Swedish Massage is based on the Western concepts of anatomy and physiology as opposed to energy work that is more common in Asian-style massage. As the best-known type of bodywork performed in the massage industry today, one of the primary goals of the Swedish Massage technique is to relax the entire body.
Swedish Massage brings relaxation to the body by manipulating the muscles with soft, long, kneading strokes, as well as light, rhythmic, tapping strokes, on the topmost layers of muscles that follow the direction of blood that is returning to the heart. This is also combined with movement of the joints. These movements help to increase blood oxygen levels, rid the muscles of toxins and waste products and increase overall flexibility while reducing tension.
Swedish massage is best known for helping people relax as well as for repairing overworked or injured muscles. Scheduling for Swedish Massages regularly will help in enhancing your body’s circulatory system. This means that your muscles, tissues and the other parts of your body will get more oxygen delivered to them each day. Swedish Massage also stimulates your lymphatic system. This helps the body to rid itself of stored toxins and aids in strengthening your immune system. The removal of these toxins and metabolic wastes can shorten your recovery time after intense exercise.
Your nervous system also benefits from Swedish massage. Swedish Massage stimulates the sensory and proprioceptive nerve fibres of the skin and underlying tissues, and Swedish Message also passes along the afferent fibres to the spinal cord. Slowed breathing, reduced heart rate and increased abdominal/digestive sounds all suggest Swedish Massage may stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system - stimulating the Vagus nerve to slow down the heart rate and increasing peristalsis (Tritton, 1993). With the affects Swedish Massage has on your nervous system is why it is so closely associated with relaxation and pampering. In fact, regular massage is often recommended as part of an overall stress management program.