Swedish Massage

Written by Liza Hartung
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Some of you may be wondering how Swedish massage differs from other forms of massage. This form of massage deals with tension and toxins in the body just a little bit differently than other massage techniques. Therapists use deep bones and muscles to help with the massaging of shallower muscles. In addition, the muscles are rubbed in the same direction that the blood is flowing back into the heart.

Swedish massage is wonderful for stress management. It stimulates the skin and nervous system as well as acting as a soothing agent for the nerves. This form of massage is often used by people who have muscle strain or injury because it helps to rid tissue of lactic and uric acid. These acids, along with other unhealthy metabolic substances, cause the muscles to tighten and thus be in pain.

A Little History of Swedish Massage

First, let me tell you that there is a bit of a discrepancy as to who actually came up with this form of massage. Many books and websites say that it was Swedish Dr. Per Henrick Ling. However, other sources claim it was the Dutchman Johan Georg Mezger. Let me explain why there may be confusion. Mezger is credited with coming up with the French terms that are used to describe most of the movements and strokes in Swedish massage.

Dr. Per Henrick came up with a program known as the Swedish Movement System, or the Swedish Gymnastic Movement System in the late 1700s. Henrick supposedly never used the French names. This makes sense because Mezger was born only three years before Henrick died. The theory now is that the two just happened to get meshed together in the late 19th century. No matter who came up with it, this form of massage is one relaxing treatment!

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