Swedish Massage Career - Salary, Duties, & Job Information

Swedish Massage Therapists Career Description

What is Swedish massage?

If you have ever visited the spa for a massage, chances are you received a Swedish massage. Swedish massage is the most commonly offered and best known type of massage.

The term "Swedish Massage" refers to a variety of techniques designed to relax the muscles by applying pressure to them against deeper muscles and bones, and rubbing in the same direction as the flow of blood returning to the heart. It increases circulation without increasing heart load. Swedish massage also stretches the ligaments and tendons, keeping them limber and pliable.

How to Become a Swedish Masseuse

Swedish massage employs six different movements:

  • Effleurage: This is the type of movement that is most associated with massage in general. It is where a therapist practices in long, gliding strokes that cover more than just one area of the body. The purpose of effleurage is to connect one part of the body to the others.
  • Petrissage: This is the act of kneading and squeezing individual muscles of the body. There is no focus on a particular part of the body, but the process of kneading the muscles allows for deeper and more penetrating effects of massage.
  • Friction: This form of movement is used to make the treated area warm up. By rubbing the palms of the hands vigorously on the surface of the client’s skin, the therapist can make use of the friction technique.
  • Tapottement: This is where the strokes energize the area of the body that is being treated. A chopping motion is applied to the area with the sides of one’s hands. It can also be obtained by hitting the treated area rhythmically with cupped or fisted hands. It is aimed towards energizing, yet loosening and relaxing the area.
  • Vibration: This technique is used to shake up the area of the client’s body that is being treated. This is done by moving the heel of the hand, the side of the hand, or even the fingertips forward and backwards to loosen the muscles of that particular area.
  • Traction: This technique involves pulling on the arms, legs, and even head of the client. This act of pulling is for stretching of the muscles. This is usually the last portion of the massage routine due to the fact that pulling requires the muscles to be relaxed in order to avoid pain.


Benefits of Swedish Massage

Swedish massage is relaxing and invigorating. It affects the nerves, muscles, glands, and circulation, while promoting health and well-being. It provides relief of inner tension and stress, promotes better digestion, and even releases endorphins.

How Much Does a Swedish Masseuse Make - Swedish Masseuse Salaries

Swedish masseuses work in private practices, spas, clinics, offices, and wellness centers. They usually work a regular week, but may offer evening and weekend hours to better meet the needs of their clients. Some even travel to a client’s home. Their salary varies according to the area in which they practice as well as the capacity in which they are employed. They can be expected to make an average of $40,000 to $60,000 a year, some even more. Careers in Swedish massage are steadily growing as more and more people are looking at alternative ways to release stress.

How to Pursue a Career in Swedish massage:

There are several massage schools which offer Swedish massage as part of their program. Most include a set number of hours you must obtain of massage training before completion of the program. (Usually around 500 hours.) After training it is likely you will need to be certified and licensed. Check your state (or where you choose to practice) to see what the training and certification requirements are when pursuing this career.

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