Getting a swedish massage for the first time

Skin organ system is the biggest system in our body. Our skin protects us from harsh environmental hazards and eliminates toxins created inside the body; thus, it is very important to keep our skin and the surrounding tissues (muscles, tendons, and ligaments) healthy and free of blockage. Massage helps to release the blockages, keep the skin healthy and the muscles relaxed.

What is a Swedish massage?

Swedish massage is a Western type of massage which focuses on physiology rather than on energy (Eastern type massage). Swedish massage was developed by a Swedish physiologist and a gymnast, Per Henrik Ling (1776-1839), who cured himself from rheumatism. He developed a massage combination that was based on physiology and gymnastic movements.

During Swedish massage, a therapist usually treats the whole body. She manipulates the skin and other soft tissues (muscles, tendons, and ligaments) to alleviate pain and release tension. It is usually done by applying different kinds of strokes, kneading, and fast rhythmic movements.

How is it done?

1. Swedish massage is usually done on a nude body, covered with towels. A therapist only uncovers the body part that she is working on.
2. A therapist applies oil on the skin to prevent pulling.
3. Massage starts with Effleurage – soothing strokes done in the beginning to get the blood and lymph flowing, to relax the muscles and to prepare the body for deeper strokes.
4. Then follows Kneading – pleasant deeper strokes to invigorate the “fleshy” muscles (calves, thighs, buttocks, and waist).
5. Followed by Friction – pressing thumbs deeper into the muscle tissue to release the tension and stretch the muscle.
6. Then follows Vibration – “digging” into the muscle and vibrating vigorously to release further tension.
7. Then Cupping – throbbing with a cupped hand to stimulate blood flow and strengthen muscles.
8. Hacking – further throbbing, but with the ridge of the hand to help muscle release the toxins.
9. Finally Stroking – soft strokes to relax and soothe the muscle.
10. Sometimes passive movements are also practiced to release the tension and gently stretch tendons, ligaments, and joints. To do passive movements, a therapist gently lifts a relaxed part of the body and moves it around in the natural range of motion.
Note: Do not be afraid to discuss and resolve any concerns with your therapist before starting a treatment.

Note: Drink a glass of water before and after the treatment to help the body rid of toxins.

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