The main purpose of Swedish massage is to increase oxygen flow in the blood and release toxins from the muscles. Other possible benefits include stimulation of circulation, an increase in muscle tone, and a balance of the musculoskeletal systems. Swedish massage shortens recovery time from muscular strain by flushing the tissues of lactic acid, and other metabolic wastes. It increases circulation without increasing heart load.
The usual sequence in which a Swedish massage strokes are conducted are effleurage, petrissage, friction, vibration, percussion, and finally passive and active movements (bending and stretching). Swedish massage may provide relief from stiffness, numbness, pain, constipation, and other health problems.