© 2003 Andrew Thompson
Relaxation Massage is commonly called just that, or sometimes, Swedish Massage. They are exactly the same thing. Swedish Massage is commonly performed in beauty salons, hotels, and homes. From the perspective of professional massage therapists, of which I am one, relaxation massage doesn't fall into the category of real massage, as it serves no paramedical or pain relief function. Personally, I really have no time for Swedish Massage, except as foreplay.
Relaxation Massage | Qualifications
Anyone can perform relaxation massage, as there is virtually no risk of harming the body unless the therapist does something stupid. Formal training in Swedish Massage can involve a 2 to 4 day course, generally conducted at nights or weekends. No certificate in Swedish Massage will qualify a therapist for insurance to perform real massage treatments.
Relaxation Massage | Purpose
The majority of the moves in Swedish Massage are light and fluffy effleurage - meaning 'flower-like'. A few are more vigorous petrissage - 'rock like' moves, but most places don't perform them because they're too intense on the therapist. The third move is drumming, which frankly, is dangerous and of no use whatsoever except to release a very recent cramp on the sports field.
Swedish Massage DOES NOT relieve lymphatic problems. Only Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD), a specialised elective which is offered within a Diploma of Remedial Massage can provide the training required for a practitioner to drain your lymph. If a therapist claims that Swedish Massage will fix lymph issues, they are lying and may very well be putting your health at risk.
Relaxation Massage | Target Customer
Swedish Massage is aimed at Mums who have just dropped the kids off to school and want to be pampered. It is also popular with guys who are hoping that a pretty girl will go the extra yard and slap their pony. Generally speaking, Swedish Massage is little more than a substitute for intimacy which may be lacking from a partner.
Relaxation Massage | What to expect
Your therapist will usually be a disinterested young girl or a middle-aged divorcee with a painted smile. Few men perform Swedish Massage unless they're escorts. Whale song or other elevator music will be playing in the background to soothe away your miseries. In particularly pretentious salons, you may have hot stones placed on you while fog machines puff out plumes of steam, but you'll pay twice the price for the privilege.
Some salons offer Aromatherapy Massage, which involves rubbing scented oils on your skin. This is a valid service - if and only if - the therapist sat you down beforehand and took a thorough medical history AND THEN from his/her diagnosis, mixes the essential oils herself from the knowledge she gained while gaining their Diploma of Remedial Massage. If not, then it's just some pre-blended oil that smells pretty.
Relaxation Massage | How will I feel afterwards?
You will walk out feeling a little light headed due to endorphins released by your body during the massage. If you don't feel this way, you will walk out feeling like you've wasted forty dollars. If you paid more than forty dollars an hour for relaxation massage, the therapist really saw you coming.
Relaxation Massage | What to look out for
Some places use the term Swedish Massage as a front for Sensual Massage or prostitution. In Queensland this practice is illegal but commonplace. Do not assume this is the norm though. If you ask most therapists for a happy ending, they'll slap you across the face, and rightly so.
It is generally easy to identify places that offer 'extras'. Their advertising will include terms such as 'Total Stress Relief','Executive Release', 'Complete Relaxation', or 'Full Body Relief'.
You will find additional topics on health, fitness, and beauty in the Human Sciences section.
If you have any further questions, please call on 07 4926 7778 or use the online contact form.
Have a brilliant day,