Share this Post

  • Swedish massage is defined in large part by the original strokes that compose its method: effleurage (stroking), petrissage (kneading), tapotement (striking), and frictions (rubbing), with vibration added later.

7 Fun Facts:
You did not know.

GFS Massages

Young man getting a Swedish massage
  • 01

    The Swedish massage did not originate in Sweden and it was not created by a swede

  • 02

    In Sweden there is no “Swedish massage”. It is called a “Classic massage”.

  • 03

    And in most of Europe the term “classic massage” is much more prevalent than the term “Swedish”.

  • 04

     In the U.S., the term “classic massage” is used very little, while “Swedish” is considered the classic & the most basic massage.

  • 05

    Peter Ling is generally attributed as the founder of the Swedish massage. This massage was not a part of Ling’s Swedish Gymnastic Movements nor the curriculum of the Royal Central Gymnastic Institute founded by Ling in 1813

  • 06

    Dutch practitioner Johan Georg Mezger (1838-1909) is actually the man who adopted the  basic strokes under which he systemized massage as we know it today, as Swedish or classic massage.

  • 07

    Somehow, the term Swedish Movement System was transposed to Swedish Massage System sometime during the second half of the 19th century. Ling’s system was the Swedish Movement System, not the Swedish massage system.

  • hmmm…

    Interesting, right? So this is how the Swedish massage was attributed to a Swede instead of a dutchman. Although Peter Ling has contributed much in the arena of massage, he is not the founder of the Swedish massage.

Footnote1. Benjamin, Patricia, “Notations to the General Principles of Gymnastics by Pehr Henrik Ling.” Lars Agren and Patricia Benjamin, trans., Journal of the American Massage Therapy Association, winter 1987.

Share this Post