If you’ve ever gone looking for massage therapy, you’ve probably been offered a variety of options. One of the most common massage therapy options available is the Swedish Massage, at least in the United States. Not only is it the most common option, but it’s the basis of most massage therapy techniques that you’ll find! No matter where you go in the United States, from Los Angeles to Nashville, you’ll find massage therapy clinics that are specialized in the Swedish massage technique and are ready and willing to offer that massage style to any client who feels the need for one.
A Swedish massage is a massage that involves the use of five different strokes; kneading, tapping, friction, vibration, and long, gliding strokes. Because it involves these strokes, it’s considered a basic technique that many massage therapists will use to build other, more complex techniques. This is due to the various ways you can affect the muscles thanks to these strokes. For example, you can use the long, gliding strokes to apply massage oil and creams, or the friction strokes to warm the muscles and convince the connective tissues to release and relax.
It doesn’t end there, however. You may be familiar with “tapping”, the massage stroke that involves beating rapidly on the thicker part of the muscle. Some massage therapists enjoy finishing up a massage with this technique, because it’s a good way to release any lasting tension that the muscles are still holding. If your massage therapist does this, however, you should feel comfortable telling them if they’re drumming on your bones instead of your muscles. That can be an unpleasant experience, and it’s not supposed to feel uncomfortable. So if you do find yourself feeling uncomfortable due to that, bring it up to your massage therapist.
It may seem that a Swedish massage is not a specific massage technique, and in a way that’s correct. There is no one, single “Swedish massage”. Rather, it’s simply a massage that utilizes a variety of strokes in a way that’s appropriate for the therapist and for the client. A skilled massage therapist is capable of feeling out what their client needs, and mixing up the various strokes as necessary. Not every stroke will be necessary for every client. It depends highly on where the client is tense, and how the client’s muscles respond to the various strokes.
At the end of the day, a massage therapist is skilled in knowing precisely how to relax and loosen a person’s muscles. Yet like all skills, a massage therapist will rely on certain basic, tried and true techniques. This is all a Swedish massage really is. It’s a collection of tried and true techniques, allowing a massage therapist to have a variety of ways to approach their client’s massage. It could almost be offered as a “basic massage”, but there’s no reason to make it sound so plain. After all, who doesn’t feel a bit more fancy ordering a Swedish massage?