Swedish massage is the most commonly offered and best-known type of massage in the western world. Swedish massage uses firm but gentle pressure to promote relaxation, ease muscle tension and create other health benefits.
During Swedish massage, the massage therapists use massage oils to facilitate smooth, gliding strokes called effleurage. Other classic Swedish massage moves include kneading, friction, stretching and (sometimes) tapping.
Generally during Swedish massage you are covered by a towel or sheet. The therapist uncovers only the part of the body they are working on.
The pressure the therapist applies during Swedish massage can vary from light to firm, and can be adjusted to the client's needs. Swedish massage usually includes some deeper work on areas of specific muscle tension such as back and shoulders.
Most people ask why it is called Swedish massage. It was developed by a Swedish physiologist, Henri Peter Ling, at the University of Stockholm in 1812. He took inspiration from oriental techniques such as Tuina or Chinese massage.