Swedish Massage is the typical Western relaxation massage. When you receive a Swedish massage, you are usually unclothed and draped. Swedish massage is generally performed on an unclothed client who is properly draped (covered); however, it is always acceptable to leave clothing on if you like because your comfort level is very important. Being unclothed is sometimes optimal because it gives the therapist the ability to work soft tissue that needs attention, instead of trying to work around a brastrap, shorts, or socks. However, If you feel vulnerable or unable to relax, then the massage will not be as effective for you. Always undress to your own comfort level and/or leave clothed any part of the body that you do not want the therapist to address.
Swedish massage is performed with either an oil or a lotion that provides "slip" and allows the therapist's hands, arms, or elbows to glide smoothly over muscles and other soft tissue. This modality generally uses effleurage (long, smooth strokes), petrissage (circular movements), vibration (shaking movements), friction (a deep pressure), and tapotement (a rhythmic percussion, usually with the sides of the hands). The overall effect can be both relaxing and invigorating.
Swedish massage promotes better circulation, improved immune function, and the health and flexibility of muscles, tendons and ligature. It is also very good at stimulating the relaxation response, which can have profound healing effects of its own. A Swedish massage is a very soothing experience. It is best to allow at least an hour for a good Swedish session.