What is Swedish Massage Therapy?
Swedish massage therapy is what comes to mind when most people think about massage. As the most mainstream type of massage performed today, one of the primary goals of the Swedish massage technique is to relax the entire body. It’s accomplished by rubbing the muscles with long strokes in the same direction as the blood flows returning to the heart. But Swedish massage therapy goes beyond just simple relaxation. Swedish massage is exceptionally beneficial for increasing the level of oxygen in the blood, decreasing toxins in the muscles, and improving circulation and flexibility, all while easing the body’s tension.
The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine did a study that was published by The New York Times which discovered that the participants who received a 45-minute Swedish massage experienced significant decreases in levels of the stress hormone cortisol, as well as arginine vasopressin; a hormone that can lead to increased cortisol. Participants also had increases in the number of lymphocytes (white blood cells that are part of the immune system) and a boost in the immune cells that may help fight colds and the flu.
Swedish Massage Techniques
Additional Swedish massage techniques include circular pressure applied by the hands and palms, firm kneading, percussion-like tapping, and bending and stretching. Communication is encouraged before your massage session so that your massage is customized to your specific needs.