How is an Ayurvedic massage different than a Swedish massage?


Quick Answer

An Ayurvedic massage differs from a Swedish massage in that it incorporates warm oils and herbs into the practice and focuses on specific energy points to remove toxins and rejuvenate the body. A Swedish massage, on the other hand, concentrates on the muscles and connective tissues to improve circulation and joint flexibility. Swedish massages are primarily used to improve overall health, whereas Ayurvedic massages are used for stress reduction and relaxation.

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Full Answer

Swedish massages involve a combination of five basic strokes; most of the strokes are long and flowing and target all parts of the body. Each stroke is directed toward the heart to improve blood and lymphatic flow, and the massage therapist uses his or her entire hand to make a stroke. The therapist may also use short, rapid strokes to improve circulation and relieve back pain.

Ayurvedic massages use a range of strokes and are customized to a client's individual needs, as are the herbs and oils used. The energy, or pressure, points that the therapist focuses on relate to movement, digestion and structure, and the massage techniques include tapping, kneading and squeezing in addition to traditional massage strokes like those used in a Swedish massage. In addition to treating the physical body, the massage also treats a client's emotional and mental state.

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