Almost all of us experience varying levels of stress in our everyday life and as we all know, stress is definitely not good for our health because it causes our muscles to bunch up and get tense which in turn causes severe pain. It reduces the endurance level of our body by making our body organs function under pressure and duress. Massage works towards alleviating this stress and pain and enhancing our overall health.
In the 1700s, Henrik Ling from Sweden developed the Swedish massage, which is particularly geared towards allowing the body to take in more oxygen and thereby, rejuvenating the body. It also focuses on fastening the process by which our body cells eliminate their waste products and thus, enhances the detoxification system. So far, the Swedish massage has been considered one of the best methods of a basic massage and is among the first few massage styles new masseurs are required to study.
Besides these and in fact more than these, the Swedish massage brings an immense sense of relaxation and satisfaction to its receiver. Six major techniques are used in proper administration of Swedish massage. These have been given below:
1. Effleurage: Effleurage is one of the regular techniques of every massage therapy and is particularly associated with Swedish massage. In effleurage, long, sweeping strokes are used to cover more than one part of the body. Although the client feels as if the masseuse is breaking down his muscles, the purpose is to actually connect different parts of the body.
2. Petrissage: Petrissage involves squeezing and kneading the body muscles. It does not focus on or target any particular body part, but includes the kneading process which allows for more penetrating and deeper massage effects on the body muscles.
3. Friction: Heat relaxes the muscles and friction, during the Swedish massage, is given to warm up a particular area. The massage therapist rubs her hands on the skin of the client vigorously using the friction technique. This is usually done by rubbing her own palms together and then putting them on the client’s skin to give heat.
4. Vibration: The masseuse uses a vibration technique to shake up that particular area of the client’s body that she is taking care of. Vibration is administered by the different parts of the hands such as the heel, the fingers or even the sides of the hands, which move backward and forward on the particular area of the client thereby, loosening the muscles.
5. Tapottement: The masseuse uses the tapottement technique to energize the particular area of the client’s body that is being treated. This is done by using hand sides to chop that area. Sometimes, the masseuse treats the area rhythmically by hitting it with fisted or cupped hands.
6. Traction: It involves pulling at the legs and arms of the person, and sometimes, the head as well. This process of pulling enables proper stretching of the client’s muscles. It is always performed at the end of the massage session, since for pulling, the muscles need to be relaxed or it can badly hurt.