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Swedish massage is a type of therapeutic massage that can be performed both gentle and vigorous. Swedish massage uses a wide range of massage techniques and strokes to promote a relaxation effect. Gentle massage techniques are performed during a Swedish massage to help warm up muscles, increase the blood circulation and release tension. More vigorous types of techniques are used to break down adhesions within soft tissues. Receiving a Swedish massage is also used to promote other health benefits. The health benefits of a Swedish massage are improved blood circulation, stimulation of the lymphatic system, prevention of muscle injury and decreased pain. Our massage therapists working at use Swedish massage as an effective treatment to treat many conditions.

What is a Swedish massage?

A Swedish massage is a specific massage type that helps aid relaxation and improve many health conditions. Receiving a Swedish massage helps maintain physical, mental and emotional well-being. When massage is performed on the skin it stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system and promotes a sense of relaxation and calmness. The parasympathetic nervous system controls emotions such as, stress and anxiety and returns them back to calmness. Specific types of therapeutic massage are also used to decrease tension in the muscles. Muscle tension can be the result of muscular trauma or underlying, ongoing emotional stress. A Swedish massage is able to relax muscles and reduce emotions of stress related to tension. Swedish massage also enhances blood circulation around the body allowing more oxygen and nutrients to be delivered to the muscles.

Customer receiving a shoulder massage while in a relaxed position in Manchester Physio Clinic

What techniques are used in a Swedish massage?

At our massage therapists are experienced with a wide range of massage techniques. Common massage techniques used during a therapeutic massage include:

Swedish massage foucsed on lower latissimus and lumbar regionAbove: Swedish massage foucsed on lower latissimus and lumbar region

Effleurage in a Swedish massage consists of long, gliding strokes. Effleurage strokes are used to stimulate blood and lymph circulation in the body. Effleurage is a specific technique used to promote relaxation. Effleurage is performed lightly in an upward direction and can be performed on any part of the body.

Kneading is a petrissage technique used in a Swedish massage. Kneading is used to treat muscular tension and free up knotted tissues. Kneading is performed by lifting up and squeezing muscle, loosening muscle fibres and increasing temperature. Kneading is a specific technique to improve muscle elasticity, which can be important in preventing injuries.

Frictions are used to increase temperature of soft tissues quickly. Frictions are performed by rubbing an area back and forth along or against the direction of muscles fibres. Frictions can be used specifically to release restricted tissues throughout a Swedish massage.

Tapotement is a percussion stroke, which aims to stimulate nerves, muscles and circulation. Tapotement can be performed in many different ways. Tapotement is used within a Swedish massage to stimulate an increase in circulation and temperature.

Vibrations refer to rocking, shaking and trembling movements of the hand performed on the skin. Vibrations can be performed slowly or quickly to achieve desired results. Vibrations are used to reverberate tissues in order to relieve muscular tension.

Swedish massage focused on upper limb bicep brachii muscleAbove: Swedish massage focused on upper limb bicep brachii muscle

What are the physiological effects of a Swedish massage?

During a Swedish massage there are many physiological effects including:

Swedish massage is used to help dilate blood vessels and improve circulation in the body. The direct pressure applied and movement of massage techniques can increase the rate of blood flow. The stimulation of nerve receptors causes blood vessels to relax (diliate), which allows an increase of blood flow to move through. An increase of blood through the body can be beneficial in assisting healthy blood pressure and repairing damaged tissues.

Swedish massage stimulates an increase of temperature in the soft tissues. Frictions against the skin produce capilliarsation and vasodilation in the blood flow. The increase of blood flowing through the muscles increases the temperature. Increased temperature in the soft tissues promotes muscle relaxation. Relaxed muscles are effective to releasing tension and adhesions

Swedish massage also stimulates the movement of lymph around the body. Fluid called lymph carries toxins and waste products away from tissues and passes through lymph nodes and the lymphatic system to be excreted naturally. Lymph does not circulate as blood does, so movement of lymph is dependent on massage techniques. Maintaining lymphatic flow in the body prevents illness and waste product build up in the muscles.

Customer receiving an upper back massage while in a relaxed position

The benefits of a Swedish massage

Receiving a Swedish massage has many benefits. The benefits of receiving a Swedish massage are:

Swedish massage uses specific massage techniques to increase the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is responsible for lymphatic drainage in the body. Lymphatic drainage is important to remove toxins, waste products and prevent illness. Swedish massage techniques can stimulate the movement of lymph flow into the lymph nodes where they can be excreted from the body.

Swedish massage is also beneficial to reduce muscular tension. Swedish massage addresses the muscle tissue directly and assists in releasing muscle contraction, which causes tension. Swedish massage relieves tense muscles and lengthens them back to normal form. Releasing tension in the muscles is beneficial to reducing pain, maximising performance and preventing injury.

Swedish massage contributes to reducing and controlling pain. Swedish massage helps to ease pain in several ways. Massage can release pain by increasing blood through sore and stiff joints and muscles. Massage also triggers the release of natural painkillers in the body called serotonin. Some sensations of massage can also interrupt pain signals to the brain. Pain signals get interrupted by other signals sent to the brain and lowers pain sensations.


Swedish massage is used to aid relaxation and has many health benefits. Swedish massage helps calm the nervous system in the body by increasing blood circulation, releasing tension and promoting a sense of calmness. Swedish massage also has many physiological effects in the body including increased blood circulation and delivering oxygen and nutrients to the cells. Swedish massage has many benefits including increased lymphatic drainage, decreased tension and reduced pain.

To receive a Swedish massage at please e-mail us at or call us on 0800 033 7800.

How can I arrange a Swedish massage?

The easiest way to arrange a Swedish massage with us at is to email us at or call us on 0800 033 7800.

Alternatively if you have any questions please feel free to contact us.

We offer a 7 day service and provide home and clinic appointments.

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