Benefits of Swedish massage include enhanced relaxation, a reduction in stress, better blood flow, less anxiety and reduced blood pressure. A study conducted by Yale University in 2006 found that Swedish massage eases the symptoms of osteoarthritis. Additionally, it doesn't come with any side effects.
Swedish massage involves using smooth gliding strokes, kneading, circular movements and tapping to ease muscle pains and induce relaxation. The deep circular movements increase blood flow by encouraging tissues to rub against each other. Massage is more effective in reducing back pain than acupuncture. Additionally, massage reduces headaches, it relieves anxiety and it can ease the pain, nausea and fatigue cancer patients experience.
A 16-week study conducted by Yale University's Prevention Research Center found that massage has multiple benefits for patients with osteoarthritis. The study compares two groups of patients with osteoarthritis, one that received no massages after an eight-week delay, and another that received regular Swedish massages throughout the trial. Those in the second group encountered less pain, better mobility and less stiffness. In contrast, those who didn't experience Swedish massage at all experienced no similar benefits, while those who experienced it eight weeks into the study experienced similar benefits to those using it throughout the 16-week program.
The researchers noted that this treatment comes with no side effects; however, pregnant women and those suffering with heart conditions, kidney failure, bleeding conditions and contagious skin conditions should exercise caution.