Swedish massage can be slow and gentle or vigorous depending on your needs. It helps to promote relaxation, ease muscle tension and allow your body to heal itself. It uses five different styles of long gliding strokes in the direction of blood returning to the heart. Swedish massage is exceptionally beneficial for increasing the level of oxygen in the blood, decreasing muscle toxins, and improving circulation and flexibility. This type of massage decreases your body's level of the stress hormone cortisol and so can reduce tension and anxiety. It also provides an increase in the number of lymphocytes, or white blood cells, that are vital to a healthy immune system.