Glossary

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M Technique

The M Technique (the M stands for Manual) is a series of stroking movements performed in a set sequence. Each movement, identified with a mnemonic name, is repeated three times. Because the technique is structured in terms of order and number, it is completely reproducible and therefore useful in research. The technique was created by Jane Buckle, a critical care nurse, for the very fragile or critically ill patient and produces a measurable parasympathetic response.

Macrobiotic Shiatsu

This is a combination of macrobiotic diet, philosophy, and shiatsu. Macrobiotic shiatsu makes use of the classical Asian meridians. The feet are utilized considerably in the application of this method.

Magnet Therapy

The therapeutic use of magnets may be older than acupuncture, originally involving a material called magnetite applied in a poultice. Today’s magnet therapy is still applied to the skin, but employs steady or pulsed magnetic fields from either electromagnets or less powerful permanent magnets. Fixed magnets may also be taped to the body for a period of time. Magnet therapy is used to relieve pain and discomfort and to aid in healing with a variety of physical and emotional disorders, such as arthritis and stress. Treatment may be administered by the therapist or, as in the case of taped magnets, by the client.

Manual Lymph Drainage

The strokes applied in manual lymph drainage are intended to stimulate the movement of the lymphatic fluids in order to assist the body in cleansing. This is a gentle, rhythmical technique that cleanses the connective tissue of inflammatory materials and toxins, enhances the activity of the immune system, reduces pain, and lowers the activity of the sympathetic nervous system.

The most widely taught and generally accepted form of this technique was created by Dr. Vodder of Austria and requires advanced training and precise movements.

MariEL

Developed by Reiki Master Ethel Lombardi, the expression MariEL refers to a transformational healing energy that works at the cellular level to help clients discover and release emotional and physical traumas.

Massage & Massage Therapy

Massage, or massage therapy, is a system of structured palpation or movement of the soft tissue of the body. 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)
  • 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 therapy.

Massotherapy

Another term for therapeutic muscle massage.

Maya Abdominal Massage

Maya Abdominal Massage is a noninvasive, external, massage technique. It guides internal abdominal organs into their proper position for optimum health and well-being. Maya massage improves organ function by releasing physical and emotional congestion from the abdomen.

The technique applies anatomy, physiology, herbology, and naprapathy along with Ancient Maya healing techniques to address common female complaints such as painful or irregular periods, varicose veins, lower backache, infertility, and more. The techniques also address male complaints such as prostrate swelling and inflammation, frequent urination, and impotency.

The technique works by relieving congestion and blockages to improve the flow of chi and fluids of the circulatory, lymphatic, and nervous systems to prevent the progression of chronic disease symptomology.

Dr. Rosita Arvigo, DN, developed Maya Abdominal Massage after apprenticing with Don Elijio Panti, the last of the traditional Maya shamans in Central America. The Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Massage combine modern science with traditional healing and wisdom to produce a holistic path to physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being.

Mechanical Link

Mechanical Link is a system of evaluation that allows practitioners to locate and release primary restrictions within the fascial system. These gentle techniques help reduce structural tensions and encourage the body to adjust itself and regulate its systems, including the autoimmune system.

Medical Massage

Performing medical massage requires a firm background in pathology and utilizes specific treatments appropriate to working with disease, pain, and recovery from injury. The therapist may work from a physician’s prescription or as an adjunct healer within a hospital or physical therapy setting. Click here to find a medical massage practitioner.

Middendorf Breathwork

Through a series of spontaneous movement exercises, participants use basic sensing, focusing, vocalizing, and hands-on techniques to consciously experience the meaning of their personal breath movement. Since its inception, this artistic form of breathing education, developed by Professor Ilse Middendorf, has achieved international attention for its effectiveness as a somatic healing and growth process.

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction

Relaxation techniques, meditation, and easy stretching exercises are combined to allow the client to become mindful in order to access inner sources of power. By being fully mindful and awake in life, clients may cope more effectively with stress and illness.

Movement Therapy

A variety of techniques that utilize movement reeducation and proper body mechanics in combination with massage or soft-tissue manipulation. After observing the client, the therapist will determine which corrective measures are necessary to accomplish specific goals. Active client participation is important while the practitioner uses verbal instruction, hypnosis and imagery, deep muscle and connective tissue manipulation, and mobilization in the movement reeducation process. Registered practitioners may include graduates of the Feldenkrais Method, the Alexander Technique, and other movement-based disciplines.

Multi-Dimensional Movement Arts

Multi-Dimensional Movement Arts (MDMA), water version, is the art of using movement in the medium of water to create dynamic balance. Specific actions, patterns, and waveforms promote reorganization, reeducation, rehabilitation, relaxation, rejuvenation, and dynamic balance. This continuous process of attunement leads to heightened states of awareness.

