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Similar to Aromatherapy massage this is one of the most popular treatments on a spa menu, Swedish massage is a classic technique. “Carrier” oils (e.g. almond or jojoba oils) are applied to the body using long, even superficial strokes to ease away superficial muscle tension. Many people find this light massage style more soothing, relaxing and superficial than a deeper style of massage. If you’ve never had a massage before, this is a good one to start with.
Swedish massage is in many ways similar to Aromatherapy massage, except that the latter adds essential oils extracted from flowers and plants to the basic carrier oil to further enhance your wellbeing. Pure essential oils have a variety of benefits, whether you want to feel energised (lemon), uplifted (neroli, lemonbalm), stimulated (eucalyptus, rosemary), feel soothed and relaxed (lavender, sandalwood), or want to help rebalance your hormones (geranium). Sometimes spas use blended combinations of these essential oils in their massage oils and your spa therapist may ask you to choose by smelling which aroma you’d like to be used in your massage.
A typical Swedish or Aromatherapy massage usually lasts between 40-minutes for an “Express” or a shorter Back Neck and Shoulder version, to 90 minutes for the whole body including the back, arms and legs. Your therapist may use a variety of techniques such as rolling and kneading the skin with a subtle sweeping action that could make you nod off on the massage couch. Go with it! Catching 20 winks during a treatment can really enhance the benefits of your treatment.
In the Full Body Swedish massage, your therapist will usually start by massaging your back and neck, then the legs, arms, hands and sometimes feet. This massage also sometimes includes a relaxing Head massage (also known as Scalp massage, Indian head massage or Champissage).
…if you like stronger pressure that works more deeply in to your knotted muscles. If that’s the case, you may find these Swedish massage techniques too superficial and gentle.
Many of us feel embarrassed when we awake with a start mid massage, yet one of the biggest compliments you can pay a therapist is to nod off during a treatment, because it shows you feel deeply relaxed. Read our Handy Massage Tips - Its good to zzzz...section to find out the proven added benefits of sleeping during a spa treatment.
It’s a good idea to arrive a little earlier than your treatment – say half an hour to an hour beforehand – to take advantage of the spa’s ‘wet room’ facilities. We explain here why you’ll get more out of your massage if you do.
Know of a friend or loved one who might benefit from a Swedish massage? Check out our spa vouchers page where monetary gift vouchers can be redeemed against treatments at over 500 spas across the UK.