Swedish massage is the most widely performed and recognized style of massage in the Western world. If someone has never experienced massage, Swedish is a good place to start. Swedish uses gliding motions, usually with oil or lotion, to improve circulation, aid relaxation, decrease stress hormone levels, and release adhesions (commonly referred to as knots) among other benefits.
Because of the use of oils on skin, Swedish sessions are generally performed with the client undressed but fully covered by sheets. The therapist uncovers only the body part being worked on at the time. For example, if the therapist is massaging the arm, only the arm will be uncovered, while the entire rest of the body is covered and secure. When finished with a specific area, it will be recovered before moving on to a new part.
At Hands On Call Massage, the base session is 60 minutes, but longer sessions (90 minutes or two hours) give the therapist more time to focus on specific areas of tension. If you need more work in the neck, for example, during a shorter session the therapist may need to prioritize to ensure enough work in that area.
If deeper pressure is used, it is known as “deep tissue” massage, but is still a variant of Swedish massage addressing deeper layers of the body. It is important, especially when using deeper pressure, to communicate with your therapist. At any time during your massage you need more or less pressure, let your therapist know immediately. A massage should never cause true pain, and your therapist needs feedback as every person experiences pressure differently.
The outcome of the session depends on the wants and needs of the client, the communication between the two, the style of the therapist, and the anatomical differences between clients. It is important to drink plenty of water afterwards, as some toxins may be released from breaking up adhesions (“knots”) and cause headaches or nausea. Swedish massage is not a treatment of any injury or illness and cannot promise any specific effect, but has many benefits.
Swedish massage has a has a physical, tangible effect on the body. It mainly affects the circulatory system, with a near equal impact on the nervous system and the rest of the body’s systems. As such, certain medical conditions require medical release for booking of a deep tissue session, including but not limited to high blood pressure, heart disease, pregnancy, history of stroke or embolism, bone injuries, bruises, open wounds, contagious disease, etc. Please consult a physician if you are unsure if massage is right for you.
Swedish massage is a great way to relax, treat yourself, or improve your overall health. It feels great, too! Regular Swedish massage is a great addition to your self-care routine and finding a competent provider is the first step!
Benefits of Swedish Massage
- Improved/Increased Circulation
- Improved mobility
- Improved skin appearance
- Reduced stress hormones
- Improved digestion
- Aids in removal of toxins
- Relief of muscle adhesions/tension