Swedish massage is the most commonly offered and best known type of massage. It was developed by a Swedish physiologist, Henri Peter Ling at the University of Stockholm in 1812. It uses a firm but gentle pressure to improve the circulation, ease muscle aches and tension, improve flexibility and create relaxation.
Swedish massage employs five different movements:
long, gliding strokes
kneading of individual muscles
The therapist generally uses massage oil to facilitate making long, smooth strokes over the body. Swedish massage is done with the person covered by a sheet, a technique called "draping." One part of the body uncovered, massaged, and then covered up before moving on to another part of the body.
Swedish massage is the foundation for other types of Western massage, including sports, deep tissue and aromatherapy.