The Classic Swedish massage is the perfect remedy for treating the uppermost layer of muscles and relieving muscle tension.

The father of this wonderful technique is Per Henrik Ling or Peter Ling and nowadays this massage is known to be a classic massage around Europe.

However, some state that a Dutch practitioner called Johan Georg Mezger created the massage and formulated the exact strokes.

So, let’s dive deep into the history of this well-loved practice that is used around the world.


The origin of the Swedish massage is believed to come from Per Henrik Ling a Swedish fencing instructor in the 1830s.

Legend has it that he injured his elbow and healed it by doing percussion strokes on it. Later, he developed the Swedish massage technique, and Dr. George Taylor and Dr. Karl introduced it to the US in 1850.

The massage technique includes rubbing, long strokes, kneading, and tapping on the soft tissues of the body.

Passive and active joint movements are utilized, too.

The Creators of the Swedish Massage

Let’s talk about the Swedish massage creators for a while. 

First on the list is Per Henrik Ling, a Swedish fencing instructor head of the Royal Central Gymnastics Institute in Stockholm, Sweden.

He is credited for the development of some procedures based on his pathology, physiology, and anatomy knowledge.

Even though he was an expert in the medical field, he had multiple physical issues like lung disease and rheumatism. 

This is the way he found relief from his pain by applying strokes to his affected areas and this experience led him to understand the human body better.

All of this resulted in a new type of holistic therapy that’s largely paved the Swedish massage we know and love today.

The first name of the Swedish massage was the Swedish Movement System and Ling never even mentioned massage in his works.

On the other hand, we can talk about Johann Georg Mezger who some experts believe to be the father of the Swedish massage. He was a gymnastics instructor and a physiotherapy specialist who had great knowledge of human physiology.

Mezget studied medicine at Leiden University in the Netherlands and he began using French methods on his patients with sprains.

Mezget even created a dissertation on the method which became a textbook for the Swedish massage.

Over a period of time, Mezger used lots of techniques that Ling developed and gave away some details on the basic massage techniques we know today.

Some of those techniques are petrissage (squeezing & kneading of the muscles), effleurage (long strokes), tapotement (quick tapping), friction (rubbing), and nerve strokes (quick shaking).

Some believe that most of the Swedish massage we know is created by Mezget but his invention is linked to Ling since he utilized the Swedish movement system.

Benefits and Disadvantages of the Swedish Massage

Of course, there are some benefits and disadvantages to Swedish massage.

Some benefits include improvement and stimulation of blood circulation, improving brain functions and heaving pain, increasing the oxygen supply, relieving, stress, anxiety, and muscle tension, and reducing back and neck pain.

Some disadvantages include inflammation, nausea, lingering pain, migraines or headaches, fatigue, and more.

Vital Stream Massage Therapy Center

The Vital Stream massage therapy center is located in the Hague and offers high-quality massage therapy by a team of qualified therapists.

Vital Stream Massage Therapy Center Scheveningen

Founded by Rositsa Ivanova, a physiotherapy professional with more than 20 years of experience, the center provides a tailored approach to treatment and a lovely atmosphere.

Vital Stream has a number of different techniques and massages to choose from in order to overcome daily stress and physical overload. 

The center offers consultations that can help out further discussing your current health state and tailor the best service possible.