The expression 'Swedish massage' denotes an assortment of procedures that are particularly intended to unwind the muscles by means of affecting pressure on them against the muscles that are deeper inside and bones as well as stroking in the direction in which the blood is flowing to return to the heart. This particular method of massaging was developed by a Swedish physician� Per Henrik Ling way back in the 1700's. The primary objective of Swedish massages is to enhance the flow of oxygen in the bloodstream and, simultaneously, discharge the toxic substances from the muscles.
Swedish massage involves five basic techniques - long stroking, friction (applying circular pressures using the palms of hands, thumbs and/ or fingers), kneading, percussion (rapid striking or patting) and vibration (vacillating movements that vibrate the body). All these methods ought to be followed in the right sequence and at times, it is necessary to consider the objectives in general as well as the areas where the massage has to be carried out. In effect, there are basically three such regions - superficial level, intermediate level and the deepest level, which are discussed briefly below.
The superficial level: This level comprises of the epidermis as well as the superficial dermis including their tactile corpuscles, rich peripheral/ secondary blood supply and nerve endings. Light and continuous stroking, friction as well as vibration all get into this level.
The intermediate level: This level includes the middle and deep dermis as well as the subcutaneous cellular tissues. In effect, the intermediate level comprises the typical tissue location, including the cells, in an environment of flexible as well as collagen fibers. A good massage has the potential to have a significant influence on the density and texture of the area. Two techniques, friction and kneading have access to this level.
The deepest level: The particular level comprises a variety of muscular groups, veins, certain organs having hormonal functions that may be affected by reflex reactions and the nerve plexus (a complex arrangement of overlapping nerves). In addition to deep friction, percussion and static pressure, tough kneading, comprising kneading as well as squeezing actions, are appropriate for this area.
Although the main objective of the Swedish massage is to relax the muscles and help to get rid of the toxic substances from the muscles, this particular massage technology does not permit practitioner's to work on certain body parts, as these areas are alive with big superficial nerves. Performing a massage on these specific areas may result in irritation, occasionally with severe outcomes. The areas that need to be avoided while performing a Swedish massage include the armpit, the inner thigh, the back of the knee, the groin (femoral triangle) and the front of the elbow.
Stroking or effleurage is a massage technique of applying gliding strokes using the thumbs, palms and/ or finger tips. This is an easy and spontaneous method and something all of us do instinctively when any part of our body has been affected by trauma. The primary objective of stroking is to generate a common feeling of well-being.
Speaking from the technical view-point, friction is an action that is quite akin to stroking. However, friction significantly differs from stroking in its power as well as in the consequences produced by the action. Precisely speaking, friction in Swedish massage involves applying circular pressures using the palms of hands, thumbs and/ or the fingers.
In Swedish massage, kneading, also called petrissage, is considered to be the most complicated method and it works on the muscular masses, the connective tissues as well as the inner most dermis.
In Swedish massage, the vibration technique involves a movement on the skin that is passed on from one part of the primary muscular and plump body to another. This technique involves undulating actions that tremble or vibrate the body. In effect, vibration is a very exhausting procedure and one which is extremely difficult to implement or execute.