The goal of all Swedish massage is relaxation. When we relax, we release stress (which is the major source of most physical pain) from our minds and bodies. Discovering the benefits and learning how to give a simple and basic massage could lead you to uncover a new life of total relaxation and better over all well-being.
This is the type of massage most of us think about when we hear the word “massage”. It is the basic massage form used by nearly all professional massage therapists. It’s simple, yet effective strokes can easily be learned and applied by the common everyday person to massage family and friends in order to reduce stress or provide more relaxation.
Effleurage: with the palm of your hands with your fingers held together, slowly glide away from your torso with your wrists unflexed. These strokes may be performed with one or both hands. The forearms may also be used for some areas of the body. Slow long strokes should be used in a flowing manner along the body. Short alternating “pushing” strokes , where one hand chases the other may also be used.
Friction: small circular strokes or back and forth movements applied with the fingers and thumbs.
Muscle Stripping: short strokes applied in the direction of the muscle fibers.
Petrissage: knead, lift and squeeze the muscle tissues with the palms of your hands.
Spreading: an effleurage stroke by which you move your hands apart to stretch the skin and underlying muscles.
Compression: pressing down into the tissues and muscle fibers with your fingers, thumbs, and palms of your hand.
Wringing: “wringing” your hands in different directions along a body part as if you were “wringing out a towel”
Intuition should be used to determine the number of strokes or repetitions to be used while giving this massage. At least two or three repetitions of a particular stroke will be required to allow your client or partner to relax and to learn what to anticipate during the massage.