Massage is one of the oldest, simplest and most natural of all remedial and medical treatments. Swedish massage owes its name to Per Henrik Ling, a 19th century doctor; however, massage was used more than 3000 years ago by the Chinese, Indian, Japanese, Persian and Egyptian.
Swedish massage is a systemic manipulation of the soft body tissues, performed with the hands for therapeutic effects on various body systems. There are a variety of different strokes that the practitioner uses, including: effleurage, petrissage, friction and tapotement. Depending on the clients needs, the massage can be invigorating or calming. The main purpose of Swedish massage is to increase the oxygen flow in the blood and release toxins from the muscles. Shortening recovery time from injuries like muscle sprains, Swedish massage helps to flush body tissues of lactic acid and other metabolic wastes. Asides from increasing circulation to the heart, Swedish massage stretches ligaments and tendons making them more flexible. It can also help to reduce stress, both emotional and physical.
Normally, massage is performed over the whole body; however, the client may prefer more attention to be paid to a specific area such as the legs, and therefore, the client decides on their treatment plan.