Massage therapy practices throughout Europe and many other parts of the world use Swedish massage strokes as they are the foundation of many massage techniques.
Once comfortable on the therapists couch they will begin by asserting gentle pressure to the surface of the muscles using their hands, forearms and elbows. A Swedish Massage performed correctly with ample pressure and heart felt strokes can give a boost to blood circulation, enhance the bodies Lymphatic system by aiding in the removal of toxins, along with manipulating knotted areas of muscle which gives rise to increased range of motion and flexibility. As the tension is released from the body then too does the mind let go of stress.
As with many techniques of modern massage, they were developed in the early part of the 1900's. It has been a point of debate over the years as to who is the true inventor of Massage. Many have been led to believe it was created by the Physical Therapist Per Henrik Ling (1776 - 1839). Upon further investigation into history the facts present themselves that, indeed, a dutch doctor Johann Georg Mezger was the creator and founder of the therapy.
Per Henrik Ling was a Swedish fencing instructor and he ran the Royal Gymnastic Central Institute in Stockholm, Sweden. Using his knowledge of anatomy, physiology and pathology he developed a series of treatments. Well known for being inventive in the medical field along with his expertise in Physical Therapy, he created Swedish Gymnastics. He would apply these unique strokes in the areas where he suffered pain, as sadly he was also a sickly man suffering from Rhumatism and Lung disease. Overtime this sparked an interest in learning more about the human body, so he began furthering his studies in Anatomy and Physiology. Later this resulted in Swedish Gymnastics.
In the treatment of illness, injury and pain, Ling, used his inventive exercises as a methodology to recovery. Being noted as a type of Holistic therapy, the Swedish Movement system, as Ling named it, gave roots to Swedish Massage as we know it today. Although, he neither used, nor wrote or discussed anything directly related to Massage.
Johann Georg Mezger
A physical therapy specialist and professional gym instructor himself, many historians and massage experts believe that the techniques was invented by Dutch Physician, Johann Georg Mezger (1838 - 1909). Already being incredibly knowledgeable of human physiology he proceeded to expand it further, so the talented gymnast started studying medicine at Leiden University in the Netherlands. At the same time he performed French 'friction Methods' on patients suffering from minor sprains. He wrote about this method in his doctoral dissertation which ultimately turned into the essence for creating Swedish Massage.
Techniques taken from the Swedish Movement system, created by Peter Ling, were utilised and details added to the five basic Swedish massage techniques that now form modern Swedish Massage.
Swedish Massage as we now currently know it, most parts were devised by Mezger, nonetheless, as he primarily used the Swedish Movement system, incorrectly his invention is known to be created by Peter Ling.
Swedish Massage is created using 5 basic techniques defined by Mezger, he gave the techniques French names.
Mezger the Inventor
It's clear that Ling contributed to modern physical therapy. As previously mentioned a number of the Techniques were given French names, whilst Ling's documents have no mention of French phrases. Furthermore, none of his writings claim his techniques to be a form of massage. Mezger, who went ahead to make the distinction between the discussed massage strokes and those techniques which were applied in the Swedish Movement system.
Intriguing to note Swedish Massage is only called as such in English and Dutch speaking countries as well as Hungry. The rest of the globe, Sweden included, knows this type of massage as Classic Massage.
Swedish Massage is a combination of techniques which undoubtedly is the most recognized and the most common method used to decrease the stress and pain of both mind and body.
The above information was compiled and rewritten from a number of history and well being websites.