Swedish Massage is the most common form of massage. It is designed to relax by stroking, compressing and kneading muscles against the deeper muscles and bones, and manipulating them in the same direction as the blood flow.
Massage increases circulation, and stretches and relaxes the muscles, ligaments and tendons. It is helpful in shortening the recovery time from muscular strain. It also provides excellent benefits to the circulatory and lymph systems by flushing the tissues of metabolic wastes such as lactic and uric acids. Oils, lotions or powder are usually used in combination with massage.
Massage and the healing power of touch is a very ancient concept, and has been around as long as mankind itself. The very act of rubbing a sore or painful muscle is instinctive. The word ‘massage’ is believed to be derived from the Arabic word ‘mass’, meaning to press. The Chinese had a system of massage at least 5000 years ago, as did the Hindus, Japanese and the ancient Egyptians. The Romans began using massage as a medical treatment nearly 2000 years ago.
The modern concept of Swedish Massage has been attributed to Dr. Henrik Ling (1776-1839), a Swede who in the early 1800’s developed and pioneered a specific massage and exercise routine based on his research into physiology.