Basic Swedish Massage

Swedish Massage1

Basic Swedish Massage is such a wonderful technique when you really think about it.  It is what is taught in basic massage school and is also what is used in most couples massage classes.  Swedish Massage is really a big part of the history of the massage therapy profession.  The term may also be used in spas or massage offices, but massage today has gone way beyond the basic Swedish Massage techniques.

Swedish Massage consists of 5 or so basic strokes or movements and varying depths of pressure for each strokes makes it widely used in various situations.

  •  Effluerage – Light and Deep
  • Pettrissage -Picking up, wringing, kneading, openC/closed C, alternating thubm, squeezing, lifting, skin rolling
  • Friction -compression, circular, cross fiber, heat rub
  • Taopotement- tapping, pincement, slapping, hacking, cupping, beating, pounding
  • Vibration – static or moving
  • Swedish Gymnastics – passive and active range  of motion and stretching

With a good working knowledge of Basic Swedish Massage, you can help relieve muscle tightness, work to relieve pain from muscle spasms, and much more.  If you understand the basic mechanics of posture, you can even help to relieve scoliosis, carpal tunnel syndrome and many other conditions that affect muscles and fascia.  It is just a matter of learning to apply it to various conditions and understanding how the condition affects the body.  It is a process of learning and testing what works and what doesn’t.

Contrary to popular belief – Swedish Massage was not created by Peter Per Ling in Sweden and in Sweden, there is no Swedish Massage!  This is cleared up by the late Robert Calvert, a historian for the massage profession, in his book “The History of Massage”.

Per Ling actually was involved in the Swedish Gymnastics movement therapies.

You can also read an except of the article at Massage Magazine.

Here is a chart that summarizes the basic Swedish Massage Strokes.

Learn more about the basic Massage Theory classes offered in Massage school.