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Swedish massage, or classic massage as it called in some countries, is a relatively gentle massage form focused on the body’s superficial layers. It is provided to promote general relaxation and well-being and sometimes for relief for symptoms associated with health conditions. Swedish massage is known to promote circulation. Research shows the potential of massage to improve blood pressure and other vital signs. In short, it’s gaining a reputation as more than just a stress-buster.

There are five basic strokes: effleurage, petrissage, tapotement, friction, and vibration (detailed more below). Petrissage refers to kneading motions, effleurage to stroking – the massage technique one may associate most strongly with Swedish massage and with the accompanying relaxation.

Effleurage is the most common stroke used in massage. It is a gentle sliding of the hands over the skin. For the most part, effleurage strokes are pointed towards the heart.

Petrissage strokes help to release toxins into the bloodstream, in turn facilitating their excretion. The key to an effective petrissage massage stroke is to do it with the same pressure throughout the massage, rhythmically and slowly.

Tapotement is a very stimulating style of massage stroke. It involves rhythmic striking with alternate hands from about an inch away. Hacking, Cupping, Beating and Pummeling are all tapotement strokes. This stroke style is used on fleshy & muscular areas.

Massage friction consists of deep, circular or transverse movements made with the thumbs, fingertips, knuckles, palms, or elbows. It is astroke that aims to penetrate through the skin and to manipulate the muscles beneath. It is the most penetrating of the strokes, targeting the deeper layers of the tissue.

The Vibration massage technique is a stroke that ranges from quick shaking to rhythmic rocking by moving the heel of the hand, the side of the hand, or the fingertips. Static vibrations involve using therapist’s whole hand or part the hand to apply continuous contact with the client’s body without sliding over the client’s skin.

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