Swedish Massage
Swedish Spa
Swedish spa is a type of spa therapy that’s primarily known for its relaxation effects. With this technique, a spa therapist targets muscles with a combination of friction, gliding strokes, and kneading.

Also known as classical spa, this technique is the most common form of spa therapy in Western countries. It’s also considered a core technique that led to the creation of other types of spa therapy.

Read on to learn about what the science says about this spa therapy technique.

Therapeutic Swedish spa benefits

Like other types of spa therapy, a Swedish spa is promoted as a way to temporarily alleviate pain and help you relax. Below are 12 possible benefits of Swedish spa, as well as information about related clinical research.

1.May treat low back pain

While Swedish spa may help with low back pain, there’s conflicting scientific evidence regarding its benefits.

Some research suggests that spa therapy in general provides only temporary relief, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)Trusted Source. One 2017 reviewTrusted Source found that Swedish spa was indeed helpful in alleviating low back pain in nurses.

However, this may not be an ideal treatment for chronic low back pain, as determined by one 2019 controlled trialTrusted Source that found spa reduced only the perception of pain. Another 2008 study suggests that Swedish spa may help low back pain only if people also exercise.

2.May treat neck pain

As with low back pain, Swedish spa may reduce neck pain, but only temporarily. One key finding in a 2016 review found that people were more likely to benefit from this spa if they attended frequent and long sessions, according to the NCCIH.

3.May treat shoulder pain

Swedish spa may also offer short-term relief from shoulder pain, per the NCCIH. As with neck pain relief, you may consider talking with your spa therapist about regular sessions to maximize the benefits to your shoulder area.

4.May treat fibromyalgia

Some studies have found spa therapy can help alleviate fibromyalgia pain, as well as anxiety and depression. However, there’s conflicting evidence regarding Swedish spa more specifically, the NCCIH reports.

5.May treat headaches

If you’re seeking spa therapy for headaches, it’s important to know that it hasn’t been as widely studied in a clinical setting as other forms of pain therapy.

However, according to the NCCIH,some research suggests that a weekly traditional Swedish spa may reduce migraine. So far, the science supporting possible tension headache relief is inconclusive.

6.May treat anxiety

The possible relaxing effects of spa are promoted for stress management, but research also suggests that spa therapy may help alleviate anxiety. Such benefits have also been linked to anxiety associated with HIV and AIDS, as well as fibromyalgia, per the NCCIH.

However, the long-term benefits of Swedish spa for anxiety are up for debate.

One 2016 study found that while this technique reduced symptoms of anxiety, such as high blood pressure and pulse, Swedish spa didn’t improve overall anxiety scores in the women who participated.

7.May lower blood pressure

Swedish spa may decrease blood pressure related to anxiety, according to the 2016 study mentioned just above. However, more studies are needed to determine whether this technique can offer long-term relief and whether it may improve high blood pressure related to other causes.

8.May improve sleep quality

Relaxation techniques are recommended for sleep disorders, particularly those related to anxiety, according to the Anxiety & Depression Association of America. If Swedish spa help you relax, you may consider regular sessions to decrease anxiety and stress.

Over time, you might find improvements in sleep. However, more clinical research is needed to determine whether Swedish spa can actually help improve sleep.

9.May treat premenstrual syndrome (PMS)

Relaxation techniques, such as spa therapy, are also promoted by health professionals to help ease symptoms of PMS such as fatigue and mood shifts. Still, more clinical research is needed to determine whether Swedish spa can specifically address these PMS symptoms.

10.May treat symptoms of depression

The overall benefits of spa therapy to your mood may also help address symptoms of depression. While the NCCIH notes that research has supported such benefits on a smaller scale, larger studies are needed to explore the effects of Swedish spa on depression.

11.May provide cancer symptom relief

While more evidence is needed, the NCCIH reports that early research suggests people with cancer may benefit from using Swedish spa as a complementary therapy to address symptoms like pain, fatigue, and anxiety.

12.May improve circulation

A classical spa may improve circulation in the body, 2016 research suggests. For this reason, some experts recommend spa during pregnancy.

Still, this research is older, and more clinical studies are needed to look at this benefit. You should also use caution if you have a history of blood clots.