Swedish Massage

Treatments: Techniques – Swedish Massage

sian Blog, Treatments

Swedish Massage – Nature To Nurture Techniques

Nature To Nurture’s list of massage treatments – including Swedish Massage, also known as Classic or Holistic Massage:

  • Swedish/Classic/Holistic
  • Clinical
  • Soft Tissue
  • Deep Tissue
  • Trigger Point Therapy
  • Neuromuscular Techniques
  • Pregnancy
  • Myofascial Release
  • Facial Rejuvenation/Natural Facelift
  • Indian Head Massage & Indian Champissage

What exactly is the difference between all these massage techniques? How can they help with pain or stiffness? Which one is best for you?

I see an increasing number of clients with muscular aches, pain, stiffness & lack of movement. This can be due to many factors: lack of exercise; lack of general mobility due to illness or injury; over-exercise & not allowing muscles to properly relax; long working hours; desk-based work (causing the classic C-shaped hunching spine seen below); long hours of driving, travelling or commuting; stress, anxiety & emotionally-held tension, or simply a sedentary lifestyle.

Whatever the cause there are many different massage techniques which I can offer to help you & I often choose to combine them. I have therefore decided to compile a series of small articles letting you know about each kind of massage technique & method I have trained in. The second of these will be about Swedish Massage, also known as Classic or Holistic Massage. As usual please click on anything highlighted in green, which will take you to a weblink.

Swedish Massage

Look familiar? Muscle tension & lack of mobility often results from a general lack of exercise & movement

A Variety of Names


‘Massage: from the French massage “friction of kneading”, or from Arabic massa meaning “to touch, feel” or from Latin massa meaning “mass, dough”,[5][6] cf. Greek verb μάσσω (massō) “to handle, touch, to work with the hands, to knead dough”.[7] In distinction the ancient Greek word for massage was anatripsis,[8] and the Latin was frictio‘ (Wikipedia entry)

‘The Beginning of Wisdom is to call things by their Right names’  So goes the proverb, but it’s somewhat difficult to do in this case due to the number of names for the same technique. Indeed, Swedish Massage itself is something of a misnomer. The method is not Swedish, was not created by a Swede nor is it known by that name in Sweden.

  • Swedish Massage – the name is derived from Swedish practitioner Pehr Henrik Ling, wrongly ascribed as the founder of this massage. Dutch practitioner Johann Georg Mezger actually developed it first. The term is only used in Hungary, English & Dutch-speaking countries, but is widely-known in these regions
  • Classic Massage – the name by which this same technique is known in the rest of the world
  • Holistic Massage – also refers to this type of massage. It takes its name from the word ‘holistic’, referring to the treatment of the whole person, taking into account mental, emotional & social factors, rather than just the symptoms presented

Swedish Massage – In A Nutshell

This is the traditional form of massage practiced in this country & most commonly used for general relaxation. It uses a variety of movements, predominantly long & flowing strokes, which most clients find to be extremely relaxing. This type of massage can help the client in a number of ways:

  • Flush metabolic waste & release toxins from the muscles – reduction of aches & pains
  • Drains lactic acid – reduction of aches & pains
  • Increases lymph & helps lymphatic draining – reduces swelling & inflammation
  • Increases the level of oxygen in the blood & muscles – improves & increases mobility
  • Stimulates & soothes the nerves whilst at the same time providing a stretching of the muscles & a stimulation of the skin
  • All of these actions help to cleanse & nourish the soft tissues of the body

Swedish Massage

Swedish Massage

Swedish Massage





Swedish, Classic or Holistic Massage is gentle but can be extremely effective in cases of swelling & inflammation such as immediately after an injury or for those suffering illness or conditions. It often works well in cases where Deep Tissue Massage isn’t well-tolerated
  • Good for muscular tension where a gentler approach may be beneficial e.g. elderly, children, immediate injury, swelling/inflammation, illness or condition
  • Greater use of stroking & sweeping movements
  • Soft, slow pressures
  • Varying holds of 30 seconds – 3 minutes but usually relatively short time periods
  • Generalised treatments – more areas can be covered in the treatment

Swedish Massage – In Detail

The Five Main Swedish Massage Techniques

Effleurage – long, flowing strokes

Petrissage – squeezing & kneading of the muscles

Friction – deep, penetrating strokes in circular or back-&-forth movements

Pressures – pressure is applied to small, localized areas

Tapotment – tapping the muscles with fingers or hands

Swedish Massage 4 - Nature to Nurture; Aromatherapy Massage in Hemel & St AlbansSwedish Massage 5 - Nature to Nurture; Aromatherapy Massage in Hemel & St AlbansSwedish Massage 6 - Nature to Nurture; Aromatherapy Massage in Hemel & St Albans





Swedish Massage is particularly soothing, helping the body & mind to relax naturally, with many clients reporting increased well-being, better sleep & a reduction in stress


For further information about Swedish Massage click here
To book with me for a Swedish Massage treatment please click here