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A Swedish massage is a classic spa treatment that will give you all the relaxation you need! The pressure can be as light or as firm as you like, perfect for unknotting your whole body and relieving any tension. In this guide, we explain the basics of the Swedish massage, the technique used and look at who can benefit from this relaxing spa treatment.

What is a Swedish massage?

A Swedish massage this is one of the most popular treatments for spa-goers. During this treatment, oils (such as almond or jojoba) are applied to the body using long, even 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’re yet to experience a spa massage treatment, this is a good one to start with.  An aromatherapy massage includes 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, lemon balm), 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. Your spa therapist may ask you to choose which oils and aromas you’d like to be used in your massage before they begin.

What can you expect from a Swedish massage treatment?

A typical Swedish or aromatherapy massage usually lasts between 40 minutes for a back, neck and shoulders version or around 90 minutes for a full-body massage which includes the back, arms and legs.

Your massage therapist may use a variety of techniques, such as rolling and kneading the skin to a subtle sweeping action that could make you nod off on the massage couch! In the full body Swedish massage, your therapist will usually start by massaging your back and neck, then the legs, arms, hands and then moving on to the feet. 

This massage sometimes includes a relaxing head massage (also known as a scalp massage, Indian head massage or Champissage). To find out what your chosen massage treatment consists of, ask your massage therapist or enquire at the selected spa beforehand.

Does a Swedish massage hurt?

There is a common misconception that the traditional Swedish massage is similar to the deep tissue massage. However, these focus on different muscle layers. While deep tissue massage works into the deeper layers, Swedish massage works more superficially.

Deep tissue massages tend to use a much firmer pressure that results in a robust experience, which can be quite uncomfortable and leave you feeling a bit tender. Swedish massage is gentler and should feel good without any discomfort.

It is important you communicate with your spa therapist to make sure the pressure is right for you. If the massage is too strong, don’t suffer in silence, let your therapist know. It is also vital to let the spa know if you have any medical of physiological issues of which the massage therapist should be aware.

What are the potential benefits of a deep tissue massage?

Swedish massage treatments can provide a number of therapeutic benefits. The treatment can help to enhance detoxification, improve circulation, boost the lymph and tone the muscles.

If you suffer with stress, need help relaxing, or want to ease away tensions, a Swedish massage could be just what you need as the treatment can help to reduce stress and alleviate tension.

Many people also report that a Swedish massage can help to increase flexibility and if repeated on a regular basis, can make a real long-term difference to muscular tension and problems of restricted movement. 

Some spas also use the application of carrier oils and/or aromatherapy oils during the treatment, which can help to nourish the skin, resulting in a smooth and glowing complexion.

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.

If you’re ready to book a Swedish massage at one of our spas, give our team a call today to discuss your options.

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