While massage and touch therapies have likely been around since the dawn of humankind, it wasn't until the 1800s that what we today call "Swedish Massage" was described in a systematic way. While there is some discussion as to who gets credit for this genesis, Per Henrick Ling or Johan Georg Mezger, in all likelihood it was an evolution or adaptation from tui na (Chinese Massage).
Consisting of long flowing strokes, kneading, rolling, jostling, and friction techniques, it can be an integral part of anyone's healthcare and wellness regimen. Improved blood and lymphatic flow, and the balancing of the nervous system are benefits of this work, in addition to relaxation and stress reduction. In general, Swedish Massage is approached with a focus on whole body integration, and the long-term benefits from a healthy, stress-free lifestyle. Unfortunately, most people only associate Swedish Massage with the typical "spa" massage, relegating it more to "pamper yourself" moments than enhancing their overall health. Given that stress plays a significant role in an overwhelming number of today's diseases and dysfunctions, Swedish Massage can have ongoing benefits long after the blissful massage glow fades.
"The Palmer Massage" is one of the main reasons I chose to attend The Palmer Institute in Salem when I began my training. It was a renowned blend of Swedish techniques, stretching, and energy work that has sent people to Nirvana. In the intervening years, I've relaxed its confines to allow other elements in my skillset to add to the experience, and to gain the freedom to alter each session to better serve the needs of every individual.