During a typical session, the client is supported by flotation devices and moved in thermal water. Trained practitioners play with the various interconnections and influences of orbiting circles, spirals, and infinity signs, promoting vitality and health. A body in water is buoyant. The liquid environment changes auditory experience. One can move freely without using muscles. Travel and movement are distorted and experience is shifted from ordinary reality. This affects a person on many different levels: memories are jogged, holding patterns released, body parts awakened, and awareness stimulated.

Muscle Energy Technique

Muscle Energy Technique is a direct, noninvasive manual therapy used to normalize joint dysfunction and increase range of motion. The practitioner evaluates the primary areas of dysfunction in order to place the affected joints in precise positions that enable the client to perform gentle isometric contractions. These directed movements help correct neuromuscular and joint difficulties.

Muscle Release Technique

This technique combines compression, extension, movement, and breath to give therapists a tool to provide relief from pain, treating such conditions as carpal tunnel syndrome, chronic low back pain, plantar fasciitis, sciatica, tennis elbow, knee pain, shin splints, frozen shoulder, hammer toes, piriformis syndrome, tendinitis, trigger finger, and much more.

Muscle Testing

Muscle testing involves finding a muscle that is unbalanced and then attempting to determine why that muscle is not functioning properly. Treatments may involve specific joint manipulation or mobilization, various myofascial therapies, cranial techniques, meridian and acupuncture skills, clinical nutrition, dietary management, counselling skills, evaluating environmental irritants, and various reflex procedures. The object is to test the function of a single muscle in the best possible manner. (Adapted from www.icak.com.)

Myofascial Release

Myofascial Release is the three-dimensional application of sustained pressure and movement into the fascial system in order to eliminate fascial restrictions and facilitate the emergence of emotional patterns and belief systems that are no longer relevant or are impeding progress. It is an effective therapeutic approach in the relief of cervical pain, back pain, fibromyalgia, scoliosis, neurological dysfunction, restriction of motion, chronic pain, and headaches.

First, an assessment is made by visually analyzing the human frame, followed by the palpation of the tissue texture of various fascial layers. Upon locating an area of fascial tension, gentle pressure is applied in the direction of the restriction.

Click here to find a Myofascial Release practitioner.

Myofascial Trigger Point Therapy

Based on the discoveries of Drs. Janet Travell and David Simons in which they found the causal relationship between chronic pain and its source, myofascial trigger point therapy is used to relieve muscular pain and dysfunction through applied pressure to trigger points of referred pain and through stretching exercises. These points are defined as localized areas in which the muscle and connective tissue are highly sensitive to pain when compressed. Pressure on these points can send referred pain to other specific parts of the body.

Myomassology

Myomassology is an integration of techniques including basic Swedish massage, aromatherapy, reflexology, shiatsu, iridology, herbology, energy balancing, ear candling, and craniosacral therapy in conjunction with instruction in nutrition, meditation, yoga, tai chi, and qigong. Click here to find a Myomassology practitioner.

Myopathic Muscular Therapy

Myopathy is a system of muscular manipulation designed to accomplish relaxation in muscles in which there is progressive and residual tension from physical strain, nervous strain, sports injuries, accidents, infections, and/or years of declining health. Created by Dr. Claude Heckman, myopathy reduces inflammation and pain, restores circulation and motion, and aids in the restoration of normal body functions without the use of oil, cream, powder, or lotion.

Myopractic Muscle Therapy

Robert Petteway developed the Myopractic system after 30 years in the healing arts. His experience in structural integration, biomechanics, acupuncture, Oriental medicine, and a wide variety of muscle therapies contribute to the system. He worked with physicians, surgeons, and chiropractors for more than 20 years to develop this therapeutic model.

It combines three basic techniques: compression stretching, which achieves deep relaxation and relieves tension, spasms, and holding patterns; clearing methods, which use the myopractic covered thumb and framing techniques to clean obstructions from soft tissue (e.g., trigger points, scar tissue, muscle bundles, and old bruises); and separating techniques to release myofascial adhesions, separate fascial planes, and rebalance muscles.

Myopractic muscle therapy integrates its own unique style of energetic work, Swedish, sports, trigger point, myofascial, and even structural integration techniques into one system. It teaches user-friendly, pain-free therapy for both client and practitioner. This is accomplished using the therapist’s body weight and leverage, rather than relying on size and strength. Myopractic posture balancing evaluation identifies the source of chronic pain misalignments in the body’s structure and realigns them.

Myopractic treatments focus especially on misalignments in the lower body, particularly in the feet, ankles, and the hips. Addressing lower-body misalignments often relieves tension injuries in the upper body.

The system also espouses that a therapist can clear their clients only to the degree they themselves are clear. Therefore, training seminars focus on clearing the therapist, as well as learning new techniques.

Myoskeletal Alignment Technique

A holistic approach to relief of back and neck pain based on concepts and principles from Rolfing, osteopathy, and related physical medicine. Focused on detecting and correcting strain patterns to prevent back/neck pain, this technique combines deep-tissue work with assisted stretching and non-force spinal alignment.

Myotherapy