Swedish Massage

First Massage in the West!

Actually fully developed by Dr. Johann Mezger, of Holland, Swedish Massage uses the techniques of movement developed by Per Ling,  Dr. Mezger added these techniques to the others listed below, these were recorded in 1900 in book by  Albert Hoffa, published in Germany, a text still in use today.

The 5 basic techniques of Swedish Massage are:  Effleurage, from the French, – Effleurer, meaning to flow or glide, these are long, flowing strokes;  Pettrissage from the French – Petrir, meaning to mash or to knead, this is rhythmic lifting and squeezing of the muscle; Friction from the Latin – fricti – to rub, the rubbing, of muscles;  Tapotement – from Taper from the French, and Taeppa – from the Anglo Saxon, to tap, means, just as described tapping;  Vibration/Nerve Strokes, from the Latin- Shaker, meaning rocking or shaking; Swedish Gynmastics which are active, passive, and resistive movements, these lend their name to what we know as Swedish Massage.   These techniques are the backbone of of what were know as the first massage in the west!

The basic Swedish massage is reported  to provide relief of tension, stimulation of the lymphatic, circulatory, and immune systems,  reducing muscular-skeletal pain issues, and studies show massage lowers blood pressure.   Swedish Massage is usually performed with medium to light pressure, and the most recent studies show that medium pressure may actually provide the greatest results for most individuals.

The technique was first introduced to the US in 1870, and then with a book which created interest in 1902.  Scientific advancement in the study of Bacteriology and Antibiotics diminished interest in massage as a healing technique.    In the 1970’s the public’s renewed interest in massage as vehicle to promote health offered another alternatives to pharmaceutical driven medicine.  Schools began to become accredited to provide training  of massage from the Swedish tradition.  An interest in Healing Techniques from Asia developed, and the ancient massage from China, Japan and India were incorporated.  Since those early days of massage have come the development of many forms of massage to treat and manage all kinds of health issues.