Somatic (body) or Swedish massage is the most commonly offered and best-known type of massage. It is the first style of massage I trained in and one of the dearests to my hart.
Its origins are a bit cloudy, some attribute it’s birth to the work of Peter Henry Ling and his Swedish Movement System while some accredit Johan Georg Mezger with first naming the techniques. By 1890 a number of physicians and non-physicians have published books describing in detail with text and illustrations the massage movements we now refer to as Swedish massage. It is also known as somatic or body massage.
It branched out over time into different therapies some more innovative than others. It gave rise to medical, therapeutic or remedial & sports massage (which are complex systems studied in different countries around the world, the curriculum and exams being accredited by the government) and other minor modalities like hot stone massage, aromatherapy massage (applied with pre-blended oils), anti-cellulite massages, pregnancy massages, etc. which can be learned in a day by a qualified therapist.
Even within the modality known today as Swedish massage, there are variations between practitioners
One way to practice it is for relaxation, to reduce stress and anxiety also improve the blood flow and enhance immunity by stimulating lymph flow—the body's natural defence system. Indirectly, it can help with other health conditions. Addressing the biggest organ of the body (the skin), the connective tissue underneath and the superficial layers of muscle, the techniques are applied gently & slowly, with light/medium pressure to achieve a sedative effect, calming the mind and body or even putting you to sleep.