There are many types of massage therapy techniques that you can utilize depending on what type of massage your body might need. If you are interested in spending an hour or an hour and a half getting a massage say once a month, then the most common massage you will find is the Swedish massage. The Swedish massage is the most widely used and demanded massage technique in the United States. This is because it does not focus on one specific body part or use one specific method to bring your body to a neutral, relaxed state.
The Swedish massage therapy technique utilizes five different strokes in order to release tension in the muscles and allow good energy flow to circulate through the body. The methods most often used during a Swedish massage are efflourage, petrissage (or kneading), friction, stretching, tapping and even vibration.
Efflourage is a smooth gliding stroke with the fingertips or whole hand over the entire muscle or muscle group. This is a more gentle or passive technique used during this massage. Another passive or softer technique is stretching, where the massage therapist will gently stretch the muscles in a circular motion to relieve tension. The more active or direct methods are the kneading of muscles, vibration, or friction, where the massage therapist creates friction within the muscle in order to loosen a knot or kink within the muscle.
The goal of the Swedish massage is to not only relax and relieve tension within the muscles but also to release toxins and massage according to the flow of the blood cycling throughout the body from the heart. The Swedish massage is credited to Per Henrick Ling, but there are other doctors who attributed different techniques that are used in a Swedish massage. When you receive a Swedish massage, you will most likely be naked and covered with a sheet or thin blanket.