Swedish massage is said to be the massage of the most basic methods. Swedish massage works primarily with the muscles and connective tissues of the body to improve circulation and decrease tension in the body.
This type of massage decreases the recovery time from muscle strain by facilitating the elimination of lactic acid, uric acid, and other metabolic wastes from the tissues. The tendons and ligaments also remain flexible and smooth due to the stretching involved. Swedish acupressure will also stimulate the skin and nerves while simultaneously calming the nerves.
There are main techniques used in Swedish massage. These six techniques are effleurage, petrissage, friction, vibration, percussion, or tapotement and traction (passive and active movements).
Effleurage is the use of gliding movements with the palms, thumbs, or fingers. Effleurage can feel like the muscles are breaking down, however, the purpose of effleurage is to connect one part of the body to the others.
Petrissage consists of kneading with the hands, thumbs, or fingers. Petrissage does not focus on any specific part of the body, however, kneading allows for a deeper and more penetrating effect on the muscles.
Friction is a circular pressure with the palms of the hands, thumbs, or fingers. The heat produced during the friction technique relaxes the muscles and is used primarily to warm the area with the targeted muscles.
The objective of this technique is to energize the treated area and at the same time loosen and relax it. Traction involves pulling the client's arms and legs, and sometimes the head as well.