What Is a Swedish Massage?

Swedish massage is a type of massage that uses pressure and strokes to help relieve tension and pain.

It has a soothing and relaxing effect on your muscles, and can help reduce anxiety and tension.

Key Facts:

  • Swedish Massage: Swedish massage is one of the most commonly offered and recognized types of massage therapy. It involves soft, long, kneading strokes, as well as light, rhythmic, tapping strokes on topmost layers of muscles.
  • Techniques Used: This type of massage generally incorporates five main techniques: effleurage (gliding strokes), petrissage (kneading and squeezing), tapotement (rhythmic tapping), friction (deep, circular rubbing), and vibration/shaking.
  • Purpose and Benefits: Swedish massage is primarily designed to relax the entire body by relieving muscle tension, improving circulation and flexibility, and reducing stress.
  • Level of Pressure: The therapist generally uses a lighter touch than other forms of massage, making it a good option for people sensitive to touch or new to massage therapy.
  • Duration: A typical Swedish massage lasts between 60 and 90 minutes, depending on the client’s needs and the therapist’s recommendation.

Unlike some forms of massage, it involves no oil, and often uses only towels and cloths for the massage.

It is sometimes called Swedish Bodywork, because it focuses on the body and muscle groups, and also tends to incorporate stretches that are useful for improving flexibility and mobility.

It is an ideal form of relaxation for people of all ages and can relieve muscle aches and pains, lower stress levels and improve the overall quality of your life.

In Swedish massage, pressure is applied directly to the skin using both hands and knuckles. The massage is usually directed toward the larger muscle groups.

Generally speaking, it’s a gentle type of massage that works best for people who want to relax and unwind.

Swedish Massage

What are The Strokes Used In A Swedish Massage?

The strokes used in a Swedish massage are deep and slow.

They are used to help relieve tension and pain in the body. The therapist will use both hands to apply pressure to different areas of the body, using light and gentle strokes.

This technique is often used to treat conditions such as neck pain, back pain, muscle aches and tension headaches.

What are The Therapeutic Properties of a Swedish Massage?

Swedish massage is known for its therapeutic properties. These properties include reducing stress and tension, improving circulation, and reducing muscle pain.

The Swedish massage is a popular massage style that employs light pressure and long strokes along the body. Swedish massage is known for its therapeutic properties, which include reducing stress and tension, improving circulation, and reducing muscle pain.

These properties make Swedish massage an ideal treatment for a variety of conditions, including stress relief, post-workout soreness, and tension headaches.

Who Is a Swedish Massage Best For?

A Swedish massage is best for those who have muscle tension or who are looking for relaxation. This type of massage uses long, flowing strokes to help the body relax.

So it really suits people who need relaxation. There are no ‘harsh’ kneading techniques involved, unlike a deep tissue massage.

A Swedish massage is the most common type of massage that people receive when they go to a spa.

Because it’s focused on relaxation, its great for people want a quick pick-me-up or people who want to relax after a busy day at work.

It’s also helpful if you have sore muscles after exercising – although some people prefer a deep tissue massage for that.

Overall, Swedish massages are great for people of all ages, although it’s not as good for pregnant women or people with a lot of arthritis.

What happens in a Swedish massage?

A Swedish massage is a type of massage that uses long, gliding strokes to help the body relax.

Swedish massages are usually performed on a padded table with the client lying down.

Swedish massage can be done on both the upper and lower body. However, the lower body is often massaged more often than the upper body.

It may also include a deeper massage that may stimulate the muscles of your feet, legs, back, shoulders, neck, arms, and head.

Oil is sometimes used as part of the massage – although some would argue this is not traditional, which includes almond oil, arnica oil, castor oil, eucalyptus oil, grape seed oil, peppermint oil or sesame oil

Swedish massage may also involve tapotement, which is a form of massage that involves tapping or striking the muscles with the hands or forearms.

Tapping therapy has become very popular these days. There are a lot of different ways to use this technique. In a Swedish massage, the therapist will place his/her hand or forearm on the affected area.

With his/her fingertips, he/she will press down and slowly move upward and downward over the muscle. This is known as tapping.

The main purpose of this treatment is to improve blood flow and lymphatic circulation. It can also be used as an effective pain reliever and to treat stress and tension.

Swedish Or Deep Tissue Massage, Which One Should I get?

Most people have heard of these kinds of massages, and so the question always comes up – which should I get?

Both can be beneficial, but it’s important to understand the difference between the two before you book an appointment (especially with deep tissue, that can be nasty surprise if you’re not expecting it!).

Swedish massages are more gentle and designed to relax the body.

Deep tissue massages are more intense and designed to release knots and tension in tight muscles. They use firm pressure and slow strokes to reach deep layers of muscle tissue.

If you’re not sure which type of massage is right for you, ask your massage therapist. They will be able to assess your needs and recommend the best type of massage for you.

Swedish massages are great if you’re looking for a relaxing experience, but if you’re looking for a therapeutic massage, then a deep tissue massage is what you want.

A Swedish massage is a light to medium pressure massage that focuses on the whole body. It generally involves the use of several types of massage techniques including effleurage, petrissage, and friction.

It is important to note that most Swedish massage practitioners will focus on the whole body, meaning they are focusing on the muscles and not on the connective tissues.

When it comes to deep tissue massage, they are looking to work on the deeper layers of muscle tissue.

