Frequently Asked Questions
Rasheem, what is the history of Swedish Massage and why it is called a Swedish Massage? +
The history of Swedish massage is basically that it was created by a Swedish guy while in Sweden named Peter Henrik Ling in the 1800s. Now upon him trying to heal himself of his injuries he apparently achieved some success for himself using techniques of tapping (percussion) strokes around the affected area.
The affected areas were usually his elbows as he was known to be a fencing instructor. These injures were frequent enough that it was in his best interest to see if he could somehow minimize these injuries or their affects.
This guy Peter Ling then later developed the technique currently known as Swedish massage. This technique was later introduced in the United States from Sweden but, not by Peter Ling himself, but by two other people. The techniques used in Swedish massage include the application of long gliding strokes called effleurage, friction, and kneading which is also called petrissage and tapping movements on the skin and muscles of the body. Light joint manipulation can also be used.
|Host: Knowing history, source and a cause give you confidence in what you are doing is right or wrong and I thank you to share a detailed history of Swedish Massage for DueClixVoiceFM listeners.|
What parts of a body require a Swedish Massage and what is the reason? +
Swedish massage focuses predominately on muscles. Any if not all muscles involved in locations such as the scalp, face, neck, chest, shoulders, back, hips, legs and feet. Each part mentioned contains a combination of different muscles that make up that location. Large muscle groups needing focus include the trapezius muscle, gluteal muscles and quadriceps.
There are many reasons for receiving a massage or Swedish massage as there are many benefits that come from it. Those benefits include the increase in circulation of blood and fluids in the body. Due to the increase in circulation of blood and fluids in the body and focus on the muscles, more oxygen and nutrients are delivered to the muscles and more metabolic wastes such as lactic acid is removed.
The increase in oxygen delivery allows more energy to be produced in the muscle allowing the muscle to relax. The removal of the metabolic waste lactic acid from the muscles which is a natural by-product of energy production without the presence of oxygen helps to alleviate pain and discomfort from the muscles allowing the muscles to relax easier.
The delivery of nutrients to the muscles allows for the good health, growth, regeneration, rehabilitation of the muscle while allowing to keep the natural pliability of the muscle which helps to increase range of motion. Massage is also heathy for the immune system as well by increasing the movement of lymph fluid that has no natural pump and is dependent upon gravity and the contraction of skeletal muscles for movement. All without being invasive
The human touch is very powerful and healing. Naturally when we injure ourselves, we usually automatically rub out the area or rub an injured area for someone and it feels better. Even if someone is upset or in a bad mood we also naturally touch that individual or even rub on that individual and the person in most cases feel better mentally/psychologically.
So, therefore not only does massage therapy heal us and makes us feel better physically it also positively affects us mentally/physically as well and that psychological support may decrease physical discomfort in that sense since you are put in a better mental state giving you peace of mind. These responses may come from changes as an increase in hormone levels that makes us feel good but nonetheless, we feel good overall. Because we are social beings, we touch each other quite often outside of massage giving people a sense of security as if it is something that just comes to us naturally to do so.
There is also massage called medical massage which is a kind of massage tailored with a specific purpose. Massage is not only used for stress relief and relaxation, medical massage focuses on aspecific “medical” condition. This kind of massage is utilized to manage pain, reduce inflammation, improve circulation, relieve nerve compression, improve digestion, increase flexibility or treat other health care concerns. The results in reality would still reduce stress if achieved, so massage can be seen as always being a stress relief.
These treatments of medical are often repeated as many times as necessary to alleviate a condition or to continuously manage an ongoing chronic condition. Some conditions may never go away, and medical massage is used to reduce problematic symptoms from time to time. Interestingly enough, techniques used in Swedish massage can be used to satisfy a medical massage treatment/result
The earlier a medical condition is addressed the greater the potential of fully alleviating the medical condition. Usually, the medical massage therapy step is taken in order to prevent surgery if possible.
Sometimes massage can be a combination of medical and relaxation massage so the client can get some comfort from a medical condition as well as receive an overall peace of mind as dealing with a chronic medical condition that may be decreasing your quality of life, not only affects you physically but mentally as well. A medical condition be very mentally draining and harm self esteem. Sometimes medical massage is used as the last resort before surgery.
To name a few medical conditions that medical massage can or may help include lymph edema conditions, frozen shoulder, bursitis, sciatica, scoliosis, tennis elbow, golf elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome, nerve impingement, pinched nerve, migraines,…etc.
In retrospect from my experience, massages including medical massage and Swedish massage with deep pressure has contributed to clients avoiding surgery and is not invasive at all.
