Friday, 22 August 2008

Swedish Massage

Ever since the Swedish doctor Per Henrik Ling invented the concept of Swedish massage sometime in the 1700s, the world has never looked at relaxation the same way again. It is not as if various forms of massage did not exist up to that point – they did. However, nothing could come close to these techniques, which were specifically formulated to detoxify body tissues and boost the overall oxygen content in the blood. All the while the masseur’s subject has a real good time around the dinner table.

What does Swedish Massage involve?

Swedish massage addresses the deeper muscles, manipulating them against the underlying bones. The masseur’s strokes tend to follow the direction of the blood as it returns to the heart, thereby enhancing the flow. The heart does not have to work harder; in fact, Swedish massage assists it in its natural functions. The stimulated tissues absorb extra oxygen, enriching the blood. It is a revolutionary concept that helps patients to recover from debilitating muscular ailments in record time.

The body tends to build up deposits of extra waste products during the metabolic cycle. While it is also equipped with a pretty efficient waste disposal system, the stresses of a modern lifestyle tend to limit its proper functioning. Muscles tend to bunch up, trapping these wastes in a manner that prevents their proper release. Muscles also contract chronically because of inappropriate nervous responses. With regular Swedish massage, both the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system get a regular overhaul. This is why most stress management programs include Swedish massage in their repertoire.

A trained Swedish masseur employs various techniques while working on a client. For instance, he or she will use flowing, stroking motions in which the palms, fingertips and – where deeper penetration is required – thumbs come into play. This technique is called effleurage. Kneading motions known as petrissage, and circular motions to apply friction to affected parts then complement this. Body tissues are further stimulated with percussion, or soft drumming with the fingertips or sides of the hand. Along the way, various parts of the body are bent and stretched to make tendons and connective tissue more supple and conducive to blood flow.

The whole process is incredibly relaxing and extremely therapeutic, but amateurs should not attempt it. A trained Swedish masseur knows just how far to go, and such knowledge cannot be replaced by plain enthusiasm. It is advisable to contact a qualified and experienced Swedish masseur only through a professional referral.

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