Swedish massage is the most commonly offered and best known type of massage. It was developed by a Swedish physiologist, Henri Peter Ling at the University of Stockholm in 1812. It uses a firm but gentle pressure to improve the circulation, ease muscle aches and tension, improve flexibility and create relaxation.
Swedish massage employs five different movements:
- long, gliding strokes
- kneading of individual muscles
- hacking or tapping
The therapist generally uses massage oil to facilitate making long, smooth strokes over the body. Swedish massage is done with the person covered by a sheet, a technique called "draping". One part of the body uncovered, massaged, and then covered up before moving on to another part of the body.
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