In this post, you’ll learn about the benefits of a Swedish massage.
Massages are one of the most ancient body soothing and comforting techniques.
A massage helps to relieve your body from tiredness, muscle aches, knots, and stress.
Swedish massage is one of the several types of massages. Let’s look into how it works and the benefits of a Swedish massage.
What is a Swedish massage?
Swedish massage is arguably the most common and sought after type of massage. It is simply popular as ’classic massage.’
The beauty of this massage is the relaxation it provides.
In Swedish massage, a therapist performs light, soft, and tapping strokes on your topmost layer of muscles.
How does Swedish Massage work?
Swedish massage is a combination of 4 types of styles of movement.
The first style of movement is effleurage, that involves light stroking. It helps to stimulate the circulatory system and improves the blood flow.
The second movement is petrissage. This is where the masseur kneads, wrings, and squeezes all over the skin.
It puts pressure on the underlying muscles and relieves strain from the muscles.
Linear friction is applied as well to target a specific area.
The final movement is rhythmic kneading or tapping on the muscles. This movement focuses on alleviating muscle tension and improving lymph drainage.
Swedish massage provides relaxation. This because gliding strokes happen on the body in the direction of blood returning to the heart.
What are the benefits of Swedish massage?
The benefits of Swedish massage are extensive. And that’s the reason why it is the most common type of massage.
Swedish massage provides relaxation and stress relief. It also boosts the immune system, and many mental and physical health benefits.
1. Helps you relax and destress
The primary goal of Swedish massage is to provide relaxation.
When we are stressed, our mood and state of mind changes. We don’t think clearly. And it could even lead to severe psychological problems like anxiety.
Our body kicks either into fight or flight mode when we experience stress. This releases hormones in large amounts.
Swedish massage helps in calming the nerves and alleviating stress from your mind and body.
It reduces the production of cortisol, which is a major stress hormone.
This makes Swedish massage very beneficial in lowering the responses of your mind and body to stress.
2. Improves posture and muscle flexibility
Swedish massage is generally provided by gliding strokes.
This, in turn, elongates the muscles and reduces muscle tension.
It adds flexibility to your muscles and joints. Because of flexibility, your muscles’ range of motion also increases.
If your posture is not balanced, then Swedish massage could help to improve it.
Overworked muscles are the most common causes of posture imbalance. And Swedish massage can ease the muscular holding.
3. Improves blood circulation
One of the biggest benefits of Swedish massage is it helps to improve blood circulation.
It helps to widen the blood vessels and stimulate your circulatory system.
Because of widened blood vessels, more fresh blood flows to your organs and muscles.
Better blood circulation means more nutrients supply. And muscles depend on these nutrients for growth and endurance.
4. Improves your overall mental health
It is one of the biggest benefits of a Swedish massage.
Serotonin and dopamine are two important hormones responsible for improving your mood.
Research shows that Swedish massage increases the levels of these hormones.
Increased levels of serotonin also help you fall quickly and experience better sleep.
Eventually, the massage recipient experiences better emotional well-being.
5. Ease lower back pain and other aches
Focused Swedish massage is very helpful in reducing back pain and other muscle aches.
Lower back pain is a growing concern for most people. Around 80 percent of adults have lower back pain at one point in their life.
Most of the activities in our day to day lives involve our lower back in some way.
From sitting, standing, jogging, lifting, and so on. Our backs, in general, support our bodies and provides stability to our core.
A comparative research study showed a significant impact of Swedish massage on people with lower back pain.
One group got a Swedish massage. The other groups used medication only.
Turns out that the group that had Swedish massage experienced significant pain relief.
Another study in the International Journal of Neuroscience found more evidence. Researchers enrolled 24 adults.
These adults had low back pain for at least six months. The participants received two 30 minutes of massage or relaxation each week for 5 weeks.
The findings showed that those who had a massage experienced less pain, depression, and anxiety.
But that’s not all. Also, they slept better and increased their serotonin and dopamine levels.
6. Boosts immune system
Boosting the immune system is one of the benefits of a Swedish massage.
Swedish massage is a great way to increase the production of white blood cells in your body.
White blood cells have a critical role in supporting our immune system.
Made in the bone marrow, white blood cells navigate through the body. It finds and fights alien invaders like viruses and bacteria.
This is a major combatant against many viruses.
With Swedish massage, the production of lymphocytes also strengthens your immune system.
Does Swedish massage have any side effects?
Swedish massage is a great way to provide relaxation. And reduce muscle tension from your body.
This is because it works on light and soft rubbing, kneading, and tapping. There are no significant side effects of a Swedish massage.
You can experience slight bruises or soreness after the massage. But you won’t experience any pain.
In rare cases, you can experience nausea. This is because toxins drain from the body during a Swedish massage.
Can Swedish massage provide stress relief?
The primary aim of a Swedish massage is relaxation and stress relief.
Many research studies show the positive effects of Swedish massage on reducing stress.
Swedish massage provides stress relief by reducing the levels of stress hormones.
An extended session of a Swedish massage between 1 and 2 hours can help lower your cortisol level. And it can also help release endorphins into your body.