Swedish vs Ayurvedic Massage Methods

Swedish vs Ayurvedic massage featured image

Swedish and Ayurvedic massage methods are both delightful. However, you may be more in the mood, or physically need one more than the other.  

Which speaks to you? Let me know in the comments below.  

Swedish and Ayurvedic massage methods of course have different origins and contrasting styles but both contribute to a healthy and relaxed body. 

Ayurvedic Massage Method:

Ayurvedic massage originated in India and aims is to create harmony and balance within the individual through the removal of toxins and rejuvenation of the body. 

It is based on ancient Ayurvedic and Greek medicine focusing on Ayurvedic "doshas" and "marmas" or pressure points. 

Ayurvedic massage uses specific oils that suit your dosha and depend on your being. 

First, is "Abhyanga-Garshana" includes skin brushing.  This is followed by an oil massage. 

Next comes "Udwarthanam", which is a slimming massage using herbal powders. 

Finally the Ayurvedic deep tissue massage where the massage therapist uses his/her feet to massage you.

Swedish Massage Method: 

Swedish Massage is the most well known massage therapy method and is loved for its long flowing strokes.  It relaxes the muscles and improves joint flexibility and blood and lymph circulation. 

The Swedish massage begins with a stroke known as "effleurage".  Gliding gently with the palm or thumb pad from the neck down to the base of the spine and from the shoulders down to the fingertips. Strokes are directed toward the heart to aid blood and lymphatic flow. 

Then comes the "petrissage" stroke consisting of the gentle lifting of muscles up and away from the bones, then rolling and squeezing or pressing them with a gentle pressure. This creates an even deeper circulation which helps in the elimination of toxins from both muscle and nerve tissue. 

The next technique is "friction" and is of course the most forceful stroke characterized by deep circular movements using fingertips applied near bony areas and joints. This friction relaxes the muscle fiber enhancing the flexibility in muscles and in joints. 

"Tapotement" is done next, which is a series of quick forceful movements made by striking or tapping the muscles with the hand. Not to hurt though. It can be applied with a closed fist, fingertips and the edge of the hand releasing tension and relieving muscle cramps. 

Finally, a Swedish massage therapist uses vibration or shaking by pressing of hands on the back or limbs and briefly shaking in a rapid motion. This again continues to improve circulation and muscle contraction. It is also very beneficial to people with low-back pain.

So after reading the descriptions of Swedish and Ayurvedic massage methods, what is your choice?  

Maybe it depends on the day and the mood.  

If you've had both of these massages and can compare your experience I'm sure we'd all like to hear about it!  Feel free to comment :)
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