In laymen’s terms, Swedish massage is most commonly used for relaxation. If your client simply wants to unwind, and isn’t seeking alternative therapies for chronic pain or other ailments; Swedish massage is the way to go.
Events Coordinator at Central Maryland School of Massage (CMSM), Alyssa Robbin agrees: “The type of client that Swedish massage benefits most is someone looking for light, relaxing massage; someone who doesn’t like much pressure and has no goals other than relaxation.”
However, there is an additional benefit to Swedish massage, one other than relaxation. There have been countless studies about the benefits of touch therapy—it has been proven time and time again that touch can work wonders on our bodies and minds. While many people have touch in their daily lives, from family, friends, and partners, some clients may not, and Swedish massage is a way for them to access bodywork benefits that they otherwise would miss out on.
Joseph Rongo, Director of ASIS Massage Education explains the science behind it: “The precepts of Swedish massage are based on the intent to increase circulation, as we engage a greater sense of body awareness, relationship to touch, and a deeper sense of neurological control. Swedish massage techniques are very relaxing, rhythmical, and flowing—for the intent of increasing local blood circulation and/or increasing production of serotonin.”
Cindy Getchnonis, an instructor at Finger Lakes School of Massage (FLSM) and a Trager Approach Practitioner® and Certified Aston Patterner®, says that when it comes down to it, really, everyone enjoys getting a Swedish massage: “Swedish has so many different techniques and it can be lighter or deeper, generally soothing or very specific and soothing. Although it’s thought to be done on skin with oil, all the strokes, except maybe one—effleurage aka gliding—can happen very easily over clothing. If you are adept at thinking of how to match the needs of your client to what strokes and how they are best applied for them, you can almost always do some Swedish massage!”
Confirm the types of massage therapy you’re allowed to practice in your area as regulations vary from state to state. This information can usually be found on your state’s occupational licensing or health department website.