Per Heinrick Ling developed Swedish Massage in the early 1800's. He was a Swede who suffered from rheumatism. Ling was able to cure himself by this system of massage, which he himself perfected. His system for Swedish massage incorporated a variety of superficial strokes followed by rehabilitative gymnastic movements. Some strokes consist of specific kneading motions, which aid in the release of tension and toxins; some are designed to specifically help increase the circulation of blood and lymph back to the main body from the hands, arms, legs and feet, while others help to break up scar tissue.

Swedish Massage is normally an hour session. Once you are shown to the massage table your therapist will leave the room, allowing you time to undress and crawl between the sheets that have the massage table made up to look something like a narrow daybed. If needed, the massage table is heated to add to the comfort of your massage. Once you are snug under the cover your therapist will return to administer your massage.

Swedish Massage, as a general rule, treats the whole body excluding only the genitalia. Usually, the therapist will start on your back, then move to the legs and arms, saving the neck head and face for last. Effleurage - a smooth gliding stroke - is used often with the therapist's open palms. It is used to relax the tissue for deeper work and is particularly beneficial to the circulation of blood and lymph. Often followed by another stroke called Pettrisage, which kneads the tissue like dough to assist in removing toxins and bring fresh nutrition in with the improved deeper circulation. Friction is also used to assist in breaking up scar tissue. Lotions and oils are used which add healing benefits to your skin. Stretching is often used to close the session.

Swedish Massage is at the base of the majority of massage schools here in the United States. It is the doorway through which deeper forms of massage such as Deep Tissue and Neuromuscular work enter the bodywork arena. Swedish massage is very important to these different modalities because the strokes used in Swedish massage warm up the tissues preparing them for deeper work.

Today's Swedish massage is geared more towards relaxation than pain relief. If you possess little knowledge of massage and wish to learn more, Swedish is the perfect place to begin!