The term "Swedish massage" refers to a variety of techniques
specifically designed to relax muscles by applying pressure to them
against deeper muscles and bones, and rubbing in the same direction
as the flow of blood returning to the heart. The main purpose of
Swedish massage is to increase the oxygen flow in the blood and
release toxins from the muscles.
- shortens recovery time from muscular strain by flushing the
tissues of lactic acid, uric acid, and other metabolic wastes;
- increases circulation without increasing heart load;
- stretches the ligaments and tendons keeping them supple and
- stimulates the skin and nervous system and soothes the nerves
themselves at the same time;
- reduces stress, both emotional and physical, and is suggested
in a regular program for stress management; and carries out many
specific medical uses.
Swedish massage techniques include:
- Effleurage: gliding strokes with the palms, thumbs and/or
- Petrissage: kneading movements with the hands, thumbs and/or
- Friction: circular pressures with the palms of hands, thumbs
- Vibration: oscillatory movements that shake or vibrate the
- Percussion: brisk hacking or tapping; and
- Passive and active movements: bending and stretching.