There are six techniques used in Swedish massage.
1. Effleurage. Long gliding strokes using the palm, thumbs or fingertips to cover a large portion of the body.
2. Petrissage. Kneading and squeezing movement done by hands, thumbs, or fingers to soften up the muscles.
3. Friction. Small, circular strokes that are used to soothe deeper areas of the muscles that are tight.
4. Traction. Pulling of the muscles to help stretch tight muscles.
5. Tapotement (or percussion). Tapping the body using the sides of the hand or cupped hands with loose wrists. This technique is used to energize and wake up the body.
6. Vibration. Oscillatory movement that shakes up the body.
With Swedish massage therapy, you would start out working with the superficial layers then work your way deeper. An effleurage is used to spread the oil on the body and to get the client used to the therapist touch. Then a petrissage would be used to loosen up the muscle to allow for deeper bodywork.
Swedish massage reduces both physical and emotional stress. It is a very relaxing massage that increases oxygen in the blood stream as well as improve circulation of the blood, which helps muscle recovery. Swedish massage therapy relaxes the muscles and helps relieve muscle pain. It soothes the nerves and can help you sleep better.