One of the best options that we can use to eliminate stress, accumulated tensions, backaches and combat poor blood circulation, among other things, is to Swedish massage. It is the best known and used massage in the world that has as the main objective to balance the body naturally, to tone and relaxing it completely, besides favoring the improvement of the blood circulation. Do you want to know much more about what is Swedish massage? Keep reading this article, and you will discover what it is, what its benefits are and how a Swedish massage session is performed.
What is a Swedish massage?
The Swedish massage, created by the Swedish doctor Henrik Ling, is one of the oldest and most traditional massage techniques in the whole world that has its origins in the Chinese, Egyptian, Hindu and, especially, Greco-Roman civilizations. Nowadays, it is a modality that has served as the basis for most therapeutic massage techniques.
Well, Swedish massage consists precisely in the application of massage (smooth or sharp movements) throughout the body always following the opposite direction of blood circulation. The aim is to promote the patient’s physical and emotional health, focusing mainly on improving blood flow, cardiovascular activity and, consequently, heart functioning.
Benefits of Swedish Massage
As we have already advanced, Swedish massage is an excellent therapeutic technique for both physical and mental health, as it reports numerous benefits among which stand out:
• Improve and activate blood circulation.
• Provide deep muscle relaxation.
• Stimulate the tissues of the skin, enhance the appearance of this.
• Accelerate lymphatic flow.
• Reduce and alleviate certain muscular ailments result of contractures, tensions, and knots.
• Reduce the adipose tissue, favoring the firmness and elasticity of the skin.
Swedish massage can be an excellent option to treat contractures, sprains and muscular strains, problems of poor circulation, osteoarthritis, low back pain, as well as being an ideal complement to anti-cellulite treatments or sports indicated to strengthen and tone the musculature of the body.
How to make a Swedish massage
To perform a Swedish massage, the professional will indicate that you undress or stay in underwear and will cover you with a sheet leaving visible that area that will massage at that precise moment. They use oils or creams, which are heated beforehand with the hands, to avoid friction with the skin and to make the experience more pleasant.
Throughout the massage, different movements are combined that are always applied against the blood circulation.
The most characteristic movements of the Swedish massage are the following:
Effleurage: the hands slide with open hands and fingers slightly flexed on the skin in the direction of the heart. They serve to relax and soothe the body and warm the muscles.
Petrissage: movement similar to a kneading. Relax deeply and increase circulation.
Point pressure: the thumb is used to press those points where the patient feels discomfort due to stress and accumulated tension.
Deep friction: circular movements in which resistance is produced to squelch the anxiety.
Rollers: a particular area of the skin is gently pinched.
Tapotement: the area is hit with the palm of the hand, usually at the end of the massage.
Brushing with the fingers: the fingers are placed as if they were a comb and they glide exerting a gentle pressure with the tip of the same.
Swedish massage contraindications
To benefit to the maximum of the Swedish massage, it is advisable that you go to a specialized center and with experience in the sector. Also, you must take into account that this treatment is contraindicated in patients suffering from:
• Acute inflammation.
• Haemorrhagic or cancerous diseases.
• Skin and hair disorders.
• Injuries with open wounds.
• Vascular diseases.
• Problems in the heart.
• Internal ulcers.
• In the acute phase of rheumatic conditions.