Massage is the treatment and practice of manipulation of the soft body tissues with physical, functional, i.e. mechanical, medical/therapeutic, and in some cases psychological purposes and goals. The word comes from the French massage “friction of kneading,” possibly from Arabic massa “to touch, feel, handle” or from Latin massa “mass, dough”. In distinction the ancient Greek word for massage itself was anatripsis , and the Latin was frictio.
Massage involves acting on and manipulating the client’s body with pressure (structured, unstructured, stationary, and/or moving), tension, motion, or vibration done manually or with mechanical aids. Target tissues may include muscles, tendons, ligaments, skin, joints, or other connective tissue, as well as lymphatic vessels, and/or organs of the gastrointestinal system. Massage can be applied with the hands, fingers, elbows, forearm, and feet. There are over eighty different massage modalities.
Swedish massage uses five styles of long, flowing strokes to massage. The five basic strokes are effleurage (long strokes), petrissage (kneading), tapotement (rhythmic tapping), compression, and vibration. Swedish massage has shown to be helpful in reducing pain, joint stiffness, and improving function in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee over a period of eight weeks. The most cited reasons for introducing massage have been patient demand and perceived clinical effectiveness, such as relaxed muscles and mind, stress reduction, decrease in blood pressure, and balance of autonomic responses. The development of Swedish massage is credited to Per Henrik Ling though the Dutch practitioner Johan Georg Mezger adopted the French names to denote the basic strokes
Swedish massage currently represents the western “standard” for massage therapy. Also commonly known as “therapeutic massage”, Swedish Massage represents a general massage system that focuses on increasing circulation and promoting relaxation.
When you picture massage, you’re probably thinking of Swedish massage or a derivative. Spas, salons, and health and fitness clubs typically offer this form of massage. Consumers can also find Swedish massage offered in many chiropractic offices.
Swedish Massage represents the most common form of massage in the United States. Therapists frequently develop their own unique styles of massage based on the fundamental moves from the Swedish “school” of massage.
Swedish massage therapists focus most often on client relaxation using these techniques, relying mostly on gliding and kneading strokes, as well as oils and lotions. Clients typically receive a full-body Swedish massage that lasts 60 to 90 minutes.
Modern massage began to develop in Europe in the 19th century. A Swedish physiologist and gymnastics instructor, named Per Henrik Ling, developed and promoted his own system of massage thus the name Swedish Massage. He primarily classified the massage techniques used by Greeks and Romans in ancient times. Ling’s system, which he called Medical Gymnastics, became more commonly known as Swedish massage.
In the United States, Per Ling is also considered the “father of physical therapy”. Massage only constituted approximately 10% of the techniques used by Ling when providing treatments.
Later, a Dutch physician, named Johann Mezger, promoted Swedish massage using a medical model. Most credited Mezger with introducing and popularizing the use of French terminology to describe the system. Swedish massage represents one form of Western methods of massage.
ASIS Massage Education offers a variety of massage therapy modalites to assist with a client’s healing process. For more information on ASIS Massage, go to http://asismassage.com/arizona_massage.htm