Swedish and Sports Massage Therapy History and Methods

Swedish massage was originally developed using techniques used by the Swedish physiologist and fencing master Per Henrik Ling (1777-1839), who learned massage in China, formulated the techniques and demonstrated them to the world by way of the Swedish Central Institute of Gymnastics. Swedish massage has the central function for a large amount of other therapies, such as Sports massage, stress management, relaxation therapy, physiotherapy or osteotherapy.

The evolution of Sports Massage via Swedish massage has involved the use of soft tissue manipulation. This helps people who are either athletes or clients who may just have a minor muscular pain. Soft tissue manipulation helps the soft tissue to recover quickly from injury therefore make better ability and lessen injury recovery. Skin, tendons, muscles, fascia and ligaments are named collectively as ‘soft tissue’. They are connective tissues that have not solidified into bone and cartilage. Imbalances in soft tissue because of strenuous and repetitious physical activity and/or trauma can be helped with Sports Massage. It can aid to put right problems in soft tissue. Normally, massage is viewed as a head to toe relaxing treatment, normally in a spa or relaxed room. However, it can also be a focused, targeted treatment for a certain spot of soft tissue.

Swedish massage utilizes different types of skills which include:

Effleurage is a movement which consists of shallow strokes across the skin. The therapist uses this movement to analyze and relax the client, making use of the forearm or whole hand.

Petrissage is how the therapist utilizes deep squeezing and kneading motions on soft tissue. It prepares the muscle for more penetrating massage. However, it is not a focused motion.

Frictions are deep to shallow strokes utilizing the fingertips, part of the hand or elbow. They are used to warm up certain parts of soft tissue.

Tapotement – This is a mixture of percussion techniques that aim to stimulate the area of the body for treatment, for example hacking or cupping, using the whole or side of the hand.

Vibrations stimulate an area and helps to loosen muscles. It is a technique used in the main at the back of the neck.

In addition to Swedish massage methods, Sports massage adds methods that can zero in specific areas.

Sports massage applications include:

Neuromuscular Therapy (aka NMT) is used to energize deep into soft tissue, generally a myofascial trigger point, using quasi-static pressure to the skin.

M.E.T. or full name ‘Muscular Energy Technique’, is made use of in a particular way, in a precisely controlled posture versus a certain counter-force. The therapist applies the counter-force.

P.N.F. (aka Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation) – involves passive stretching and isometric contractions.

Such is the flexibility of the techniques, a mixture of Swedish and Sports Massage can be integrated into a training schedule, or part of a rehabilitation programme for athletes.

Qualities belonging to Swedish and Sports massage that are beneficial are:

Tensions and adhesions are located and relieved before they become bad for the body, therefore, reinstate the ballance of the structure of the body.

Diminish headaches (including migraines) which become fewer, shorter and less intense, by dealing with the inherent causes via gentle easing of tight areas of muscle and tissue.

Healing processes in the body are enhanced by massage to help lessen the time to recover from an injury.

The flow of blood and lymph fluid in the body helps to get rid of toxins.

Scar tissue is lessened by massage because it helps to realign fibres.

Flexibility of the muscles helps to prevent injury and make better performance.

Muscle tone maintenance and strength.

Adverse effects on the body can come from everyday wear and tear. This can stimulate postural problems, which can be irritating and movement limiting. Massage can tackle these problems.

Massage St Ives. For more information about massage and how you can benefit from treatment, visit the Massage St Ives website.

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