Even though licensed massage therapists learn a lot of about medical conditions and are trained to treat them, we are never allowed to diagnose anything as that starts to fall out of our scope of practice. We can only recommend or suggest a client to see their doctor to investigate something.
|Host: Generally, people do things without knowing the essence and distinction between things which apparently looks same. I am sure, your information about Swedish massage will compel many to understand the distinction between different massages to decide what is right massage for them now?|
Is there any age cap for massage or any age group person can avail the receiving of massage? +
I think that is entirely the preference of the massage therapist. I am aware however if clients as young as 10 or 11 years old and as old as 94 years old come into massage places to receive massages.
Also there are different massage that appear to have similar techniques but it is the intent behind the techniques that may distinguish one massage from another.
What do you cover in Swedish Massage and generally what is a duration of each session? +
During a Swedish massage session, unless specified otherwise, the entire body is massaged excluding private areas as the focus is mainly on the muscles so basically if it is a muscle it can be worked on. A Swedish full body session is usually an hour up to 2 hours.
|Host: A testimonial, FAQ, and listening experience of others gives you an opportunity to learn|
What type of experiences have you had working as a massage therapist? +
One time I had one client skeptical about massage which I was unaware of. She came to me for 2 sessions and during the second session she revealed to me that she now believed in massage therapy because after the previous treatment she mentioned that she did not feel anything right away and it was not until she walked out of the spa that she started to feel lighter in the legs all of a sudden, so she then came in for a second treatment.
Another time I had a client that told me that he could not move is arm in the shoulder area for about 20 years and after just one session he had more mobility and was very excited about it and was more hopeful about getting more use out of his arm, and continued to return and eventually is shoulder got its range of motion back.
I had another client that had a very tight back, almost felt like a wall. I could not really tell distinctions between muscle tissue. Upon working on her upper back I had informed her of how tight it was and told her it would take a lot of work, if possible, to get her back to start feeling normal again.
Upon telling her that I also told her that I will not give up but it will take many sessions and her response was “why not give up, everyone else does”. Upon hearing that I felt more determined to loosen up her back and worked hard at it and in a number of months the muscle tissue in her back softened up enough to once again feel normal. She had become very loyal to me after that.
|Host: It is very important to interact with a licensed professional's only because they have a responsibility to comply defined laws by their industry's code.|
Is there any licensing requirement or can anyone work as a massage therapist? +
In New York State, you are required to hold a massage license in order to practice massage legally. Yet there are or may be few states that may not require a license in order to practice massage therapy.
|Host: Thanks for sharing the massage licensing requirements.|
Are there ever any circumstances in which massage or Swedish massage may not be advised? +
Yes. There are situations/conditions that contraindicate, which a reason or condition to not issue a massage. Anyone under any influence. You are not supposed to work directly on varicose veins so if you were to ever see those on someone’s legs then you are supposed to work around them. Massage is not expected to directly help varicose veins and working on them directly can be seen as possibly producing more harm.
If someone would appear to have pitted edema then massage would be contraindicated all together as that type of edema is seen as a kidney issue that may be worsened by massage. Also, if someone has high blood pressure and diabetes heat may be contraindicated to use during the massage or has to be strictly monitored as heat is not good for high blood pressure and heat sensitivity may not be that good for diabetics. If someone comes to you with a recent injury that occurred less than 24 hours ago is contraindicated. Swelling from a recent injury may be contraindicated as well as the early stages of bruising.
So massage is not something you should just always try to do blindly as massage therapists are suppose to do no harm but in order to do that you have to be aware of certain conditions in which you should be careful with massage or not do it at all. Therefore, it will minimize your chances of doing harm to a client
What is your message for our listeners about Swedish Massage? +
Swedish massage is very beneficial and therapeutic for the mind as well as the body. With the right massage therapist there is also a good exchange of energy as well. Swedish massage improves and reinforces the very function that very crucial to having a good quality of life and that is healthy blood and fluid circulation.
Now a healthy circulation would mean that the blood’s circulation flows at a rate where it efficiently provides enough oxygen and nutrients for the entire body in a timely manner while also being efficient at removing metabolic wastes from the entire body as well, therefore helping to maintain homeostasis. A consequence of this process should result in reduced pain, reduced stiffness and improvement in range of motion, slowing of the heart rate and the lowering of blood pressure, as well as the increase of immune function.
This increase in immune function is aided by the assistance of the movement of lymph fluid throughout the body from the massage. Not only does the immune system destroy microbes that can make you sick, it also destroys toxins and unhealthy debris that may complicate a healthy quality of life. Getting regular massages should prevent or delay the onset of dis-ease that are caused by problems with circulation.
This slowing of the rate of the resting heart rate since you are only laying on the table occurs from the increased rate of venous blood return to the heart. The greater the blood return to the heart tells the heart that the blood and fluid circulation is effective as well as efficient. The slowing of the resting heart rate is an indication of how well the body’s blood and fluid circulation is as the heart rate increases to improve circulation when necessary. The greater the blood return to the heart the greater the efficiency of kidney filtration. Once the body feels better so will the mind. Interestingly a lot of these benefits can be achieved by increased engagement of the thoracic diaphragm but that is another subject.