Swedish Massage Therapy
Surprisingly enough, the name “Swedish massage” is not actually known in Sweden; there it is referred to as “classic massage”.
Typically Swedish massage involves five styles of long, sinuous strokes to massage. The five basic strokes are effleurage (sliding), petrissage (kneading), tapotement (rhythmic drumming), friction (cross fiber) and vibration.
Swedish massage has exhibited to be effective in pain reduction, joint stiffness, and improving function in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee more than eight weeks’ period. It has also been of help in conditions of poor circulation.
Common Techniques used in a Swedish Massage
Traditional Swedish Massage is rooted in five basic strokes, and a range of variations, to attain optimum of the desired healing. Following are some commonly used techniques:
It involves long, sliding rubs from the neck area down through the base of the spine or from the shoulder all the way down to the fingertips. When dispensed over limbs, all strokes are directed toward the heart to facilitate blood and lymphatic flow. It is accomplished with the full hand palm or the thumb pads. Effleurage is intended to familiarize the therapist with the subject’s body.
It entails lightly picking up muscles apart from the bones, then undulating and compressing them, once more with a little weight. It usually features kneading and compression moves — rolling, clutching, or pressing the muscles to promote deeper circulation. Petrissage aims at increasing blood circulation with a toxic excretion from muscle and nerve tissue.
Friction is the most incisive of all the strokes used in a Swedish massage. It consists of deep transverse movements of the practitioner’s thumb pads or fingertips. The therapist works out deep, circular movement around joints and other bony zones, such as across the length of the spine. Friction rips the adhesions beneath. Adhesions are knot like structures formed when muscle fibers intertwine over the course of healing thereby playing a part in the formation of flexible muscles and joints.
It comprises a succession of rapidly applied percussive acts, with the hands interchangeably to tap the muscles for a stimulating effect. There are numerous adaptations on this stroke. It may be exercised with the hand edge, tips of the fingers, or with a clasped fist. Tapotement is meant to discharge tension and stiffness from muscles in spasm.
Vibration or Shaking
Vibration features the practitioner pressing his or her hands over the subject body, and briskly shaking for some time. It enhances circulation and augments the power of the muscles to contract. Vibration is specifically vital for people victimized by low-back pain.
Filed Under: Body & Skin Care