Swedish massage is mainly used for relaxation and increased circulation and lymphatic flow which can enhance the immune system. It uses five styles of strokes. The five basic strokes are effleurage (sliding or gliding), petrissage (kneading), tapotement (rhythmic tapping), friction (cross fiber or with the fibers) and vibration/shaking. Swedish massage has shown to be helpful in reducing pain, joint stiffness, and improving muscle function and blood flow.The development of Swedish massage is often inaccurately credited to Per Henrik Ling, though the Dutch practitioner Johann Georg Mezger applied the French terms to name the basic strokes. The term “Swedish” massage is actually only recognized in English and Dutch speaking countries, and in Hungary. Elsewhere (including Sweden) the style is referred to as “classic massage”.
Benefits of this massage include reduction of pain and joint stiffness, muscle balance, enhanced muscle tone and improvement of the circulation and immune system.