Swedish (or classic) massage addresses a broad range of concerns as it relaxes the entire body with five basic strokes:
Effleurage – long light strokes in a slow-motion that increase blood circulation to the heart, stimulating the lymphatic system, decreasing stress and reducing tension.
Petrissage – kneading and squeezing of the muscles that alleviate muscle spasms, improve blood circulation and break up adhesions.
Friction – deep rubbing in the problematic areas in order to create friction. Although initial discomfort may present itself, it is short-lived as the technique is used to break up adhesions or scar tissue. Friction also allows for healthy tissue generation and aids healing by realigning tendon fibers in the body.
Percussion – alternating soft taps to the body with the use of cupped hands or fingertips, usually towards the end of the massage to encourage invigoration and revitalization.
Vibration – fine trembling movements applied using the palm of that hand or fingertips on the tissues of the body to improve nerve function and muscle relaxation.
It is the most commonly requested massage for relaxation and stress alleviation. Swedish massage is highly recommended for someone who would like to try massage for the first time or for those who do not have any chronic aches and pains but need to unwind and de-stress.