massage currently represents the western "standard" for
massage therapy. Also commonly known as "therapeutic massage",
Swedish Massage represents a general massage system that focuses on increasing
circulation and promoting relaxation.
Swedish Massage represents the most common form of massage in the United States. Therapists frequently develop their own unique styles of massage based on the fundamental moves from the Swedish "school" of massage.
The Swedish massage approach classifies 5 types of strokes:
Each type of stroke offers different benefits.
Swedish massage therapists
focus most often on client relaxation using this technique, relying mostly
on gliding and kneading strokes, as well as oils and lotions. Clients
typically receive a full-body Swedish massage that lasts 60 to 90 minutes.
In the United States, Pehr Ling is also considered the "father of physical therapy". Massage only constituted approximately 10% of the techniques used by Ling when providing treatments. Ironically, I have met massage therapists native to Sweden, that trained in Sweden, and never heard of Pehr Ling.
Later, a Dutch physician,
named Johann Mezger, promoted Swedish massage using a medical model. Most
credited Mezger with introducing and popularizing the use of French terminology
to describe the system. Swedish massage represents one form of Western
methods of massage.