Swedish therapy is one of most common massage therapies, which involves soft, kneading strokes, with light rhythmic tapping strokes, on the muscles' topmost layers. It is combined with the movement of joints. This therapy is both energizing and relaxing as it relieves muscle tension.
The four common strokes of Swedish therapy massage are as follows:
- Effleurage – it consists of smooth gliding strokes, which is used to relax soft tissues.
- Petrissage – it is the squeezing, rolling, and kneading that follows effleurage.
- Friction consists of deep, circular movement that causes layers of tissues to glide against each other, increasing the blood flow and breaking down the scar tissue.
- Tapotement – in this stroke, a short alternating tap is done with cupped fingers of hands or by the hand's edge.
In this massage, the application of systematic manual pressure and soft tissue movement is applied with flowing pressure and stroking to obtain and maintain the health. Studies have shown that when Swedish massage therapy is applied, it has proven to be beneficial, which included improvement in nasal breathing and cleanliness in children and reduced lower back pain in an individual. But this massage should be done carefully and by a professional so that no harm is caused.