As the most popular form of massage in Canada, Swedish massage has become a top choice for patients looking to relieve stress and improve their physical health. It can be applied gently for relaxation or used to target areas of the body that could benefit from increased blood flow. Because of the popularity and benefits of Swedish massage, massage therapists can be found working in spas, health clinics, or perhaps in their own practice at home.
If you’re considering earning a college diploma in massage therapy, and starting your career in this rewarding field, read on to learn more about the history of Swedish massage, some of the techniques it employs, and a few of the benefits it provides to clients.
Swedish massage was invented in the 1830s by a Swedish physiologist and fencing instructor named Per Henrik Ling. It is believed that after an elbow injury, Ling helped himself recover by using percussion strokes around the affected area. This led to Ling developing the technique, until it eventually became what we currently know as Swedish massage.
Swedish massage was then introduced to North America by two American brothers, Dr. Charles and Dr. George Taylor in the 1850s. It has since gained widespread popularity, inspiring people all over the world to pursue massage therapy certification. Today, Swedish massage is considered to be the foundation of several other popular massage techniques such as sports massage, deep tissue massage, and aromatherapy massage.
When applying Swedish massage techniques, massage therapists use their hands, forearms, and elbows to manipulate surface muscle layers. Some movement of the joints might also be involved. Many of these techniques can be grouped into 5 basic strokes, which you’ll learn in massage therapy college. These include:
Since Swedish massage has been practiced in North America, numerous studies have been done in relation to both its mental and biological benefits. For example, studies show that Swedish massage is known for helping to treat sports injuries and is also considered an integral part of many pain management protocols. By using strokes that improve circulation, Swedish massage is also widely used to treat conditions like arthritis.
One of the main benefits of Swedish massage is the relaxing effect it provides. Many clients visit their massage therapist for a 30 to 60 minute session to unwind and de-stress. Swedish massage is also known to decrease fatigue and reduce symptoms associated with depression and anxiety.
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