Swedish massage uses five styles of long, flowing strokes to massage. The five basic strokes are effleurage (sliding or gliding), petrissage (kneading), tapotement (rhythmic tapping), friction (cross fiber) and vibration/shaking.
Swedish massage refers to a collection of techniques designed primarily to relax muscles by applying pressure to them against deeper muscles and bones and rubbing in the same direction as the flow of blood returning to the heart. The lymph system and veins (which carry blood back to the heart) both rely on muscle action, rather than on heart pressure. (Many believe it is also safe to apply light pressure in the opposite direction.) Swedish massage can relax muscles, increase circulation, remove metabolic waste products, and help recipients gain a feeling of connectedness and a better awareness of their body and the ways in which they use and position it.