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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)). Swedish massage has shown to be helpful in reducing pain, joint stiffness, and improving function in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee over a period of eight weeks. It has also been shown to be helpful in individuals with poor circulation.

Besides the calming benefits, Swedish massage is thought to be good for:

* easing muscular strain by flushing out toxins
* improving circulation by increasing oxygen flow in the blood
* helping to keep ligaments and tendons supple
* stimulating the nervous system
* reducing emotional and physical stress.