SWEDISH MASSAGE & HYDROTHERAPY
Swedish massage is what most people think of when someone mentions the word massage. In Sweden, this type of massage is called ‘Classic Massage’, which is an accurate name, given how well-known it is.
Swedish massage involves a variety of techniques designed to improve circulation, ease muscle aches and tension, improve muscle and joint mobility and create relaxation. These techniques include:
- Effleurage – gentle gliding technique used on superficial muscles
- Petrissage – kneading and squeezing of the deeper muscles and tissues
- Tapotement – rhythmical movements and tapping performed with the edge of the hand or heel of the palm
- Stroking – a very gentle gliding technique with only minimal pressure applied to the skin
Most of the massages I do involve at least some Swedish techniques.
I also tend to employ some hydrotherapy in my treatments. Hydrotherapy involves the application of heat or cold to produce a therapeutic effect.
- Heat is generally used to help loosen tight muscles and for relaxation.
- Cold is generally used on an injury for pain relief and to reduce swelling.
The healing properties of hydrotherapy are based on its mechanical and/or thermal effects. It makes use of the body’s reaction to hot and cold stimuli, to the protracted application of heat, to the pressure exerted by the water, and to the sensation of the water itself. Nerves carry what is felt by the skin deeper into the body, where it is then vital in stimulating the immune system, influencing the production of stress hormones, improving circulation and digestion, encouraging the flow of blood, and lessening the body’s sensitivity to pain.
Generally speaking, heat is used to quiet and soothe the body, and to slow down the activity of internal organs. Cold is used to stimulate and invigorate, increasing internal activity within the body. If you are experiencing tense muscles or anxiety, heat is recommended in the shower or bath. For feeling tired and stressed out, it is recommended to take a warm shower or bath followed by a short cold shower to help stimulate the body and mind.
For more information please read: Swedish Massage Benefits Osteoarthritis Patients
For more information please read: Types of Hydrotherapy