What Are the Benefits of Swedish Massage?

Written by Julieta Hernandez , Posted in Articles

For many years, massage therapy has been highly regarded for its health benefits. It is widely considered as one of the safest and most effective natural interventions for pain management especially among adults. In particular, Swedish massage is proven to be a valuable therapy intervention for certain medical conditions like insomnia, digestive disorders, and even stress.


People usually resort to massage therapy for various reasons especially in the United States. According to National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), massage therapy has attracted more attention in the West especially since the Renaissance period.

Until today, there are still many people who believe that Per Henrik Ling, a Swedish psychologist, was the first physician who developed and applied the techniques in a typical Swedish massage. The truth is that it was Johan Mezger, a Dutch doctor and gymnastics teacher, who first practiced these techniques and then eventually adopted the French words petrissage, effleurage, and tapotement to refer to the various massage strokes.

Swedish Massage and Its Health Benefits 

  • Anxiety Disorder

    • In the United States, there are at least 40 million Americans who suffer from anxiety disorders. The National Institute of Mental Health reports that women and teens are more vulnerable to this type of condition. According to NCCAM, a single Swedish massage session can greatly benefit patients who are suffering from anxiety disorder. If properly performed by a licensed and highly trained massage therapist, Swedish massage allows you to feel more calm and relaxed during and after the session.
  • Digestive Disorders

    • Chronic constipation afflicts hundreds of individuals every day. Aside from a well-balanced diet, health experts also recommend Swedish massage to help release tension in the abdominal area. A gentle manual pressure applied to the abdomen can effectively decongest your digestive tract.
  • Insomnia

    • Insomnia is a common problem nowadays. The usual signs include daytime drowsiness, inability to sleep despite extreme physical exhaustion, and tension headaches. The University of Maryland Medical Center claims that only 35 percent of Americans these days get at least eight hours of sleep every day. Positive lifestyle changes are needed if you have sleeping problems. Aside from dietary and physical adjustments, health practitioners also recommend stress reduction activities, aromatherapy, and regular Swedish massage.
  • Headaches

    • Swedish massage is one the top three common massage modalities that are currently used to relieve muscle tension and headaches. According to Florida Board of Massage Therapy, at least 28 percent of massage therapists provide services to clients who complain about recurring headaches. Swedish massage is an effective method to reset muscle tone and gradually loosen tightened muscles due to poor physical posture, stress, and injury.

It is highly recommended that you seek an expert medical advice especially when you are struggling with a serious medical condition before you consider getting a massage. Most important is to look for a licensed and well-trained massage therapist who can provide you with professional and quality services. Consider getting a massage from a board certified and skilled massage therapist if you want to feel better and stronger.

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Julieta Hernandez

Julieta is the owner of Matrix Spa & Massage in Salt Lake City, UT. She and her staff pride themselves on providing the best massages in a truly comfortable and relaxed environment.

Massage Therapy FAQ’s

The law always requires that you be appropriately covered with sheets or towels to keep you comfortable and warm. If you start feeling uncomfortable or exposed, speak up. Your therapist will respect your wishes and work with you to make the massage session a comfortable one.
No, only undress as much as you are comfortable with. Some people prefer undressing completely, while others prefer to keep undergarments on. You'll have privacy in your massage room to undress before the session and redress afterwards.
How often you should get a massage depends on your massage therapy goals. Some people get a monthly massage to manage stress or to prevent health problems. Others opt for weekly sessions if they need relief from injuries and chronic tension.
Licensing and certification mean that the massage therapist can legally practice massage in your city or state. To get this license, they must have performed several hours of training at an accredited school, passed the extensive licensure exam, and have paid any relevant licensing fees.
How much depends on how pleased you are with the service and how much the massage costs (the full price, not any discounted fees). One easy trick is to think about how you would tip a waiter after a similarly priced restaurant meal. This is often 15-20% or more if you received exceptional service.
Let your massage therapist know before the session if there are areas on your body that you don't want touched. They will have the training and experience to give you a therapeutic massage while working around ticklish or sensitive places like your feet or abdomen.
Yes, absolutely. You should always speak up if something is uncomfortable. Secondly, keep the lines of communication open during deep tissue massage or sports injury massages. Your therapist needs the feedback to work on you properly and without aggravating an injury.
On the other hand, if you are looking for relaxation, it's often best not to talk unless necessary. This lets your mind as well as your body release tension. With the right mindful breathing technique, you may even achieve a stress relieving meditative state during the massage.
Most likely, unless your doctor says otherwise. Prenatal massage can reduce and relieve common pregnancy issues like lower and upper back pain, sciatic nerve irritation, swelling, tension headaches, heartburn and constipation, and more. Let your massage therapist know that you're pregnant so they can use the right techniques during the session.
If you’re used to Swedish massages, it’s definitely going to feel a little rougher. However, you should always communicate with your massage therapist if the pressure is too much. If you’re tensing up and muscle guarding during a deep tissue massage, the benefits of the massage may be lessened.
It’s important to be realistic about what one deep tissue massage can achieve. Many people want just one session to get rid of all the tension they’ve built up in their body over decades. They ask for more pressure, thinking that if the therapist just pushes hard enough, all their knots will go away after an hour. They won’t. It’s going to take a few sessions for the best results, based on your body and lifestyle, and increasing the pressure a masseuse uses doesn’t necessarily help. Your problems likely amassed over a lifetime of strain, stress and poor posture. If you have chronic problems, it will probably take a combination of massage, exercise and relaxation techniques to stem the problem.

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