Swedish Massage Therapy

Swedish massage is a very common type of massage that you may find at various spas and massage franchises. It is the basic type of massage that is learned in massage school. Swedish Massage is composed of 4 different hand movements or strokes and use the French terms – effleurage (stroking), petrissage (kneading), frictions ( just like it sounds) and tapotement (quick hacking movements)

Sources will often incorrectly site that the ‘Father’ or creator of Swedish massage was a Swedish guy named Peter Henry Ling (1776-1837). Per Ling created something called Swedish Gymnastic Movements in 1813.

Emil Kleen and Richard Hael were two physcians who researched the origins of massage and site Johan Georg Mezger (1838-1909) as the person who systemized the Swedish Massage of today.

In about the second half of the 19th century, Lings Swedish Movement system somehow got combined with Swedish Massage. (Pages from History on Massage Magazine, by Robert Calvert author of the History of Massage)

Swedish massage did not originate in Sweden, nor was it created by a Swede. Also, in Sweden there is no “Swedish massage”; instead, massage is referred to almost universally as “classic massage.” And in most of Europe the term classic massage is much more prevalent than Swedish massage. But in America, the term classic massage is used very little, while Swedish massage is considered the classic and most basic of all massage methods.