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Swedish Massage, a misnomer

Swedish massage   .  .  .  the classic massage.

Swedish massage, as we think of it in the United States, is a modality that was brought to Europe from India via France.  

This modality was erroneously thought to have been first used and documented in the West by Swede Peter Henry Ling (1776-1837), at one time widely considered to be the Father of Swedish Massage.  Ling was not the person who documented the strokes known under the French names we recognize today and use in the massage.

It was really Dutch practitioner, Johan George Mezger (1838-1909), who documented the strokes we in the United States think of as Swedish Massage.  Swedish massage, utilizing effleurage (stroking), petrissage (kneading) and other strokes is called classic massage in Europe. 

Thus, the massage we traditionally think of as Swedish massage might easily be considered a classic massage with roots as old as Sanskrit!






1. Pages from History:  Swedish Massage from Massage Magazine, Robert Noah Calvert, April 23, 2014


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