Soothing Swedish touch

The Swedish therapy, it is said, got its name from a Swede called Per Henrik Ling, who in the 1800s explored Eastern and Western massage traditions and developed his own scientific system of m

Published: 20th May 2012 10:17 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd June 2012 10:27 PM   |  A+A-

The Swedish therapy, it is said, got its name from a Swede called Per Henrik Ling, who in the 1800s explored Eastern and Western massage traditions and developed his own scientific system of massage movements, which today forms the basis of many massage techniques. Swedish massage includes long smooth strokes (effleurage), kneading (petrissage) and friction and tapping (tapotement) — all of which work to relax tired and aching muscles while encouraging the flow of blood and enhancing the well-being.

Shekhar Malkotia, spa director at The Claridges Surajkund, says, “Ideal for specific physical problems such as muscle tension and tendon and ligament problems, Swedish massage can be used to relax muscles after physical exertion or to warm and loosen them in preparation for exercise. It is also a great mental and emotional stress reliever.”

Likewise, Sanjana Bhandari of Vyoma Spa points out, “The main purpose of Swedish massage is to increase the oxygen flow in the blood and release toxins.”

Swedish massage shortens recovery time from muscular strain by flushing the tissues of lactic acid, uric acid, and other metabolic wastes. It increases circulation without increasing heart load. It stretches the ligaments and tendons, keeping them supple and pliable. Swedish massage also stimulates the skin and nervous system and soothes the nerves at the same time.


Sanjeev Kumar, manager, Spa Soul, Galaxy Hotel in Gurgaon, elaborates on the methodology of the therapy. “Swedish massage uses five styles of long, flowing strokes. The five basic strokes are effleurage (sliding or gliding), petrissage (kneading), tapotement (rhythmic tapping), friction (cross fiber) and vibration/shaking,” he says.

The usual sequence of techniques in Swedish massage are:

● Effleurage: Gliding strokes with the palms, thumbs or fingertips.

● Petrissage: Kneading movements with the hands, thumbs or fingers.

● Friction: Circular pressures with the palms of hands, thumbs or fingers.

● Vibration: Oscillatory movements that shake or vibrate the body

● Percussion: Brisk hacking or


● Passive and active movements: Bending and stretching.


Experts are of the opinion that Swedish massage has shown to be helpful in reducing pain, joint stiffness, and improving function in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee over a period of eight weeks. It has also been shown to be helpful in individuals with poor

blood circulation.

Swedish massage is exceptionally beneficial for increasing the level of oxygen in the blood, decreasing muscle toxins, improving circulation and flexibility while easing tension.

Some of the major benefits of the Swedish massage therapy are:

● Calms the nervous system and promotes a sense of relaxation and well-being.

● Reduces tension and anxiety.

● Improves blood circulation, which delivers oxygen and nutrients to the cells.

● Stimulates the lymphatic system, which carries away the body’s waste products.

● Prevents and relieves muscle cramps and spasms.

● Can help with pain management in conditions such as arthritis, sciatica, and muscle spasms.

Scandinavian stress buster

Vyoma Spa

Radisson Blue Hotel

Paschim Vihar, New Delhi

Duration: one hour

Price: Rs 3,000

Swedish massage is a firm yet gentle massage with long following strokes. The massage here with a special anti-stress oil relieves body of stress and strain. Spa manager Sanjana Bhandari says, “Breathe in tranquility while your body relaxes and stress slips away. This massage can be

enjoyed by people of all

ages and lifestyle.”

Vedic Spa Mantra

New Delhi

Duration: One hour

Price: Rs 2,800

“One of the most popular and systematic methods of modern therapeutic massage in the West, this technique clears toxins from the muscles, relaxes them and helps to relieve lower back pain,” says Poonam Sharma, managing director of Vedic Spa Mantra. Using fingers, palms and knuckles with indigenous oils, it manipulates muscles and energy pathways thereby improving blood circulation and eliminating the toxic build-up.

Waves Reda Spa and

Salon, New Delhi

Duration: One hour

Price: Rs 2,500

An enhancing body massage that transports you to a stage of deep relaxation. This classic massage style relieves tension and strain, soothens minor muscle aches while improving circulation and flexibility. Managing director Babita Khurana says, “Delightfully aromatic and nourishing oil blends to activate circulation, replenish elasticity and hydration while reducing dryness.”

Spa Soul

Galaxy Hotel


Duration: One hour

Price: Rs 2,200+taxes

“Swedish massage is the most popular type of massage demanded by our guests. It combines various hands-on techniques, including gliding, kneading and cross-fibre friction, to break up muscle knots, called adhesions,” says Sanjeev Kumar, manager, Spa Soul.

The Claridges Spa

The Claridges, Surajkund

Duration: 50 minutes

Price:Rs 2,950

“A traditional massage that incorporates classical strokes with varied pressure. Movements effectively ease tired muscles, leaving the body in a state of total relaxation. A must-do treatment to nurture the body and boost the spirits,” says Shekhar Malkotia, spa director

Spa at The Leela


Duration: One hour

Price: Rs 4,600

“Swedish massage is one of our signature massages which is given with regulated pressure. It is excellent for releasing knots and tensions in the body,” says Pallavi Bapat, spa manager.

Heavenly Spa

The Westin


Duration: 50 minutes

Price: Rs 3,500

“Swedish massage is ideal for recreational lifestyles to help revive the body from stress while harnessing perfect equilibrium between mind, body and soul,” says Bandana Sundas, spa manager.


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