Circulatory Massage: Is is Just Another Name for Swedish Massage?
Originating in Sweden, Swedish massage, often called circulatory massage, involves the use of medium to deep pressure as well as vibrations and various motions using either the hands or electronic massage devices. Known by other names, including lymphatic massage or detoxification massage, circulatory massage is healing practice that enhances lymphatic drainage by increasing blood flow and circulation.
Circulatory massage carries a more healing connotation than the term Swedish massage. Most people associate Swedish massage with the primary purpose of relaxation, when in fact most types of massage have healing benefits. By terming it circulatory massage, the concept appeals to a broader range of people looking to gain better health through the art of massage.
During a circulatory massage, the therapist seeks to find muscular knots, tension, stiffness, energy blockages and sources of pain within a person’s body. A proper circulatory massage can reduce and relieve many unwanted symptoms and conditions while promoting overall health and wellness.
A circulatory massage may last anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour or even two hours, depending on the client’s personal preference as well as the massage therapist’s availability. Dim lighting, soft music and a heated table are used to promote a relaxing environment. Aromatherapy and candles are other options.
In order for the massage therapist to effectively knead and work muscle tissues, it is best if all clothing and jewelry are removed. A draping sheet covers all parts of the body until the therapist is ready to work on them.
Circulatory massage utilizes a combination of five basic stokes in which the therapist may employ the use of different parts of his or her body, such as fingertips, elbows and forearms to achieve the desired effect. A non-absorbing lotion, oil or gel is used to facilitate smooth movements while reducing friction.
The first type of stroke is a sweeping motion that glides along the muscle fascia. It is referred to as effleurage. The second type of stroke, called petrissage, is more of a kneading movement. Tapotement is a method in which tapping or slapping strokes are done in a rhythmic and systematic manner. Friction strokes involve deep, circular motions. The final type of stroke is called a vibration stroke. Vibrations or a form of rapid shaking is applied to specific, targeted muscles or muscle groups. All five of these techniques are extremely effective in enhancing overall circulation.
Circulatory massage aims to facilitate health by increasing the flow of both blood and lymphatic fluids. The lymphatic system is responsible for detoxifying the body. However, unlike the circulatory system’s main pump, the heart, the lymphatic system does not have a pump to push lymphatic fluids along. Therefore, circulatory massage is an integral part of aiding the process of lymphatic flow, as it releases toxins from tissues into the bloodstream to expelled from the body. For this reason it is critical to drink an adequate amount of water after a circulatory massage session.
Circulatory massage can lower blood pressure and reduce stress. These benefits lead to other factors, such as lessening of headaches and faster muscular recovery due to a greater ability to clear lactic acid after intense workouts.
Circulatory massage can also help to promote healthy digestion and bring about a greater awareness of the body. While it is extremely relaxing, it does so much more than that. This is perhaps the largest reason why it is often referred to as circulatory massage. The circulation of fluids is the primary goal. Therefore using a name such as circulatory massage conveys the true purpose of this style of massage.