What is a Swedish massage and what are its benefits?

Swedish massage is also known as “classical massage” which lasts for 30 to 120 minutes. This technique is one of the most popular forms of massage therapy in Western countries compared to the regular massage. It is performed to help you relax and energize the body, involving different massage techniques and gentle strokes. It may also help after an injury and improve health in general. This massage also uses lotion and oil to protect the skin from friction. The Swedish massage also involves actions like kneading, vibration, percussion, rolling and tapping movements that targets the uppermost layer of muscles and aim to relieve muscle tension.  

A masseuse – a trained person that practices massage – manipulates the body’s soft tissues, such as the tendons, muscles, ligaments and blood vessels. Swedish massage uses strokes that flow toward the heart, improving blood circulation that is also beneficial to your heart. 

In addition to the positive health effects mentioned, getting a Swedish massage also has the following benefits:

  • Massages have been proven to improve your mood by producing hormones that stabilize your mood, helping you feel positive and happy, such as dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin. A Swedish massage could also reduce the production of cortisol which is a stress-causing hormone.
  • Massage is an excellent help in relaxing your muscles and joints. Swedish massage also improves your range of motion, increasing your stretching capability and improving flexibility.
  • Swedish massage helps to stimulate nerves located in different parts of the body and helps to manage pain and discomfort by applying pressure and manipulating the muscles and joints.
  • Adhesions and knots can be painful; Swedish massage warms up the muscles, breaks down the binding spots, and relieves the tension at the said knots and adhesions. If you are experiencing severe cases of adhesions, consider getting this type of massage.

A Swedish massage includes the following variety of massage techniques to provide healing:

Effleurage. Effleurage is performed at the beginning of the massage as a warm-up, and at the end to soothe the joints and muscles. This technique involves gentle circular or gliding motions. The masseuse applies different pressure levels on other body parts to loosen tensions, adhesions and knots. There are three classes of Effleurage, (feather stroking, superficial effleurage, and deeper effleurage), each based on the amount of pressure that the masseuse uses. The degree of force applied depends on the needs of the person receiving the Swedish massage.

masseur massaging a woman

Petrissage – This technique consists of a firmer kneading movement. The petrissage helps to stretch and loosen joints and muscles to promote blood circulation. The most common way of conducting this technique includes motions like kneading, wringing, rolling, and lifting. Performing petrissage takes the most time in a Swedish massage, and it’s best for people with injured muscles because it provides many therapeutic benefits, as stated above.

Tapotement – As the word “tapotement” means tapping or drumming, the masseuse uses a rhythmic tapping to stimulate better blood flow across the body. This technique involves movements like slapping, cupping, hammering, tapping and hacking. Tapotement helps the production of endorphins, which helps the body relax.

Friction – This technique involves rubbing or creating friction on the massage areas using thumbs or fingers. The masseuse may apply pressure in a linear or circular rhythm by rubbing the sore part of the body in order to soften and realign muscles. This technique works best on joints.  

Vibration – The vibration technique includes a rhythmic shaking of the massage area. By doing this technique, the body loosens up and relaxes. The masseuse may use their palms to shake your skin and muscles on other body parts. They may use their fingers if the massage area is small or sensitive, like your face. Vibrations work best for soothing nerves in regions or areas with large scars or knots.


There are a lot of types of massage that individuals could choose from after a long and exhausting day to soothe and relax their muscles. But also, to some who have acquired injury, massage therapy could be of great help. Swedish massage has various benefits that could cater the needs of each individual, varying from relaxation to injury therapy. This type of massage also has different techniques depending on the person’s needs. Swedish massage is not only helpful for people dealing with health conditions but it is also recommended to physically fit and healthy individuals. This massage helps you boost your emotions and feel better afterwards.