What is swedish massage? it was developed in the 1700s by a Swedish doctor, this type of massage is generally used to relax and energize. Long gliding strokes, applying circular pressure with hands and palms, and firm kneading are used to relax muscles and increase the oxygen flow in the blood. Other terms in massage therapy you may hear are Effluerage which refers to gliding strokes made by using the palms, thumbs and fingertips. Pregnancy massage is done with the mom often side-lying or positioned with pillows to keep the pressure off the vena cave. Pregnancy massage should be done after the first 3 months.