Essential Guide to Swedish Massage

woman lying on bed while having a massage 3865792 copy scaled

Table of Contents

What is a Swedish Massage?

Swedish massage is a gentle and relaxing full-body massage. It is considered the most common and well-known type of massage. If it’s your first time getting a massage, this is a good place to start.

It was invented in the 1830s by a Swedish fencing instructor Per Henrik Ling. In Sweden, it’s simply called “classic massage”.

The main goal of the Swedish massage is to relax the entire body. It’s also known to bring about a number of benefits such as improved blood circulation, immune system, muscle regeneration, and reduced stress.

topless woman lying on bed getting massage 3865804 scaled

What should I expect from a Swedish massage?

One session usually lasts around 60 to 90 minutes. Before each session starts, the registered massage therapist will ask about any physical injuries or medical conditions you may have. Make sure you let them know about any painful areas in your body like stiff muscles, joint issues, or if you have allergies to certain substances. If you’re pregnant or suspect that you are, let your therapist know so they can make the needed adjustments for you.

It is a good idea to talk to your therapist about the amount of pressure that you prefer, whether mild or stimulating. Essential oils, or heat may be used on your skin. This helps relax your body and maximize the effects of every technique on your body.

Soothing music may be played to help you relax and calm your mind. Feel free to mention if you’d prefer not to listen to music and/or make conversation. It’s all a matter of needs and preferences.

Can I wear clothing while getting a Swedish massage?

A Swedish massage is a full-body massage and will usually require removal of clothing. Talk to your massage therapist and they can give you guidance according to what you’re comfortable with. It is fine to keep undergarments on if you’re not comfortable being completely nude.

topless woman lying on bed getting massage 3865796 scaled

How is a Swedish Massage Performed?

A Swedish massage involves stroking and gliding, rubbing, kneading, tapping, and vibration. Hands, forearms, or elbows are used to administer these techniques to muscles to boost physical and mental health.

These are five main techniques used:


The most basic technique, usually used at the start of the massage. Involves stroking and gliding movements in varying light or medium pressures across the body that moves towards the heart.


Involves rolling, lifting, and squeezing the flesh. This technique mirrors the strokes used when kneading dough.

massage session 3865799 copy 2 scaled


Pressure strokes meant to work on muscles deeper than the muscles on which the first two strokes are used. Using the weight of their body, the therapist gently and slowly increases the pressure on the flat of their hands, fingers, knuckles, and the back of their forearms in continuous or alternating sliding and circular motions.


Includes gently shaking the flesh using hands or fingertips. This is usually done on different spots of the body that have small muscle areas like the face and along the length of the spine.


Mostly quick and rhythmic tapping or chopping movements. While this technique can be invigorating, it may be too intense for some people. It could also lead to overstimulation and exhaustion of muscles and nerves when done for too long, especially for beginners.

What are the benefits of a Swedish Massage?

Aside from its calming and relaxing health benefits, many studies have shown the numerous physical and psychological benefits of Swedish massage treatments.

The physical benefits include:

  • soothing tight muscles and relieving muscle cramps, spasms, and strain
  • aiding in muscle strengthening and regeneration
  • helping with joint issues
  • improving blood circulation
  • boosting the immune system
  • refining of the lymphatic system
  • improving skin tone
topless woman lying on bed for a massage 3865797 copy scaled

The psychological benefits include:

  • boosting mental relaxation
  • improving the quality of sleep
  • relieving stress, depression, anxiety and irritation
  • increasing the ability to concentrate
  • boosting one’s energy and reducing fatigue
  • improving one’s sense of well-being

Swedish massage is also now generally accepted as a complementary treatment by the medical community. Aside from the physical, and psychological benefits listed above, it can also provide symptomatic relief for a number of chronic diseases such as headaches, arthritis, and carpal tunnel syndrome.

Any extra advice before I get a Swedish Massage?

Spend 15-20 minutes in the sauna. This will help warm up and relax your muscles to prepare them and make them more receptive to massage therapy.

Rehydrate. You’re likely to feel thirsty afterwards because your muscle tissues lose hydration during a massage. Drink lots of water to rehydrate.

Avoid consuming heavy meals and alcohol prior. A massage stimulates digestion and may disrupt your relaxing experience. It is recommended to eat a light meal prior to massage therapy.

Hit the gym before getting your body massage. If you require a workout on the same day that you’ve scheduled your massage, do it before your massage session. Working out before will warm up your muscles nicely. Also, straining muscles for a workout session after they have just been relaxed is not a good idea. This can even result in injuries. You should heal and recover to reap the full benefits.

person lying in bed getting massage 3865793 scaled

How do I Book a Swedish Massage Near Me?

It’s easy to search for a great therapeutic massage clinic with Massaji. Find and book the best massage therapists with immediate results!