What is Massage Therapy?
or massage therapy
are systems of structured palpation or movement of the
soft tissue of the body. (For simplicity's sake, massage or massage therapy are often used interchangeably
throughout this website to describe more than 250 massage, bodywork and somatic therapies
The massage system may include, but is not limited to, such techniques as, stroking,
kneading, gliding, percussion, friction, vibration, compression, passive or active
stretching within the normal anatomical range of movement; effleurage (either firm or
light soothing, stroking movement, without dragging the skin, using either padded parts
of fingertips or palms); petrissage (lifting or picking up muscles and rolling the folds
of skin); or tapotement (striking with the side of the hand, usually with partly flexed
fingers, rhythmic movements with fingers or short rapid movements of sides of the hand).
These techniques may be applied with or without the aid of lubricants, salt or herbal
preparations, hydromassage, thermal massage or a massage device that mimics or enhances
the actions possible by human hands. The purpose of the practice of massage is to enhance
the general health and well-being of the recipient. Massage does not include the diagnosis
of a specific pathology, the prescription of drugs or controlled substances, spinal
manipulation or those acts of physical therapy that are outside the scope of massage
An outgrowth of massage and other systems is bodywork
, defined as various forms of
touch therapies that may use manipulation, movement and/or repatterning to affect
structural changes to the body.
means of the body
and is often used to denote a body/mind or whole-body
approach, as distinguished from a physiology-only perspective.
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