The term Swedish massage comes from the mid 1800's when two New York physicians began practicing massage. They based their work on techniques learned from a Swedish practitioner named Per Henrik Ling. It is the best known, and most often asked for, type of massage.
So what does this term mean in practice? A Swedish massage is a light but firm touch performed with long, flowing strokes that generally improves circulation, eases muscle aches and tension, improves flexibility and can foster a state of relaxation.
A series of stokes combining friction, tapping and vibration may also be included in the session.
Before the massage starts, a light oil is rubbed on the area to be worked on. This oil makes it easier for the practitioner to glide smoothly accross the skin.
This type of massage may also be included in all other types of massage, including deep tissue, sports, and pre-natal.