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Gymnastic and military: How the Swedish Massage was originated

Daily commute to work. Beating deadlines for a specific project. Dealing with personal errands. Taking care of your children and family. Managing a business. All of these things can qualify as “stressors” – factors that lead into a stressful life. Looking for the perfect respite from the hustle and bustle of the daily grind? Thinking of the best way to be relaxed and rejuvenated? Having a Swedish massage is one thing that can prove to be promising. This is a technique that has been practiced for a long time now. In the rest of this post, we will have a quick look at where this all started. Before you are even finished reading, for sure, you will be itching to start looking for spa deals London and have a massage to recharge your weary body.

Tracing Back the Origins of Swedish massage

If there is one person who is given credits for the development of this massage technique, it would be Pehr Henrik Ling, a Swede from the University of Stockholm who is believed to have introduced this practice in 1812. It was initially introduced as The Swedish Movement of Cure. Ling combined his knowledge in physiology and gymnastics to be able to achieve the technique, which uses a combination of tapping of the tissue, stretching, friction, kneading, and long strokes. The main premise in this kind of massage is the assertion that it is necessary for the muscles to undergo a full range of motion in order to maintain optimal health. Since its introduction, Swedish massage has been linked to a number of health benefits, including getting rid of toxins, improvement of flexibility, and improvement of blood circulation, among others.

While some believe that Ling is the creator of this massage technique, there are some scholars who assert that credit should be given to Dr Johan George Mezger from Holland. Some believe that the basic strokes were already introduced by Mezger before Ling.

Swedish massage had its roots in the military. The supposed creator, Ling, approached the King of Sweden and introduced his techniques during the time that the country was in recovery from Napoleon. He was rejected at first, but due to his persistence, he finally got the nod of the king. He was able to show off his techniques, mainly rooted in gymnastics and has proven to be effective during that time.

Today, Swedish massage has evolved a lot and bears little resemblance to what Ling introduced in the military. It uses five different techniques: long and gliding strokes, lifting and kneading the muscles, friction massage, karate chop, and the use of vibration or rapid shaking. All of these five techniques were credited both to Ling and Mezger.

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