Swedish massage, the most well-known kind of massage in the Western world, is, for most people, a good introduction to the world of massage therapy. The technique addresses the whole body with the goal of relaxing its joints and muscles. A Swedish massage therapist may alternate kneading, vibr
ation, tapping, long strokes, and deep circular movements as he or she works.
As a tradition, Swedish massage grew out of Western physiology and anatomy, rather than the energy-based traditions used in some types of Asian massage. Swedish massages usually last an hour or so, but longer sessions can allow the therapist to achieve better results.
During the massage, the therapist will typically begin by spreading oil on the skin and then use a series of strokes to warm up the muscles and break up knots or adhesions of other tissue. Massage therapists will ask about injuries or other conditions that may affect the massage, and patients can tell their therapists about preferences they have.