Massage is one of the most popular treatments to have on a spa break because of the variety of options available and the powerful relaxation benefits. Swedish Massage is particularly popular because it’s versatile and can be adapted to the individual. It’s a term to describe a series of techniques that focus on muscle relaxation but that also have a powerful impact on mental wellbeing as well.
What is a Swedish Massage?
A Swedish Massage is a type of massage that can be applied to the full body or just to the back, neck and shoulders, depending on the treatment you have asked for. It involves the manipulation of soft tissues and is characterised by long, flowing strokes, as well as kneading, tapping, and other rhythmic techniques. This is distinct from other massages, like deep tissue massage, where much more pressure is applied. All the massage strokes relate to the bodies circulatory and lymphatic systems.
Types of Swedish Massage
Massage in general was developed many thousands of years ago. It can be referenced historically in many cultures including Japanese, Chinese, Greek, Roman and ancient Egyptian. The original movements of Swedish Massage include five variations: effleurage, petrissage, tapotement, friction, and vibration. These have remained the same over time.
- Effleurage: This is a smooth, flowing stroke, usually going toward the direction of the heart to stimulate blood flow.
- Petrissage: This is where therapists use kneading strokes to have a deeper effect on soft tissue.
- Tapotement: This involves stimulating techniques like tapping and drumming, to increase circulation and tone.
- Friction: This usually involves using the ball of the thumb to press on the tissue and a penetrate deep tissues.
- Vibration: Here, therapists use up and down movements using the palm of the hand or the fingertips to improve nerve function and muscle relaxation.
What are the benefits of Swedish Massage?
Massage is both mentally and physically relaxing. The therapeutic touches make us feel good, relieving the stress and tension associated with everyday living, leaving a feeling of well-being and increased energy levels. Swedish Massage is known to be good for encouraging circulation and softening the connective tissues. The goal is all about relieving muscle tension. Benefits include but are not limited to:
- Relieving muscle tension
- Alleviating fatigue
- Instilling deep relaxation
- Supporting circulation
What happens during a Swedish Massage?
The process for having a Swedish Massage is much like any other massage.
- You will begin by having a consultation with your therapist to talk about any particular areas of focus.
- The therapist will then leave the room and you will then be given time to lay down on the treatment bed under a towel or blanket, and settle before the treatment begins.
- The therapist will then return and uncover the part of the body that they are going to work on first.
- They will apply an oil or cream and begin massaging with movements to warm the muscles and then relax them.
- They will then work across the body until the treatment is finished.
- At the end of your treatment, the therapist will let you know they have finished and will leave the room to let you come round and get dressed/put your robe back on. They will most likely also offer you a glass of water as it’s important to stay hydrated.
- After your treatment you may be invited to spend time in the relaxation lounge with water or a herbal tea to continue enjoying the benefits of the treatment.
- Choose this if you want to…
Relax your mind and muscles. Swedish massage is very flexible and the movements can be adapted to be relaxing, stimulating, invigorating or sedating. This treatment could be recommended to almost everyone, it can even help with weight reduction.
Average price of Swedish Massage
Depending on the length of your massage, any additional elements that different spas may add and where you have it, the price can range from £40 upwards.
Swedish Massage aftercare
For up to 24 hours post-treatment it’s recommended that you rest, take it easy with no strenuous exercise, drink plenty of fluids, avoid alcohol and heavy meals and also avoid further heat treatments.
What should I wear to a Swedish Massage?
Like any other massage, for a Swedish Massage you can choose to wear swimwear or your underwear for the treatment itself. As the treatment includes your back, women will likely be asked to remove bikini tops or bras for the massage, but you will remain covered with a towel. You can wear your clothes to arrive at the treatment room, although if you’re on a spa day or break, it’s a nice idea to arrive in your robe and slippers so you can put them back on afterwards and avoid getting oils on your clothing. It also keeps the relaxation factor going! We suggest taking two swimsuits on a spa day, one to wear in the pool and wet facilities, and another to wear during treatments so you are most comfortable.