floridamassageswedishIt is the most popular type of bodywork in the United States. It involves the use of hands, forearms or elbows to manipulate the superficial layers of the muscles to improve mental and physical health. Active or passive movement of the joints may also be part of the massage.

It uses five styles of long, flowing strokes. The five basic strokes are effleurage (sliding or gliding), petrissage (kneading), tapotement (rhythmic tapping), friction (cross fiber) and vibration/shaking.

This modality has shown to be helpful in reducing pain and joint stiffness by improving joints range of motion. It has also been shown to be helpful in individuals with poor circulation and people in need of mental and physical relaxation, relieving stress, depression, anxiety, irritation and muscle tension.

The development of this technique is often inaccurately credited to Per Henrik Ling, though the Dutch practitioner Johan Georg Mezger adopted the French names to denote the basic strokes. In fact, the term "Swedish" is actually only recognized in English or Dutch speaking countries. Elsewhere the style is referred to as "classic massage".