What is Relaxing / Relaxation Massage?
Relaxation massage is all about relaxing. It focuses on giving the client time to recover from the stresses of daily life. When you experience relaxation massage, you can expect a treatment that involves:
- Long smooth gliding strokes that are rhythmic and flowing
- The pressure is deeply relaxing, but not painful
- A treatment that is designed to soothe and relax you, not to relieve chronic pain or other underlying ailments
- A therapist who also takes the massage environment into account – look for soothing music, warm luxurious towels, and occasionally the use of essential oils to enhance both the environment and the effects of the massage
The Benefits of a Relaxing Massage
As with any kind of massage, the benefits of a relaxation massage can last for several days after your treatment. Relaxation massage – like other forms of massage – can offer the following benefits:
- Lowering blood pressure – at least for a while
- Improvements to peripheral circulation
- Improvements to skin tone and appearance
- Improvements to gastrointestinal motility (bowel movements will become more regular)
- Some reduction in muscle tension including the relief of muscle tension headaches
- Improvements to any stress-related symptoms. This can include providing a gentle boost to the immune system if you undergo regular treatments.
What’s a Relaxing Swedish Massage?
Swedish massage is what most of us think about when we hear the word “massage.” It is sometimes also called traditional massage. Swedish massage is performed by a trained and licensed massage therapist who lubricates the bare skin with massage oil and uses gliding and other movements to massage the whole body. It usually takes 50 to 60 minutes, but you can get a longer service or combine it with another one, like a body scrub.
Swedish massage is the most commonly requested type of massage at spas today.
The purpose of Swedish massage is to relax the entire body, but it also has a number of other health benefits. Swedish massage improves blood circulation, increases the level of oxygen in the blood, helps the body removes toxins, improves flexibility, eases tension, and helps with pain management.
This is accomplished by using a variety of techniques, primarily rubbing the muscles with long gliding strokes in the direction of blood returning to the heart. Other techniques the therapist can use include kneading a muscle, cross-fiber friction to break up muscle knots (adhesions), percussion-like tapping, shaking motions and stretching.
Swedish massage (and physical therapy) was first developed in the 1820s by Dr. Per Henrik Ling (1776-1839), a physiologist and fencing master. In the early 19th century he developed a system called “Medical Gymnastics” are borrowed techniques from China, Egypt, Greece, and Rome. These became known as “Swedish movements” in Europe and “the Swedish Movement Cure” when they came to the U.S.
in 1858. Today it is simply known as Swedish massage, the most popular Western massage.
*Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider.
Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition.
The information provided is for educational purposes only and is not intended as diagnosis, treatment, or prescription of any kind. The decision to use, or not to use, any information is the sole responsibility of the reader. These statements are not expressions of legal opinion relative to the scope of practice, medical diagnosis, or medical advice, nor do they represent an endorsement of any product, company, or specific massage therapy technique, modality, or approach. All trademarks, registered trademarks, brand names, registered brand names, logos, and company logos referenced in this post are the property of their owners.