Why is Swedish Massage the most Popular Form?

Ask anyone and they will all likely agree that there is nothing like an occasional massage when you really need it. Regardless of your preference—smooth and light or deep and rough—getting a massage can be a very important part of your health regimen.  It can help you to relax muscles that are tired, sore, knotted, cramped, or otherwise weary from a busy week of rushing around from work and running errands.  Massage can also help you to relieve emotional stress and even improve immune response and mental acuity.

Now, there are many different types of massage, and they have all been developed in different parts of the world over the course of ancient and modern history.  For example, in the West, the most common type of massage is probably Swedish massage, which is slightly more modern than other techniques.  Swedish massage is popular because it is medium intensity and is designed to be both relaxing and invigorating.

852741A Brief History of Swedish Massage

The Euo-spa massage quebec Swedish massage that many people know and love today was developed by Per Henrik Ling. Also known as Peter Henrik, Ling focused much of his life’s work on developing a series of gymnastic movements that could help alleviate various types of chronic physical pain.  A sufferer of chronic pain, himself, he developed a tool—a set of “movements”—which earned him the nickname “the Father of Massage,” just after the turn of the 19th century.

A Quick Look at Swedish Massage

These “movements” Ling developed came only after he analyzed human anatomy and physiology to determine a different viewpoint of muscles and energy that people had known according to Asian traditions (which observed energy meridians).

Swedish massage involves between 50 and 90 minutes of “bodywork.” The duration—and the type of work—depends on the needs of the patient.  The practitioner uses four sets of strokes to break up knots and other tensions in the body to promote relaxation and overall better health.

The Strokes of Swedish Massage

Essentially there are four basic strokes in Swedish massage.

  • Effleurage—primary stroke consisting of long and gliding movements with the open hands and forearm; intended to smooth the skin and spread lotion/oil to prepare the muscle for deeper work
  • Petrissage—after warming up the muscles, this secondary stroke consists of kneading or rolling movements; intended to free up the deeper tension and, more importantly, to stimulate nerve endings, increase circulation, and promote cell regeneration and repair
  • Friction—this warming stroke quickly generates heat to prepare the muscles for deeper therapy, as needed
  • Tapotement—percussive, rhythmic strokes help to stimulate the muscles and nerves to further improve circulation.

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