What does a Swedish Massage therapist do?

When most people think of massage, it is Swedish massage that they are picturing. Swedish massage is based on Western principles of anatomy and physiology, not on the Eastern principles of energy meridians. Long the most popular massage form in most Western countries, it is characterized by long, gentle, relaxing strokes. These strokes are applied in the direction that blood goes in when it returns to the chambers of the heart. Swedish massage tends to focus on overall relaxation and sense of wellbeing, rather than on remediation of a particular injury or illness. It eases stress and increases oxygen flow while removing toxins from the muscles.

Techniques of Swedish Massage

Swedish massage usually happens in a traditional, calm massage studio in an environment designed to ease stress. It is performed with the client lying on a massage table. Lotion makes the strokes smoother and more effective. There are five types of strokes Swedish massage therapists use. They are gliding, kneading, cross fiber, vibration/shaking and rhythmic tapping. The goal is to break up muscle knots and adhesions.

Because Swedish massage is not as deep as other forms, it is ideal for people who want relief of tension or anxiety, or for those (such as some fibromyalgia patients) who are sensitive to pressure being applied. It is less likely to leave bruising on people who are prone to bruises.

Clients who come for Swedish massage will likely be naked or only wearing underwear, but draped under a sheet while lying face-up or face-down on a massage table. The massage starts with the back, then works down the back of each leg. Once they turn over, the front of their body is massaged, leaving the neck and shoulders for last. Clients who want deeper work on certain areas of the body, such as areas of tension or injury, will need to request this. Otherwise the Swedish massage is a full-body massage with equal attention paid to most areas.


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Calgary College of Holistic Health and Clinics Inc.
Location (s) : Calgary
Offers training for proficiency in Swedish massage. Swedish Massage, Lymph Drainage are some of the techniques followed here. Specialization in Sports Massage, Chair/Seated Massage. Training program covers topics in Hydrotherapy, Anatomy & Physiology, Contraindications, Hygiene, Medical Ethics, Practitioner Self-Care.
Programs/Degrees :
Swedish Relaxation Massage Certificate Program
Alberta Massage Training
Location (s) : Grand Prairie
Offers training for diploma in massage therapy. Deep Tissue Massage, Assisted Stretching are some of the techniques followed here. Specialization in Orthopedic Assessment, Orthopedic Massage. Training program covers topics in Health Care Industry, Documentation.
Programs/Degrees :
Swedish Relaxation Massage Certificate Program
Massage Therapy Diploma Program