Southern Therapies

Swedish Massage

Swedish Massage is the most common type of massage in the West and the most versatile as it can be slow and gentle of fast and vigorous, with a variation of different techniques, depending on the person's desired outcome. Swedish Massage uses a variety of stroking, kneading, pressure, percussion or flowing movements over the body to treat and prevent a huge variety of ailments within the muscle fibres, tendons, ligaments, joints, and connective tissues or can simply be used for deep relaxation or detoxification, to name a few.

The therapist will discuss with you your reasons for seeking massage during a consultation and then apply the massage strokes according to your specific needs.  For example, if you have tired aching muscles then a firmer pressure may be applied, but if you require stress relief and relaxation then a gentler technique will be used.
The movements used will warm up the muscle tissue, releasing tension and gradually breaking up muscle "knots" or adhered tissues, called adhesions. If you have a lot of adhesions (knots) then you may benefit from a more focused deep tissue massage, where the therapist will focus on the areas that specifically require attention as opposed to a general all over massage.

What happens during the massage?

First the therapist will ask you to remove the required amount of clothing needed to perform the type of massage you have agreed to have.  For example if you are receiving a back and shoulder massage you will be asked to remove all upper clothing.  If you are having an all over body massage you will be required to remove all clothing except pants.  You will then be asked to lie face down or face up on a massage couch and cover yourself with a sheet or blanket for your modesty.  The therapist will then expose the body part he/she will be working on and move around the body so forth.

Although the concept of a Swedish massage is the same, usually the therapist adapts their own routine and technique.  Please don't be afraid to tell your therapist what kind of pressure you like and also if you require a bit longer on a specific area, i.e. the neck and shoulders, which is where we carry most of our stress and tension.  Or you may be a runner, or footballer, and may then require more attention to your calves.  Which ever you prefer, you must always remember that it is 'your treatment' and a good therapist will not be offended if you ask them to adapt a technique that suits you.

Massage is deemed by many as a luxury, but to the contrary - massage is vital for our bodies’ well-being and promotes all round good health.  In fact just 1 hour of relaxation massage can have the same healing effects on the body as 4 hours deep sleep, this is due to the endorphins that are released into the body (which are our bodies healing mechanism) this is also sometimes called as the 'feel-good factor'.
So next time you feel guilty from a little self indulgence - just think about it being part of your healthy lifestyle and part of what is needed to stay young, fit and above all, healthy.

Although it is very rare that a person could not receive a Swedish Massage, there are certain conditions that may restrict or prevent a massage going ahead, therefore you will be required to complete a medical questionnaire prior to or at the time of your appointment.  If you do have any medical conditions or are taking medication, always check with your GP for approval, after all, your health is 'your' responsibility.

Benefits of Swedish Massage?

* Calms the nervous system and promotes a sense of relaxation and well being.

* Reduces tension, stress and anxiety.

* Improves mood levels by increasing serotonin levels and producing endorphins.

* Improves blood circulation, which delivers oxygen and nutrients to the cells.

* Stimulates the lymphatic system, which carries away the body’s waste products.

* Prevents and relieves muscles cramps and spasms and muscle soreness.

* Can help with pain management in conditions such as arthritis, back ache and sciatica.

* Improves the quality of our sleep and aids with insomnia.

* Relieves headaches and migraines by regulating the blood flow.

* Helps with heart conditions such as angina by lowering blood pressure.

* Massage can also benefit people suffering from cancer.  As well as providing pain relief touch is a very comforting feeling and thus relieves anxiety and tension resulting in an improved state of well-being.  If we are feeling worried and tense the body secretes negative vibrations which then feed any detrimental cells causing the condition to worsen, but if we keep our mind relaxed and positive it can aid in the bodies natural healing ability.