue. However, it can also be more uncomfortable or even painful during the session compared to Swedish massage.
It’s important to communicate with your Santi massage therapist about your needs and preferences to determine which type of massage is best for you at Santi London. They can also adjust their pressure and techniques during the session to ensure your comfort and safety.
What happens in a Swedish full body massage?
During a Swedish full body massage, a skilled massage therapist will use a combination of techniques to relax the entire body. The session typically takes place in a tranquil and comfortable environment, allowing you to unwind and experience deep relaxation.
Santi’s massage therapist will begin by using long, gliding strokes known as effleurage to warm up the muscles and promote circulation. They will then utilize kneading and tapping techniques, such as petrissage and tapotement, to release muscle tension and promote relaxation.
Our therapist may also incorporate techniques like friction and vibration to further enhance the massage experience. She will pay special attention to areas of tension or discomfort and adjust the pressure according to your preferences.
Throughout the massage, you may be asked to lie on a massage table either face up or face down, depending on the therapist’s approach and the areas being worked on. The therapist will ensure your comfort and modesty by using draping techniques to cover and expose only the areas being massaged.
What do you wear for a full body Swedish massage?
For a full body Swedish massage, it is common to undress completely or leave your underwear on. However, the level of undressing is entirely up to your comfort level. The massage therapist will ensure your privacy and only expose the areas being massaged at any given time. They will use draping techniques to cover the rest of your body.
It’s important to communicate with your massage therapist about your level of undressing preference before the session begins. They will respect your boundaries and create a safe and comfortable environment for you.
Do you wear clothes for a Swedish massage?
Typically, clients undress to their comfort level for a Swedish massage. Most people choose to undress completely or leave their underwear on. However, it is entirely up to your personal preference. The therapist will work with you to ensure you feel comfortable and secure throughout the session.
If you prefer to keep your clothes on, you can discuss this with your massage therapist. They can modify the massage techniques to accommodate your preference while still providing the benefits of a Swedish massage.
What are Swedish massages good for?
Swedish massages offer a wide range of benefits for both physical and mental well-being. Some of the key benefits include:
Relaxation and stress relief: Swedish massage techniques help to promote deep relaxation, reduce stress, and calm the nervous system.
Muscle tension relief: The massage techniques, such as kneading and tapping, help to release muscle tension and improve flexibility.
Improved blood circulation: The long, gliding strokes of Swedish massage promote better blood circulation, delivering oxygen and nutrients to the muscles and aiding in toxin removal.
Pain management: Swedish massage can help alleviate chronic pain, such as lower back pain or neck and shoulder tension.
Increased joint mobility: The massage techniques used in Swedish massage help to improve joint mobility and flexibility.
Enhanced mood and well-being: Swedish massage has been found to increase the release of endorphins, promoting a sense of well-being and improving mood.
What to avoid after a Swedish massage?
After a Swedish massage, it’s important to take care of your body to maximize the benefits of the treatment. Here are a few things to avoid:
Strenuous physical activity: Give your body time to rest and recover after the massage. Avoid engaging in intense workouts or physically demanding activities immediately following the session.
Caffeine and alcohol: These substances can dehydrate the body and counteract the relaxation effects of the massage. It’s best to limit your consumption of caffeine and alcohol after the session.
Heavy meals: Avoid consuming large, heavy meals immediately after the massage, as it can make you feel uncomfortable and sluggish. Opt for light, nourishing meals instead.
Stressful situations: Try to minimize exposure to stressful situations or environments after the massage. Give yourself time to relax and enjoy the calm state of mind achieved during the session.
What not to do during a massage?
During a massage, it’s important to communicate with your therapist and follow their guidance. Here are some general things to avoid during a Swedish massage:
Holding your breath: Remember to breathe deeply and relax during the massage. Holding your breath can increase tension and hinder the effectiveness of the massage.
Tensing your muscles: Try to consciously relax your muscles as the therapist works on them. Tensing your muscles can make it more difficult for the therapist to release tension and provide relief.
Withholding information: Inform your therapist about any specific areas of concern, injuries, or medical conditions you have. Open communication ensures that the massage can be tailored to your needs and avoids any potential harm.
Engaging in excessive conversation: While it’s important to communicate your preferences and provide feedback to the therapist, try to avoid excessive conversation during the massage. The goal is to create a peaceful and relaxing environment.
By following these guidelines and communicating with your massage therapist, you can have a safe, enjoyable, and effective Swedish massage experience.