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There are many different types of massage therapy techniques. A massage therapist may use a variety of techniques or concentrate on one or two. One of the more popular techniques is the Swedish massage.


A Brief Explanation of Swedish Massage

Swedish massage is a type of massage that uses long, smooth strokes, kneading, and tapping to increase circulation and relax the muscles. This is the most common type of massage and is often used to relax the body before or after a physical examination or athletic event. Swedish massage includes four basic strokes: effleurage (gliding), petrissage (kneading), tapotement (rhythmic tapping), and frictions (cross-fibre or deep tissue work).

Effleurage Strokes

Effleurage strokes are used to relax soft tissue and are usually the first strokes applied during a Swedish massage. These rhythmic, continuous, flowing strokes help to increase the level of oxygen in the blood and release toxins from the muscles.

Petrissage Strokes

Petrissage strokes are used to break down knots and relieve tension in the muscle.

Tapotement Strokes

Tapotement strokes stimulate circulation and can be used to break up adhesions (bands of painful, rigid tissue) in the muscles.

Friction Strokes

Frictions are used to work deep into the muscle to relieve knots and tension.

The Many Health Benefits of Swedish Massage

Man with headache


Ease Tension Headaches

Swedish massage is a type of massage that uses long, flowing strokes to target the muscles and connective tissues in the body. This type of massage is often used to relieve tension headaches as it can help to relax and loosen tight muscles. Swedish massage may also help to increase blood flow and reduce inflammation, both of which can help to reduce the pain and discomfort associated with tension headaches. If you are suffering from tension headaches, consider seeking out a Swedish massage from a qualified massage therapist.

Increase Flexibility

Swedish massage can also help increase flexibility as Swedish massage increases blood flow and loosens muscles. When muscles are loose, they can move more easily, which, in turn, can improve range of motion and flexibility. Swedish massage can also help reduce pain and inflammation in muscles and joints. This can help you move better and feel less pain. Swedish massage is a great way to increase flexibility and reduce pain.

Reduce Muscle Soreness

Swedish massage is a popular choice for people who are looking to reduce muscle soreness. This type of massage uses long, smooth strokes to help relax the muscles and improve circulation. Muscle soreness is reduced with this massage technique by targeting the lactic acid that builds up in your muscles after exercise. This type of massage is typically done using light to medium pressure.

Improve Blood Circulation

Swedish massage is a type of massage that uses gentle strokes to improve blood circulation. This can be especially beneficial for people who have poor circulation or are recovering from an injury. Blood circulation improves through this technique by delivering more oxygen to the cells and tissues, which helps to speed up the healing process. Improving blood circulation throughout the body can benefit a person’s overall health and well-being.

A Mood Booster

Swedish massage is a popular choice for people who are looking for a way to improve their mood. The long, flowing strokes of Swedish massage can help to increase levels of serotonin, the body’s natural mood-enhancing chemical. Increasing serotonin levels help to improve mood and reduce stress. Swedish massage is a great way to relax, rejuvenate, and improve your mood.

Nerve Stimulation

Swedish massage is a technique used to stimulate the nerves. Swedish Massage has been shown to be effective in stimulating nerves. This is done by increasing the blood flow to the muscles and by providing a soothing environment for the nerves.

Reduce Muscle Toxins

Swedish massage is also known to help reduce muscle toxins. Toxins can build up in the muscles and cause them to feel tight and sore. Massaging the muscles can help to break down these toxins and relieve the pain and stiffness they can cause. Swedish massage can also help to improve circulation and increase oxygen flow to the muscles, which can further help to reduce muscle toxins.

Reduce Joint Stiffness

Joint stiffness can be debilitating. However, Swedish massage techniques can help to reduce this stiffness, improving your quality of life. As we age, joint stiffness tends to increase. Sports injuries, both past and present, add to the likelihood of joint stiffness. Experiencing a massage where the therapist incorporates Swedish massage techniques can help to reduce the stiffness in your joints.

Reducing PainMassage heals sign


Swedish massage is often used to reduce stress and anxiety, as well as to help with pain relief. Swedish massage can be used to reduce both acute and chronic pain, including headaches, muscle aches, back pain, and more.

