How Does Swedish Massage Therapy Work?
Massage therapy improves circulation by bringing oxygen and other nutrients to body tissues.
It relieves muscle tension and pain, increases flexibility and mobility, and helps clear lactic acid and other waste, which reduces pain and stiffness in muscles and joints.
Swedish massage therapy relieves stress.
It is thought to help the body's stress response by lowering levels of hormones such as cortisol.
Swedish massage therapy also appears to enhance immune function.
What a Typical Swedish Massage Therapy Session is Like
A typical massage therapy session is between 30 and 60 minutes.
Your massage will begin with a brief consultation and review of symptoms, medical history, and lifestyle.
You will be asked to undress (many people keep their underwear on) while the massage therapist is out of the room, and lie face down under a sheet on a padded massage table.
The massage therapist will knock on the door to make sure you are ready.
The massage therapist re-enters the room and will then adjust the face rest and pillows to ensure that you are comfortable and properly positioned.
Tell the massage therapist if you are too warm or cold.
The massage therapist uses a light oil or lotion on the skin and begins the massage.
A full body massage usually begins on the back and then moves down to the legs.
You will then be asked to turn over so you are face up.
The massage continues on your arms, legs, neck, and abdomen.
You are underneath the sheet at all times, and in North America, only the part of the body being treated at any one time is uncovered.
After the massage, the massage therapist leaves the room so you can get changed.
Take your time getting up.
If you sit or stand too quickly you may feel lightheaded or dizzy.
Additional Massage Tips
Don't eat a heavy meal before the massage.
If it's your first time at the clinic or spa, arrive at least 10 minutes early to complete the necessary forms.
Otherwise, arrive 5 minutes early so you can have a few minutes to rest and relax before starting the massage.