What is a Swedish Massage?

what is a Swedish massage

We’ve written quite a bit on this blog about the benefits of a good massage, how it can alleviate back pain, lessen depression and anxiety, and help us recover from our workouts.

But not all massages are the same. There’s deep tissue massage, for example, for people who are experienced massage goers, and things like hot stone massage, where a masseuse uses intense heat to help release tension.

And then there’s Swedish massage, perhaps the most popular member of the massage family.

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How to Get the Most Out of Your Massage

Philadelphia spa massageIt’s hard to imagine getting a massage that wasn’t relaxing. Still, getting the most out of your massage is a two-way street. Your massage therapist needs to do their job, but you have steps you can take as well.

Here are some things you can do to get the most out of your nest massage:

 Stay hydrated

While it’s a good idea to drink plenty of water after a massage to flush away toxins, it’s also important to drink water before your massage as well. The massage pushes lactic acid into your blood stream. Water helps your blood flow and moves theses toxins away.

Talk to your massage therapist

Let the therapist know about any trouble spots: a bad knee from running, sore back from work, etc. We need to know your needs and expectations. When you’re on the table, don’t be afraid to let your therapist know when a technique is working, or if it’s just not working. And if you’re not sure about something, ask questions.

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Start Spring With a Massage

Spring has sprung, but have you?

The weather may be warmer, but your body may still be in winter hibernation mode. If you’re ready for outdoor activities, you may want to consider a massage at our spa in Philadelphia before you resume exercising.

Here are a few ways getting massages can help you with your springtime workout routine.

  1. It will relieve pain

Tell us if this sounds familiar: You exercise muscles that have spent all winter on the couch. The next day, you feel like you were hit by a stampede. A massage can help alleviate that soreness.

  1. It improves circulation

A massage keeps your circulatory system in good working order, delivering all-important oxygen to your body to help fuel a vigorous workout.

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The New Date Night: Couples Massage, then Dinner

Couples massage is a nice outing together and has often replaced the old stand-by of “dinner and a movie.” Most couples massage clients come for the massage first and head to dinner afterwards. If you are someone who falls asleep during movies, go ahead and nod off during your massage. You’ll feel refreshed with a feeling of clarity when it’s complete.

Couples massage in session before dinner is a better ordering of the two, if you will.
Couples massage before dinner is a better ordering of the two, if you will.

Massages Make You Feel Great. Did You Know They Can Also Make You Healthier?

massage for healthWhen you first look for your certified massage therapist in Philadelphia, you may just be seeking a little time for relaxation. But, did you know a massage can also make you healthier? There are many mental and physical benefits of massage.

Stress relief. Seek out a Philadelphia spa massage therapist to help you relax your muscles and your mind. A common massage used to reduce stress and lower anxiety is called the Swedish massage. This is one of the most popular styles of massage in Philadelphia and around the country. It is a gentle massage that involves long strokes, kneading, deep circular movements, vibration and tapping. Your certified massage therapist will use this style to help relax and energize you.

Strengthens immune system. This is in part because massages relieve stress, which improves your immune system, and because clinical studies have indicated massage can naturally increase the immune system’s cytotoxic capacity. Simply put, massage increases the activity level of the body’s natural “killer” cells, which fight off sickness. So, getting a massage is very useful, especially during the months when everyone seems to be sick.

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10 Health Reasons to Start 2014 with a Massage

Massage Therapy Philadelphai PAAs the holidays come to an end and your routine become more normalized, its time to think about you and your health. More than an indulgence, massage therapy can help you sleep better, reduce aches and pains, and boost your immune system.

While massage is generally considered part of complementary and alternative medicine, it is increasingly being offered along with standard treatment for a wide range of medical conditions and situations. Research into the many health benefits of massage will help you put aside any thoughts that massage is only an indulgence.

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Prolonging the Effects of Your Massage

• After your massage, drink plenty of water through the next two to three days

• Eat light foods and try to rest after the treatment

• Do not engage in any stressful activity if possible. If working out at the gym, it is not recommended to lift weights after a deep tissue massage

• Enjoy the application of oils from the treatment as they continue to moisturize your skin

• Moist heat (i.e. hot water packs) and ice can be used alternately for 10 minutes on areas of soreness to heal the areas where deeper massage work was performed

footsoak_crystals
Epsom Salts

• Soak in a hot bath with Epsom salts (pictured). Epsom Salts help relieve pain and soreness, and helps draw toxins from the body

• It is not uncommon to feel soreness after a massage. The health spa massage therapist has uncovered an area where there is a lot of tension. Alternating hot and cold compresses on the area of soreness will help, as well

 

If I Were JFK’s Massage Therapist

November 22, 2013 will mark the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s assassination. There have been several shows discussing the Kennedy White House years on television as the anniversary nears. One piece I saw discussed how much pain he was in from day to day. From the brace he wore under his clothes to the pill popping cocktail he ingested every day, I am convinced that massaging John F. Kennedy would be a massage therapist’s dream:

Just take off that back brace, John, and let me try some connective tissue work on it in a very light manner. With proper bolstering, we can ease the pain in your fifth lumbar vertebra where two operations had already been performed. You can even employ some of these bolstering techniques while you sleep instead of relying on a piece of plywood that was wedged under your mattress for support. The post-op exercises and physical therapy introduced to you by the orthopedic surgeon is what has helped you recover this far. Why not continue with these alternative methods and make a 90-minute massage session a part of your regular weekly routine?

Senator John F. Kennedy wears a back brace as he sits on the patio in Palm Beach, Florida.
Senator John F. Kennedy wears a back brace as he sits on the patio in Palm Beach, Florida.

Using Swedish massage strokes will induce hyperemia on the skin which turns it pink from blood flow being brought to the area. It will bring about better mobility than you ever thought possible. Simple tasks like reaching across your desk or removing your socks and shoes may not require any assistance in the months to come. Releasing endorphins through each massage session may control some of the symptoms felt from the Addison’s disease and it will actually allow you to feel good. An elbow placed over top of the sheet and into your gluteal muscle along with rotation of the limb will loosen and unkink any adhesions in those tissues. It will increase your range of motion, improve posture, and you will look forward to this massage technique more than the steroid shots you receive in that same area.

You will get way more mileage from compression work as the heels of the hands are placed on your muscle bellies to shift and unblock energy and thumb pressure on source points along specific energy paths that correspond to the body’s organs. By dispersing trapped or blocked energy along the body’s energy paths, your organs will function better. The digestive problems you’ve been having may seem like they are less of an obstacle because organs like the lung, large intestine, stomach and spleen have been nourished with healing energy, stretching, and finger pressure.

Consider this a sports massage session to help with those old sports injuries from playing football with your family. Plain water in-take after each massage session will release a lot of the toxins in your body. As much plain water in-take as possible will rid your body of the toxins created from the arsenal of medications you take every day. You may find that they only complicate your health issues and it may be best to try and reduce the number of medications. Take it day by day.

You’ve shown incredible strength in your ability to conceal your pain and take the country in the right direction. The grogginess, depression and occasional mood swing brought about from the side effects of your medication hasn’t made the journey easier. Migraines seem to be a part of the struggle to stay strong and remain focused. A scalp massage and pressure point work on the face will address tension headaches, migraine headaches, and sinus problems keeping them at bay for a longer period of time. The serotonin released in your brain during regular massage sessions can lift depression and clear away haziness in the brain.

“The issues are in the tissues,” is a phrase I have come to know and understand as a body worker. We hold emotions in our tissues and look towards a massage session that will relieve tension and promote better health. The goal is to improve your well-being, making you less dependent on medications and the need for your back brace. -CLS