Swedish massage therapy is the modality that comes to mind when most people think about massage. As the best-known type of bodywork performed today, one of the primary goals of the Swedish massage technique is to relax the entire body. This is accomplished by rubbing the muscles with long gliding strokes in the direction of blood returning to the heart. But Swedish massage therapy goes beyond relaxation. Swedish massage is exceptionally beneficial for increasing the level of oxygen in the blood, decreasing muscle toxins, improving circulation and flexibility while easing tension. Additional Swedish massage techniques include circular pressure applied by the hands and palms, firm kneading, percussion-like tapping, bending and stretching. Before and during your Swedish massage session, communication is encouraged with your professional massage therapist so that your massage is customized to your specific needs. The Swedish massage accomplished the following: Dilates the blood vessels and improves circulation throughout the body; increases the number of red blood cells; acts as a mechanical cleanser by stimulating lymph activity; relaxes muscle spasms and relieves tension; increases blood supply and nutrition to muscles; improves muscle tone and helps prevent or delay muscular atrophy; helps compensate in part for the lack of exercise from restricting injuries; may have a sedative, stimulating or exhausting effect on the recipient; when combined with a low calorie diet can aid in weight loss; considerably heightens tissue metabolism and increases tissue nutrition; increases secretion of fluids and waste products via the kidneys; encourages nitrogen, phosphorus and sulfur retention for bone repair; helps lessen inflammation and swelling in joints; and it promotes a sense of well-being that helps with stress reduction.