Systematic and scientific manipulation of soft tissues to establish and maintain health.
Pehr Henrik Ling
Father of Swedish Massage
Introduced stroke names that used French terminology
Most widely used system of Massage in North America
Swedish Massage including Swedish Gymnastics
Elements in Application of Strokes
Involves hand movements, & Body Mechanics
Benefits include talk, touch, and time
Consciously sought goal or desired end
All other elements are dependent on intention
Our intention can alter the result of the massage session
Be willing to listen, feel, and respond
Create a session that is client focused and experience led
Medium of massage
Powerful tool, full of meaning and intention
Beginning and ending touch is very important
Pressure is application of force applied to clients body
Hands, Elbows, Forearms, and tools are used to apply pressure
Pressure may also be applied with the knees or feet
Depth equals the distance traveled into the body's tissues, achieved through application of pressure.
Use of Pressure
Begin lightly and gradually increase to desired effect.
Increase pressure by using your body weight.
Even, consistent application of pressure builds trust.
Never work past client's pain threshold.
Amount of Pressure
Depends on intent, condition of tissue, stroke being used, area of body, and the client's response.
Too much pressure can lead to muscle guarding and will lessen the effectiveness of the work.
Never apply heave pressure on delicate or thin tissued areas
Observe client's facial expressions, breathing patterns, or any other messages of discomfort for signs that too much pressure is being used.
Down and forward (effeurage)
Inward and up (petrissage)
Downward, back and forth (friction)
Direction of pressure can make the difference when locating trigger points
Distance traversed during the length of a stroke (typically effleurage); depends on; Muscle length, area of tissue restriction and topographical region.
Body stance and foot placement are vital for proper excursion.
Change of therapist's hand position over time or how rapidly or slowly a massage movement is being executed.
If movements are too fast or too slow, therapist may be unable to palpate and assess tissue properly.
Fast movements tend to stimulate and may alarm or fatigue the client.
Slow movements tend to be relaxing.
Rhythm and Continuity
Rhythm-repetition or regularity of massage movements.
Continuity - Uninterrupted flow and unbroken transition from one stroke to the next.
Relaxed hands, foot placement, distance form table, and table height important.
Length of time spent on an area
Too much massage on one area can cause problems, Bruising, soreness, inflammation.
Use ice packs, variety of strokes to offset overwork
Experience is the best teacher
Arrangement of massage strokes during a session
Combination for each massage will be based on the plan of care.
Typical sequence: effleurage, petrissage, friction (vibration, and tapotement), and effleurage
A good sequence helps prevent repetitive injury to the therapist.
Union of elements results in a routine
Therapists learn and then modify routines: Seminars, continuing education, evolution as a therapist, Individual client needs
Classification of Swedish Massage Movements
Categorized into groups according to their application.
- Unbroken gliding stroke that follows contours of body.
- Most commonly employed.
- Applied with forearms or hands.
- Used to introduce touch, assess, move blood and lymph, warm up tissues, flush out toxins, relieve pain, transition and end.
- Push downward and away, lean and drag.
- Maintain contact on return, relaxed hand.
- Work on extremities proximately first, then distally.
- Reduce pressure over bony areas.
- One hand or forearm can be used for raking, ironing, or circular movements.
- Wrist position and alignment is important.
- Apply pressure from the extremities centripetally.
- One handed, Two handed, Alternate hand, and Nerve Stroke
- Rhythmic lifting, squeezing, and releasing.
- "Milks" wastes and nourishes with blood and oxygen.
- Followed by friction and effleurage (or just effleurage) to flush wastes
- Work an area with several repetitions.
- Use a rhythmic circular pattern in general
- Use a back and forth motion for clients with a lot of hair.
- Be careful not to cause pain.
- One handed, Two handed, Alternate hand, Fulling, and Skin Rolling.
- Lifting skin and muscle with C-shaped hand firmly knead, wiring, or squeeze.
- As one hand relaxes and releases, repeat with the other.
-Technique same as for one handed petrissage, except both hands lift, compress, and release tissue at same time.
-Two handed variation include "ocean waves" and "praying hands"
-Rubbing one surface over another.
- Often used to increase circulation in ligaments and tendons.
-Applied with palms, thumbs, fingers, or elbow.
-Choice of variations ranges from general to specific and depends on intent and size of are to be treated.
- General applications include superficial warming friction, rolling and wringing.
-Superficial warming friction is also called heat rub.
-Rolling friction best used on extremities.
-Wringing friction is applied vigorously with entire palmer surface of both hands.