Developed in Sweden in the mid 19th century by Per Henrik Ling, Swedish Massage is now the best known and most commonly offered type of massage in the UK.
1 Massage boosts your mood
You just feel better after a massage. If you’ve ever had a full body massage, you’ll know what I’m talking about! There is an explanation for this and it is all about hormones. A full body Swedish Massage increases the release of dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin. These hormones help to make you happy and optimistic. At the same time, the stress-causing hormone cortisol may be reduced. Yes, that “feel-good” factor comes from a better “hormone cocktail” at work in your body!
2 Massage helps relieve stress, anxiety and depression
Well, back to the hormone cortisol again – your body’s main stress hormone. It is nearly impossible to remove all stress from day-to-day life. Stress is both a physiological and psychological response to situations that the body and mind find overwhelming. By lowering cortisol and increasing serotonin, you’re boosting your body’s ability to combat feelings of sadness and anxiety.
The massage table is a safe and nurturing place, which can help you refocus and clarify. That hour-long massage allows physical rest and human contact. If you are suffering from stress, anxiety or depression, make sure you talk about this with your chosen massage provider – they will be able to develop a plan to best suit you.
3 Helps you to sleep better
Poor sleep has been linked to stress and anxiety, so it stands to reason that any treatment that can help reduce stress, may also help improve your sleep. More research is needed into whether there is a direct link between massage and sleep, though there is plenty of anecdotal evidence to suggest this is the case for many people.
4 Massage can be used as pain relief
During a massage, a trained massage therapist will apply long gliding strokes to relax your entire body. If you are suffering from pain, ensure that you talk to your chosen massage provider before embarking on any plan. Swedish massage can release muscle tension enabling blood to naturally cleanse, relieve and repair damaged tissues. For some people, relief can be experienced immediately, while others experience improvements in the days following a massage, as tissues recover.
5 Improves circulation and decreases blood pressure
This type of massage involves a variety of techniques such as kneading, vibration, tapping and rolling. Petrissage is a technique that consists of a deeper, kneading movement which compresses your soft tissues in a rhythmic manner. This helps to loosen and stretch your muscles and promote blood circulation.
Who will benefit from Swedish Massage?
Almost everyone can benefit in one way or another from Swedish Massage. In particular it can benefit people working at computers, long-haul drivers who are sitting the same position for long hours, athletes, people with pain due to chronic illness or those with pain due to injury.
Is Swedish Massage safe when you are pregnant?
Not only is Swedish Massage safe for pregnant women, it is actually recommended. It can help with many of the discomforts that are commonly experienced during pregnancy, such as aches, pains and circulation issues.
What alternative forms of massage should I consider?
Hot stone massage is great for people with muscle tension. The massage therapist places hot stones on your body.
Sports massage is similar to Swedish massage, but with more pressure – working into the deep tissue more. It tends to put focus on a specific part of the body and is often favoured by sports people.
Another well-known treatment is Thai Massage. This involves medium to hard pressure with some stretching – it is a yoga-style treatment. You could say that it is not as relaxing as Swedish massage and is more “harsh”.
Reflexology can be a good alternative to massage. This technique, which is applied to the feet, hands or ears, works to improve your glands and organs (whereas Swedish massage works with the structure of your body).
Massage Therapy Courses
At Omni Academy, we offer a variety of massage courses, including Swedish Massage. These can be taken individually or as a package. So, if you are interested in becoming a qualified massage therapist, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.