Originially developed in 1868 by Dutch doctor Johann Georg Mezger, Swedish massage can be considered the foundation of Western massage techniques. While in medical school, Dr. Mezger experimented with using the "French friction" technique on patients with minor orthopedic injuries. It was the combination of his clinical experience as a student coupled with his academic interests which would serve as the therapeutic basis for Swedish Massage.
The five techniques of Swedish Massage are: Effleurage - long, gliding strokes, Petrissage - kneading of the muscles, Friction - firm, circular rubbing motions, Tapotement - tapping or percussive movements, and Vibration - shaking particular muscles. Your therapist will use some combination of these techniques, perhaps along with some gentle stretching, to address your body's needs. The pressure can be light to quite deep, depending on your preferences and needs.
Swedish massage is the massage to select when you are feeling generally sore, stressed out, fatigued, or worn down as it can help improve the following:
- stress and anxiety
- tight, achy muscles/exercise related muscle soreness
- poor circulation
- chronic pain/fibromyalgia/CFS