Swedish massage is the most common type of massage at the spa. Swedish massage combines various hands-on techniques including gliding, kneading, and cross-fiber friction to break up muscle knots, called adhesions.
Swedish massage is based on the Western concepts of anatomy and physiology as opposed to energy work. It can be slow and gentle, or vigorous and bracing, depending on what the therapist wants to achieve.
The father of Swedish massage (and also) physical therapy is Per Henrik Ling (1776-1839) of Smaaland, Sweden, a physiologist and fencing master.
In the early 19th century he developed a system called "Medical Gymnastics" which included movements performed by a therapist. These became the known as "Swedish movements" in Europe and "the Swedish Movement Cure" when they came to the U.S. in 1858. Today it is simply known as Swedish massage.