So If you’re suffering from any of the following problems, then this is the kind of massage you probably need, as it helps with:

  • chronic pain, which is the number one cause of disability worldwide, and that’s true for both physical pain and emotional pain.
  • neck or back pain, shoulder pain, headaches, hip pain, knee pain, leg pain, ankle pain
  • muscle pain, particularly after exercise, overuse, or injury, which is a common problem.
  • frozen shoulder, which is a painful stiffness of the shoulder joint due to restricted movement of the shoulder blade.

They can provide relief from a range of common and not so common problems, by increasing blood flow to the area and stimulating nerves and muscles that promote healing and relaxation.

A deep tissue massage is often an ideal choice for those who need to recover quickly after an injury or surgery.

It should be noted though, that it can also work well as a preventative measure against injury.

Health Benefits of a Swedish Massage

Many people are unaware of the health benefits of Swedish massage.

Some people think that massage is only for relaxation, but Swedish massage helps to relax and calm the mind, body, and soul.

This type of massage is perfect for people with physical problems, pain, or stress. It can also be used to promote a healthy lifestyle, including weight loss.

The relaxing effects of Swedish massage are felt right away. When you receive the massage, you feel relaxed and comfortable.

You may even feel sleepy. The calming effect of Swedish massage helps to reduce anxiety, reduce stress, relieve tension, and prevent insomnia.

It’s also though that Swedish massage may have a number of other health benefits:

It can help relieve tension headaches, increase blood circulation, and reduce stress.

Massage may also reduce the formation of adhesion, knots, and tight muscles in the body.

Swedish Massage Terms Explained:

There are lot of unusual terms relating to Swedish massage – so here is a quiclk explanation of them:

What is Petrissage?

Petrissage is the process of creating an “edge” around your body. It is used to loosen tight muscles and help with muscle spasms.

The term comes from the French word meaning to pinch or to squeeze. In this case it is applied to the back and neck, where muscles can become particularly stiff and tight.

The basic premise of this type of massage is that, because of its focus on the smaller muscles in the back, it allows deeper muscle work and a deeper release.

What is Effleurage?

Effleurage is a French term that translates to ‘stroke lightly’.

It is performed on the surface of the body.

Effleurage is most often done in the direction of the heart, along the back, along the limbs, or along the spine. The strokes are soft, flowing and rhythmic.

Effleurage has been described as “like a gentle caress.” The strokes are used to relax the recipient, to relieve stress, or to stimulate circulation.

Effleurage is an excellent way to loosen tight muscles, especially those around the neck, back, and legs. It can help to improve blood circulation and lymphatic flow, which can enhance the health of the skin and other organs.

What Does Friction Mean In Swedish Massage?

The massage therapist will use their hands and body to rub your muscles in a circular, back and forth, or up and down motion.

This is known as friction in massage, and is used to help relieve tension.

This friction helps to loosen up the muscles and improve circulation.

There’s no need to worry, this type of friction is not too rough. In fact, most people actually find it very relaxing and soothing.

Can Anyone Perform A Swedish Massage Or Do You Need Training?

To be able to give a Swedish massage, you will need some basic training in Swedish massage techniques.

Without being trained, you run the risk of hurting the person you are massaging.

Especially considering how much of the massage is done on the back, which is easily damaged if you don’t know what you’re doing (and nobody wants that!).

If you’re going to get a massage, it’s a good idea to check if the spa you’re thinking of visiting offers Swedish massages and make sure the staff are suitably qualified.

Many spas offer Swedish massages as part of their service menu, so it’s important to check if the spa you’re thinking of visiting offers this type of massage before making your appointment.


We hope you found this article useful! Swedish massages are a great way to relieve tension and pain in the body. If you are looking for a relaxing massage, then a Swedish massage is the perfect option for you. Enjoy (but try not to fall asleep)!

Swedish Massage FAQ

What’s The Difference Between Swedish Massage And Deep Tissue Massage?

Swedish massage is a lighter form of massage that focuses on the pressure and stroking of the skin. Deep tissue massage, on the other hand, is a more vigorous form of massage that uses deep pressure and stretching to relieve tension in the body.

What’s The Difference Between Swedish And Relaxation Massage?

Relaxation massage is a type of massage that aims to relieve stress and tension. Swedish massage, on the other hand, is a more comprehensive form of massage that includes pressure and stroking of the skin.

Can A Swedish Massage Help With Sciatica? 

Yes, Swedish massage has been shown to be effective in helping relieve tension and pain in the lower back and neck, including sciatica.

Does Swedish Massage Keep You Healthy? 

It can be beneficial for overall health, due to its ability to relieve stress and tension.

Can Swedish Massage Help With Mental Stress? 

 Yes, Swedish massage has been shown to be helpful for relieving stress and anxiety. One reason is that is stimulates the body, making it release endorphins. 

Does Swedish Massage Improve Blood Circulation?

Yes, Swedish (and others types of) massage has been shown to improve blood circulation.

Does Swedish Massage Increase Your Flexibility? 

It really depends on the individual’s own body and physiology. However, some people do report feeling more flexible than before after a massage.

Does Swedish Massage Hurt? 

The short answer is Swedish massage does not hurt as much as other types of massage!

But, if you have a lot of pain in certain areas, a Swedish (or any other) massage may not be the best option for you.