Swedish massage is back. Quick! Find your nearest masseuse…
From cult TV to beautifully sleek furniture, everything Scandinavian is where it’s at right now – and the massage table is no exception. Chances are you’ve had a Swedish back massage before, but now there’s more reason than ever to jump on the bandwagon.
Swedish body massage – in which your masseuse kneads using long strokes, deep circular movements and tapping — is known for its relaxing effect, but rather than just being a surface-level technique for blissing you out, it also has stress-busting, immune-boosting properties. Even better, studies from California University prove it makes a difference to your health from the very first session. Fiffig, right? (Oh, that’s Swedish for ‘clever’.)
‘If you’re looking for a relaxing body massage session you’ll really feel a change after, Swedish back massage is what you want,’ says masseuse Robert. ‘The long strokes, shorter kneading and a slightly firmer technique called cross fibre friction your therapist will use will all combine to release muscular tension and decrease inflammation,’ he says. ‘Not only is Swedish massage really effective, it’s super relaxing.’
And the good news is, you’re not limited to a salon to embrace the Scandi trend. Treat yourself to a little massage at home or even on the way to work (plinkety music optional), by pressing your four fingers down onto your skin (this works on any part of the body, says Rob, but your upper arm may be easiest at first) and forming a cupping shape around the muscle. Push your thumb into the cupped muscle, and knead from your fingers into your palm, then your thumb, in a continuous motion.
If being your own masseuse sounds too much like hard work, book a 60-minute session. According to a recent study, just three quarters hour of Swedish body massage can significantly decrease your levels of cortisol (that pesky stress hormone) and increase white blood cells, the immune system heroes that fight colds and flu.
So get booking a Swedish back massage, your body will thank your mind for being so… ‘fiffig.’