Swedish massage is the most commonly used massage treatment in Europe today. It combines techniques of gentle effleurage to sooth and warm, deeper petrissage to relax muscles, tapotement to break down fatty tissues and improve the circulation and friction and vibration movements to treat spastic muscle, it is also a good starting point to determine areas of the body that need extra attention.
Swedish massage applies softer strokes on the bonier, more delicate parts of the body, and uses stronger strokes where muscle is thicker. This makes it a fantastic relaxation technique.
Besides the calming benefits, Swedish massage is good for:
- Easing muscular strain by flushing out toxins
- Improving circulation by increasing oxygen flow in the blood
- Helping to keep ligaments and tendons supple
- Stimulating the nervous system
- Reducing emotional and physical stress.
In addition, Swedish Massage can cause the release of endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers – into the brain and central nervous system. The release of muscular tension also helps to unblock and equalise the general flow of life energy in the body (known by different names in different cultures as vital force, bio-energy, c’hi, prana, ki, etc).
Henrik Ling is the inventor of Swedish Massage or at least the conduit through which it was brought to the world. Born in 1776 in Ljunga Sweden he grew up to become a medical gymnastic practitioner.
In the early 19th century, Sweden and the Swedish population was in lamentable shape. Sweden had transformed from a solid European power to a shadow of its former glory, having lost much of its original territory. Doctors who had a relatively progressive and modern grasp of Western medical science, and Ling who wasn’t a doctor or even educated in any field of science was a controversial character. His ambition was to do all that he could in order to craft Sweden into a strong and healthy nation in body, mind and spirit.
The Royal Gymnastic Central Institute was founded in 1813 in the great Swedish city of Stockholm. The Institute was the first place on the face of the Earth to concentrate entirely on training gymnastic instructors. Having a deep and positive faith in the healing and therapeutic effects of massage and training he attracted a number of physicians to his institute. Swedish massage proliferated fast and not just throughout Stockholm or Sweden but Europe and eventually the rest of the world.
Ling's thoughts manifest in his practices in turn had a massive effect on healthcare in the later half of the 1900’s. A famous quote from an American traveller written around 1901: "A true Swede believes that exercise cures all. If you visit a Swedish doctor in all probability he will prescribe an exercise program and send you to a massage facility rather than a visit to the pharmacy".
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Other articles you may be interested to read regarding the holistic massage treatments that we offer are as follows: