What Is a Swedish Massage?

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A Swedish massage is another name for a relaxation massage, which targets the superficial muscles through effleurage, petrissage and compression. Identify the different components of a Swedish massage with advice from an experienced massage therapist in this free video on massage.

Part of the Video Series: Massage Therapy
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Hi, I'm Sundae with Natural Sundae. Have you ever wondered what a Swedish massage is? Well I'm going to tell you. Now a Swedish massage is basically a relaxation massage. And the whole goal and the whole focus of a relaxation massage is...to relax of course. So what you're going to do is the basis is to relax the superficial muscles on the body and to release the superficial muscle tension and to increase relaxation. Now there are five basic techniques that are very basic and used in Swedish massage. Number one is effleurage and this is the French word for gliding. And in effleurage you want to do a nice, long uninterrupted strokes that are very, very slow and relaxing for the client. The second is a petrissage and this means a kneading. What you do is you usually bring your two hands together and you're going to lift up the tissue in between, it's called petrissage and that's also French for kneading. The third kind of technique is called friction, now friction is circular compression. You're compressing, you're pressing down on that muscle, but you're doing it in a circular motion. The fourth kind of technique is vibration and what this does is it wakes up the muscles and the tissue, you're going to be vibrating, you're going to take your hand and vibrate it on that tissue. It really wakes up and helps spread those muscle tissues apart. And then the fifth kind of technique used is called topotement and this is the type that you've probably seen on television and some TV show where some massage therapist is giving a massage and they're beating the person up and this is when the alternate hand movements are going back and forth and that's called topotement and that's the most invasive and the most I guess harsh movement you could say because it's used as a greater depth into the muscle and in alternate patterns as well. So those are five techniques used in Swedish massage, again Swedish massage is a relaxation massage whose goal is to relax the superficial muscles in the body and to increase circulation. I am Sundae with Natural Sundae.

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