Swedish Massage Therapy

All we "knead" is you!

Considered as one of the classics, the Swedish massage is performed on a draped client who lies face down on a massage table. Not to be confused with a deep tissue massage, which is a more serious form of Swedish massage, the traditional Swedish massage involves oils used as lubricants to facilitate flowing movements of the masseur's hands, which focus mainly on warming and loosening the muscles as well as breaking up knots and tangled tissues.

Despite its name, Swedish massage actually originated in the Netherlands though the practice was later popularized by a Swede, and hence has a foundation in the Western way of understanding the body and medicine. This method first gained widespread recognition as a sort of medical gymnastics, and as such involves bending, stretching, and squeezing. A traditional classic Swedish massage consists of five basic categories of moves or strokes:

  • Gliding or sliding

  • Tapping

  • Shaking and vibrating

  • Friction

  • Kneading

Swedish massage can be thought of as a complete story, with a beginning, middle and end. The gliding and tapping motions warm up the muscles of the neck, shoulders, back and arms, climaxing with friction and greater amounts of pressure, and pleasantly resolves as it started or with some variation. Particularly painful spots may be focused on to punctuate the experience.


The Swedish massage is a foundational experience that not only eases tension and promotes relaxation, it specifically also improves circulation, increases the levels of oxygen in the blood, and works the toxins out of muscles. A recent Los Angeles study from the Cedars-Sinai Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences found that participants who underwent 45 minutes of Swedish massage experienced measurable benefits to their endocrine and immune systems. This type of massage is also particularly enjoyed by people who store stress in their back and neck.