Relaxation massage, or Swedish massage, is the most popular of all traditional European style massages.
Developed by Per Henrik Link in the 1700s, who merged Western and Eastern healing techniques, it was the first organised and systematic method of modern therapeutic massage in the Western world.
Using oil or lotion, relaxation massage incorporates the following strokes.
Effleurage – Meaning touching lightly, effleurage comprises long gliding strokes from the neck to the base of the spine, or from the shoulder to the fingertips.
Done with the entire hand or the pads of the thumb, it helps relax the muscles while also enabling the therapist to examine the texture and quality of the muscle tissue.
Friction or rubbing – This consists of deep circular movements of the thumb pads or fingertips around the joints and other bony areas to break down adhesion or knots of muscle fiber which develop in response to muscular trauma or pain.