Learning how to give a Swedish full body massage can be a great benefit to you and your clients. Swedish full body massages incorporate your hands, arms and elbows during a full-contact massage session. According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Swedish and other forms of full body massage may hold special pain relieving benefits for late stage cancer patients.
To give a Swedish full body massage, you will need:
- A massage table
- A body towel or sheet
- Massage oil
- Prepare the massage area. It is always best to make sure that your work area is efficient. Make sure that extra towels, oils and other supplies are within easy reach. You may find that music or incense works wonders for one client, whereas another client hates it. You will want to have alternatives available so that you can quickly adjust the area for your client and begin the massage in a relaxed state of mind.
- Begin the massage with the five Swedish full body massage techniques in mind. The first technique is "effleurage," or touching lightly. One of the main concepts of the Swedish full body massage is to conduct effleurage properly. You can do this by using light touches to the body, and using them continuously. Remember to keep full contact with the client's body at all times to keep the Swedish massage moving smoothly.
- Use friction to your advantage. The second of the five Swedish massage techniques is friction. By using slow strokes with the palm of your hand mixed with the light strokes of the effleurage technique, you cause friction and heat. This friction and heat works through to the muscles, causing a relaxing effect.
- Work the dough of the skin. This step may sound odd, but the technique, known as "petrissage," is all about kneading the skin as if it were bread dough. Keep your hands in a curved shape to avoid pinching the client's skin. You want to work out the muscles that were tense at the start of the Swedish massage session. Kneading the skin and muscles works to allow friction and relieve muscle tension completely.
- Shake out the tension. After you have worked through the muscles with effleurage, friction and petrissage, you will want to utilize vibration. Gently shake the muscles with the curve of your hand. Do this slowly and gently to allow even more tension to work its way from the muscle. As the tension leaves the muscle you will feel your client relax even further.
- Tap into the tension. Believe it or not, there is still tension left in the client's body. To continue the Swedish full body massage, it is necessary to move into the fifth technique of the Swedish massage. This technique is called "tapotement." Put simply, this technique is simply tapping at the muscles with a hacking, cupping, rapping or light tapping motion. Do this step with care and do not use excessive force or pressure.
- Bring the Swedish full body massage to a close. When you are finished working through the five techniques of the Swedish full body massage, it is time to finish up. Using a soft, clean towel, wipe down any extra oil that is on the client's body. Do this in soft, soothing strokes. You can also offer the client warm towels and privacy to allow her to wipe herself down and change back into her normal attire.
Before performing any Swedish full body massage it is advised to check with professionals and, at the very least, view video techniques of the Swedish massage. Further information on the five Swedish massage techniques can be found at the links below.