Promote Lymph Drainage

Swedish massage can help to increase lymph drainage. Swedish massage uses gentle and slow strokes over the lymph nodes and lymphatic system, which helps to encourage the movement of lymph fluid. This movement can be beneficial for people who are suffering from conditions such as lymphedema, as it can help to reduce swelling. Swedish massage can also help to boost the immune system and helps to increase the flow of lymphocytes around the body. Increasing lymphocytes helps to keep the body healthy and free from infection.

Improve Function in People with Osteoarthritis

Swedish massage therapy can improve function in patients with osteoarthritis. This particular massage therapy technique improves muscular function by promoting circulation and helping to loosen muscles. Osteoarthritis can be a debilitating condition and with Swedish Massage it might be possible to ease some of the chronic pain and help to restore muscle function and range of motion.

Help to Lower Blood pressure

Swedish massages can help to lower blood pressure and increase blood flow by working on the muscles and tissues to release tension. This can help to improve circulation and reduce stress levels, and in turn, improve high blood pressure. A Swedish massage is a gentle form of massage that uses long strokes, kneading, and circular movements to relax the body. It is a safe and effective way to reduce blood pressure, and it can be used on people of all ages. Swedish massage is usually done with the person lying on a massage table, but it can also be done while sitting in a chair or standing. The therapist will use gentle pressure and flowing strokes to work on the person’s muscles and tissues. Swedish massage is a relaxing and therapeutic way to lower blood pressure and improve circulation. It can be done on people of all ages, and it is safe for most people. If you have high blood pressure, Swedish massage can be a great way to help reduce your blood pressure and improve your overall health.

 The Risks Associated with Swedish Massage

Massage risks

In most cases Swedish massage is a gentle massage therapy technique. However, there are a few situations where Swedish massage is not recommended. Swedish massage is not recommended for people who are pregnant, have blood clots, are taking blood thinners, have heart conditions, or are photosensitive. Swedish massage is also not recommended if you have open wounds or rashes. If you have any of these conditions, it is best to consult with your doctor before your massage. People who have cancer should only receive Swedish massage with the permission of their oncologist and a doctor’s note. Swedish massage can sometimes be too stimulating for people who are very ill or have recently undergone surgery. It is important to let your massage therapist know if you have any of these conditions.

Is Swedish Massage Right for You?

Swedish massage is a popular choice for people looking for a relaxing and rejuvenating massage experience. Swedish massage uses long, smooth strokes to work the muscles and promote relaxation. It is often used as a full-body massage, but can also be focused on specific areas of the body. Swedish massage is generally considered safe for most people. However, there are some people who should not receive Swedish massage. If you have any health concerns, it is always best to consult with your doctor before booking a Swedish massage. Swedish massage is a great way to relax and rejuvenate, but it’s not right for everyone. Be sure to consult with your therapist before booking a Swedish massage to ensure that it is safe for you.

Additional Resources

Web MD article on what is Swedish massage.

Healthline discusses the difference between Swedish massage vs. deep tissue massage.

About the Author

Clarissa Hildebrand RMT is a registered massage therapist. Clarissa is a massage therapist at Bergin Motion in Barrie, Ontario. Clarissa works with clients with a wide variety of conditions. As part of the team at Bergin Motion she works in conjunction with physiotherapists, occupational therapists and athletic therapists. Clarissa has expertise with sports-related injuries, acquired brain injuries as well as a variety of other conditions. Bergin Motion is dedicated to helping our clients to recover from injury and get back to doing what they love.

About Bergin Motion

Barrie Ontario Physiotherapy

Bergin Motion is a Barrie Physiotherapy Clinic. Bergin Motion offers physiotherapy in Barrie to clients with a wide range of conditions.

The clinic in Barrie specializes in orthopedic, neurological, and pelvic health disciplines.

Bergin Motion treats clients both at their clinic and in the comfort of their own home if they cannot travel to the clinic.

Located in the south end of Barrie, Ontario, the physio clinic boasts 9000 sq. ft., with seven treatment rooms and a fully equipped gym.