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What are the different massage styles? Pt 1 - Swedish massage

Updated: Jan 11, 2023

If you are looking into receiving massage therapy, the question may arise about what massage style is right for you. In this post I will provide a short explanation of Swedish massage. More to come in the future.


Swedish massage


Swedish massage is a commonly recognized massage style that is known for being more oily/lubricated. It consists of five different types of strokes used in combination. The first is effluerage, long gliding strokes that cover the surface area of the receiver. Next is petrissage, a plucking and pulling motion of muscle away from bones. There is also tapotement, or percussion, performed by tapping or chopping at the body, as well as shaking or vibrating the body. Friction is a a pressure applied with or across fibers of muscles to break up adhesions. Last is compression, where consistent pressure is held down over a region.


Swedish massage can be stimulating, having an action on the sympathetic and parasympathetic branches of the nervous system. It doesn't have as deep a pressure as Deep Tissue massage and may be preferred if sensitive to pain. If you live in a dry climate and experience dry skin Swedish massage can provide healthy moisture. It is also suggested to have benefits to circulation, injury recovery, chronic pain (especially in the back), and perhaps lymphatic drainage. Swedish massage can be a great and relaxing way to first experience massage therapy.


At Bear Pawz Massage Therapy LLC we use Swedish massage techniques as well as other styles in our signature massage style.



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