Swedish massage is the most common and best-known type of massage in the West, and the foundation for sports massage, deep tissue massage, aromatherapy massage, and other popular Western-style massages.
Based on the Western concepts of anatomy and physiology—as opposed to energy work on "meridians" or “sen lines” that are the focus in Asian massage systems—therapists utilise this type of massage to stimulate circulation, flush the circulatory system, release tight muscles, restore range of motion, and to relieve pain.
If it's your first time at the spa or you don't get a massage often, a Swedish massage is a good fit for beginners. Most people get a 45- or 50-minute Swedish, but 75 or 90 minutes will give the therapist more time to work the muscle tissue and achieve results. A Swedish massage can be slow and gentle, or vigorous and bracing, depending on the therapist's personal style and what he or she is trying to achieve.
If you want deeper work and can tolerate more pressure to get relief from chronic muscle pain, it's better to ask for a deep tissue massage, from your Swedish massage therapis. If you have pain, it will likely take a series of massages to get results. Swedish massage and other types of therapeutic massage must only be performed by trained, licensed massage therapists.
The Benefits of getting a Swedish Massage
Even going to the massage therapist and getting a Swedish massage once will calm your nervous system and promote a sense of relaxation and well-being, reducing anxiety and tension in the body, which has been known to help relieve depression.
Swedish massages improve blood circulation, which helps you feel more energetic by increasing the flow of nutrient-rich oxygen to the muscles in your body. Additionally, it stimulates the lymphatic system, which carries the body's waste products, meaning you'll process the good and the bad much quicker.
If you're experiencing muscle cramps and spasms, a Swedish massage with a focus on your problem areas can help relieve this pain. Massage therapy can also help with managing the pain from conditions such as arthritis and sciatica.
Massage is not a good idea if you have a fever, infections, inflammation, osteoporosis, and other medical conditions—at least not without consulting your doctor first—and it's best not to get a massage if you are ill, like most other therapies.