The history of Swedish Massage
The invention of Swedish Massage is credited to Pehr Henrik Ling (1776-1839), a prominent Swedish physician and fencing teacher who combined Chinese gymnastic and medical techniques with early 19th century sports medicine to create a system for relieving sore muscles, increasing flexibility and promoting general health. Ling’s theories were popularized by a fellow Swedish physician, Johann Mezger, who helped legitimize Ling’s techniques in the public’s mind by giving them French names. Most massage practiced in the West is in one way or another derived from Ling’s original work.
What is Swedish massage?
The term “Swedish Massage” refers to a variety of techniques specifically designed to relax muscles by applying pressure to them against deeper muscles and bones, and rubbing in the same direction as the flow of blood returning to the heart. Swedish massage was developed in the 1700’s by a Swedish doctor named Per Henrik Ling.
Being in the Nude during Swedish Massage
During a Swedish massage you are generally nude underneath a towel or sheet. The therapist uncovers only the part of the body he/she is working on, a technique called draping. Should you not be comfortable in the nude, then you are allowed to keep your underwear on. This massage is very different to sensual, erotic and tantra massage.
You usually start by laying face down with your head in a u-shaped face cradle so your spine stays neutral. The therapist generally starts by working on your back, using various massage strokes that include effleurage, kneading, stretching, and tapping.
When the massage therapist is finished with the back, she works the back of each leg. When done with the back side, holds the sheet or towel up and looks away while you turn over onto your back and scoot down; then he or she quickly covers you again. The therapist then massages the front of each leg, both arms, and generally finishes with your neck and shoulders.
The benefits of Swedish Massage
1. Less stress
2. Relief headaches and stiffness
3. Great for relaxation
How to give a relaxing Swedish Massage?
Where to find Swedish Massage in Cape Town?
For other kinds of massages, look below: