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Swedish Massage For Relaxation

Swedish Massage is the most commonly known and practised form of massage. It is called Swedish after a Swede, Per Ling who incorporated this type of massage as part of his system of health care. Ling is considered the “father’ of of modern Western massage.


One of the main benefits of Swedish Massage is relaxation. This is achieved by the production of calming hormones.

Other benefits include:-

  • lowering of blood pressure
  • increase in circulation
  • release of tension in tight muscles
  • improved lymph flow

Swedish massage is an ideal massage if you want to chill out or relax. Beauty salons typically provide this type ofmassage.


Massage therapists use the following techniques in a Swedish massage –

  • effleurage
  • petrisagge
  • friction
  • tapotement


 is the most frequently used stroke . Effleurage is the sliding or gliding of the hands over the skin in a smooth, continuous movement. Oil is used to reduce friction between the giver’s hand and the receiver’s body.

Efleurage can be light or firm. It is used to:-

  • apply oil to the body
  • to accustom the receiver to the touch of the giver
  • to warm up the muscles for deeper techniques
  • to bring about the relaxation response


,as the word suggests, is a rubbing movement over the skin. Friction can be given by the fingers, thumb, knuckles or heel of the palm. It is used as a warming stroke to create heat and stimulate the skin. Friction can be light or deep.


 is a kneading movement. Think about a child playing with play dough, or someone kneading bread. Petrissage involves lifting, wringing or squeezing the muscles.


 is a series of quick, hitting motions following each other in a rapid, alternating fashion. Tapotement has a stimulating effect and you will find it a pleasure to receive. It is often used when finishing part of the body, or the massage session itself.

Tapotement includes:-

  • Cupping -performed with the hands slightly cupped
  • Hacking – which uses the edges of the hands
  • Pummelling – performed with the fists lightly clenched. Pummelling (along with effleurage) is commonly depicted in movies, when the hero/villian receives a massage from either a fit young man or attractive lady.
  • Vibration- is a trembling or quivering movement performed quickly and repeatedly, using either the finger tips or whole hand.


It is important to remember that every massage therapist will have her/his own variation of Swedish massage. For you to get the most out of your massage the therapist should also adapt the massage to you own personal needs and wants. Do not be hesitant to give feedback to your therapist.

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