Perhaps one of the most popular massage techniques in America is the Swedish Massage. However, not many people know what a Swedish Massage is or what makes it different from a deep tissue massage. This massage is most common and well-known because it is a more relaxing version of the deep tissue massage, and it is great for people who are new to massages and don’t want the discomfort that a deep tissue massage may cause.
Along with most other types of therapeutic massages, Swedish Massages are done by licensed and extensively trained massage therapists. While they vary in speed, pressure, and intensity, Swedish Massages generally have one goal: to be a relaxing and stress-relieving experience.
The average duration of a Swedish Massage Therapy is about an hour, though more or less time may be requested. Longer massage times give the therapist more time to work areas that need additional effort to loosen. These massages utilize oils to maximize the benefit of its many massage strokes. The motions the massage therapist makes during this session are done to warm up the muscles, break down knots, and release tension. They promote an incredible relaxation and are usually the ideal method of relaxation for most individuals.
Most people can get a Swedish massage, though you should tell your massage therapist if you have any medical conditions or injuries. It’s also good to let your therapist know if you want light or firm pressure. If you do not know your pressure preference (such as if it is your first Swedish massage) then your therapist can start light and get firmer upon your instruction.
The therapist typically starts by working on your back using massage techniques such as friction, stretching, tapping, and kneading. All of these different motions have different benefits for your muscles, and they work out a variety of knots that build up over time. These knots are known as myofascial trigger points. They are common and generally not hazardous to your health, but when they come they usually bring tension or soreness in the muscle on which they are located. Simply put, a knot is a muscle that is chronically ‘tense’ whether it is from movement repetition, stress, injury, overuse, etc.
A trained massage therapist helps your muscles to become relaxed rather than chronically tensed. Improper motions or abnormal movement during routine activities trains your muscles the wrong way and therefore creates these knots. A thorough massage ‘resets’ your muscle tension so to speak. To prevent muscle knots it is highly encouraged that you maintain good posture as advised by your massage therapist.