Does Swedish Massage Include Head?

The Great Swedish Massage Debate: Does It Include the Head?

The debate over Swedish massage techniques has been ongoing for years, with no end in sight. Many people assume that because the word Swedish is in the name of the technique, that it must be performed by a Swede. They also assume that all Swedish massage treatments include the head, neck and shoulders as part of the massage process. But did you know that Swedish massage can be performed by anyone who is trained in the technique? And that the treatment process may or may not include head, neck and shoulder work?

Does Swedish Massage Include Head?
Of course, it depends on where you’re getting your massage and who’s giving it to you. If you’re getting a massage at home and/or by yourself (don’t), then yes, head massages are included. On a professional level, most Swedish masseuses do not include head massages in their menu of services. However, some do include other parts of your body like legs, arms or lower back depending on what type of pressure is being applied and where on your body it’s being applied.

Swedish massage is relaxation, not just therapy
While it’s true that massage is often used to treat pain, it can also be soothing and relaxing. This makes it a great activity for times when you are in need of some peace and quiet, not just times when you are under stress or recovering from an injury. It can lower your blood pressure and heart rate, as well as boost feelings of optimism and happiness—all things that may help to keep you feeling healthier overall. The increased circulation also provides relief for many muscle injuries, because more oxygen is delivered to your body’s tissues; if you have a condition like carpal tunnel syndrome or plantar fasciitis, a Swedish massage may be exactly what you need.

What makes it different from other styles of massage
Swedish massage is most often associated with relaxation, as it aims to relieve muscle tension and improve blood flow. The benefits of a Swedish are all thanks to several key techniques used by massage therapists. For example, therapists often use long, gliding strokes to release built-up lactic acid in sore muscles. And they work on pressure points and soft tissue—rather than bones—to reduce muscle tension and increase mobility. In other words, Swedish massage can be relaxing because of how it feels physically and mentally.

Why do we cover your head during a Swedish massage?
When you think of a massage, your mind might automatically jump to images of rubbing and kneading with strong hands. However, there’s more to a massage than just having someone rub your muscles; there’s also hot stones and stretching, too. While those methods are also beneficial to getting a full-body massage experience, they aren’t used in conjunction with every treatment—and that’s exactly why we cover your head during treatment. Read on for more information about why we cover our client’s heads during Swedish massages and what other types of work goes into our massages.

When does the head get massaged?
The short answer is yes. That’s right, in standard Swedish massage treatments, your head gets massaged too. The massage can be directed to certain areas of your head or even given in a full-head treatment. If you’re getting one, however, it’s important to make sure that a licensed professional is providing you with head treatment and that they are trained to do so. Otherwise there could be negative side effects like headaches or dizziness that might result from a therapist who isn’t experienced enough or knowledgeable enough about head work to provide it professionally. Another reason why finding a pro would be beneficial is because they will know how hard it should be worked on and what types of techniques should be used when massaging different parts of your head.

Should you request head massages separately?
For those who opt to request head massages, rather than opting for a full massage, it is considered polite to tip on top of what you’ve already paid. If you are receiving a full body massage, make sure to clarify with your therapist whether they offer head massages and how much they charge. You may find that some massage studios or spas have head sessions listed as add-ons in their fee structure. If your studio doesn’t include head massages in their fee list (for either stand-alone services or as add-ons), ask your therapist if it is possible for them to give you one as an extra service.

Where else can I get head massages at my local spa?
If you like getting head massages at your local spa, I’ve got good news and bad news. The good news is that you can still get head massages at your local spa. If a spa offers massage services, it should offer all its available services. But beware of spas that claim to specialize in just one kind of massage; if they only offer foot or hand massages, for example, but not both—consider looking elsewhere because such a spa might not be providing you with all their options.

How much time should I allocate for a full body massage and head massage?
Full body massages tend to last for about an hour, with head massages generally taking about 30 minutes. This is up to you and your therapist, though; if you prefer a longer massage and are okay with reducing your time spent on your head, feel free to ask for a full-body treatment. Similarly, if you have high blood pressure or another condition that limits how long you can be on your back, let your therapist know.

Is there anything else I should know about getting head massages at my local spa?
So, you’ve decided to treat yourself to a head massage, what should you expect at your appointment? Will you be laying on your back or stomach? Will it include pressure around your temples and forehead or will it focus primarily on your neck and shoulders like other types of massages do? Well, before we get into those questions it is important to talk about one thing that all head massages have in common—the happy ending. Don’t worry, I’m not talking about giving you a hand job (even though many spas offer that service), I’m referring to how many spas start off with a neck massage for 15 minutes then follow that up with 15 minutes of a traditional scalp massage.

Final Word
Getting a Swedish massage can be a treat for anyone who’s tried it, but it turns out that not all massages are created equal. The difference lies in whether or not your therapist covers your head when she uses her hands. If you want to try a version of Swedish massage that includes your head, ask specifically for Swedish Massage with head and neck. You may need to pay a bit more for it, though! At many spas, you can opt out of getting your head covered if you choose; just make sure to inform your therapist before she begins working on you.

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Lynn has been writing at our blog for over two years. She currently writes about topics such as sleep, massage therapy, and cooking. Recently, she has teamed up with other bloggers to write about their life stories. Lynn is also a certified massage therapist who loves to express herself through cooking recipes she finds on Pinterest or food blogs. Lynn's blog is an outlet where she can share her passions with others while encouraging them to live the best version of themselves.

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