The traditional swedish massage is done by hands and it affects your body through different types of touch and strength. Swedish massage mostly affects your body physiologically, yet you can feel the personal care during the massage, giving a boost to your good mood and improving your health.
The massage is done on bare skin throughout your body with cremes and oils or without them (requires you to be naked or to wear a bikini, the masseur will cover the non-treated parts).
The 5 steps of swedish massage:
Effleurage: These opening strokes of the massage are meant to calm your senses to prepare your mind, spirit and body to the relaxation. The fragrance of the essential oils - or cremes are also have this function as they can help you to calm your senses or to help refresh (it depends on what you expect from the massage: relaxation or refreshing). The caressing movements are mostly done with the palms, but also done with the fingertips.
Petrissage: These are stronger movements. This technique can be done by the palms, fingertips, thumbs and lower arms. These strokes (rubs) lifts, rolls or squeeze the flesh under or in between the two hands. There are many sub-techniques within petrissage, each meant to release the muscle tension, move the muscles and relax you progressively while it improves blood circulation and lymphatic drainage as well.
Deep Friction: This is the strongest step of swedish massage, it can also be called as kneading. This, alike petrissage, is done by the thumbs, the palms, the lower arms but also envolves the elbows too. The strokes are strong and intensive. There are also many sub-techniques within deep friction. In this phase the volume is on massaging the deeper muscles and to enhance the lymphatic drainage. Very comforting and also very relaxing technique.
Vibration: This tecnhique uses shaking - vibrating movements to relax your muscles after deep friction. Really calming and also very comforting, relaxing technique, done by the palm or the fingertips. It can be a stroking - vibration, or a point-by-point massage. Vibration is the most preffered part of the swedish massage and in this part, your spirit will be eased and your mood will improve, you'll start to feel better both physically and spiritually.
Tapotement: This technic envolves applying gentle and rythmic taps on your body. Tapping is done by fingertips, palms shaped as a cup or by with the side of the palms with loose wrists. Gentle technique (yet if you would like it, you can ask the therapist to progressively strengthen it, but you can also ask the therapist to skip it).
This phase tones the muscles, wakes your body and improves your energy to revitalize yourself.
After a good massage, you will be filled with energy, you'll feel great and your spirit will be raised. :)
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Massage Photo by Bronayur: Massage in Frankfurt