Massage Modalities

Swedish Therapeutic Massage

Swedish is one of the most versatile and widely accepted forms of massage therapy in the world today.

A Swedish massage focuses on promoting relaxation and circulation with long, flowing strokes primarily in the direction of the heart.  Some deeper work is achieved during Swedish massages by working general to specific, then back to general, which flushes toxins from the tissues. 

Swedish massage techniques incorporate passive and active joint movements as well as lengthening and stretching, combining to affect the range of motion of joints through changes in the soft tissue.  

Components in the application of Swedish massage techniques include:

  • the direction of the movement
  • the amount of pressure of the movements
  • the rate and rhythm of the movements
  • the frequency and duration of treatment
  • the client's positioning. 

The use of this form of manual therapy has evolved and provided a foundation for many more therapies to emerge.  

History of Swedish Massage

Though the art of massage dates back to 2000 B.C., Swedish Therapeutic Massage began its development in the 19th century and became more acknowledged in the scientific community later into the 1800's.  Originally it was developed by Per Henrik Ling who began incorporating movement and exercise; applying the knowledge of circulation along with massage strokes proved to be an incredibly effective form of physical rehabilitation.  He combined many techniques where the movement along with the massage therapy were considered integral and created one coherent system of manual therapy.  

Dr. Johann Mezger helped to bridge the gap between the scientific community by presenting it as a form of medical treatment and utilized language that helped communication between physicians and early 'massage therapists'. 

Through these and others' dedication and research, modern day massage therapists are grateful for the development, acceptance and accreditation of the profession.