Wellness (Swedish) massage is generally the technique we think of when we hear the word “massage” and is the most practiced type of massage in the West.
This type of massage is based on the Western concepts of anatomy and physiology as opposed to energy work that is more common in Asian-style massage.
Swedish (Wellness) massage is called such because it was pioneered by Swedish physiologist, Per Henrik Ling (1776-1839) at the University of Stockholm.
Wellness massage has a calming effect on your muscles causing them to relax and elongate. Relaxed muscle tissue can then easily be gently stretched, which helps to encourage blood flow to the muscles.
Wellness massage, along with most other forms of bodywork, helps to reduce overall stress and lower the levels of cortisol in the body. Chronic stress and elevated cortisol levels increase risk for depression, mental illness, and a lower life expectancy.
Scientists and doctors have long known that chronically elevated cortisol levels interfere with learning and memory function, lower immune function and bone density, may cause weight gain, high blood pressure and high cholesterol and is one of the leading causes of heart disease.
A firm Wellness massage, also known as deep tissue, will help force waste produced by your muscles normal metabolic function into the lymphatic system where it is then broken down and excreted. Deep tissue massage uses slower, more forceful strokes then basic Swedish to target the deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue and is only appropriate when working with injured tissue.