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Massage Therapy Information

 

What Is Massage Therapy?

Massage therapy has become an important part of general health care for many people living in today's stressful world.! Massage therapy is recognized as one of the oldest methods of healing, with references in medical texts nearly 4,000 years old. In fact, Hippocrates, known as the "father of medicine," referenced massage when he wrote, in the 4th century B.C.: "The physician must be acquainted with many things, and assuredly with rubbing."

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Traditional healthcare systems throughout the world recognize that therapeutic massage can play an important role in treating illness or chronic ailments, and contribute to a higher sense of general well-being.! And with ever-expanding research on the beneficial effects of massage, more professionals are advising patients to include therapeutic massage in their health care treatment plans. Physicians, chiropractors and physiotherapists are recommending more patients receive massages for certain health conditions, while many employers and health insurance plans support the use of registered massage therapists. Those contemplating entering the field of massage therapy as an occupation will be especially interested in our massage therapy school information area. Choosing a massage school will be a hard decision for anyone, so check out our specialized area for detailed tips and links to popular massage schools in North America. We don't sell anything on this site, but the sponsor's links will direct you to some respected product suppliers, massage therapy schools and educational resources.

Now days, in addition to "rubbing," massage therapy, often referred to as bodywork or somatic therapy, refers to the application of various techniques to the muscular structure and soft tissues of the body that include applying fixed or movable pressure, holding, vibration, rocking, friction, kneading and compression using primarily the hands, although massage therapists do use other areas of the body, such as the forearms, elbows or feet. All of the techniques are used for the benefit of the musculoskeletal, circulatory-lymphatic, nervous, and other systems of the body. In fact, massage therapy positively influences the overall health and well-being of the client:

 

 

Physical and Mental Benefits

  • relaxes the whole body
  • loosens tight muscles
  • relieves tired and aching muscles
  • increases flexibility and range of motion
  • diminishes chronic pain
  • calms the nervous system
  • lowers blood pressure
  • lowers heart rate
  • enhances skin tone
  • assists in recovery from injuries and illness
  • strengthens the immune system
  • reduces tension headaches
  • reduces mental stress
  • improves concentration
  • promotes restful sleep
  • aids in mental relaxation

Currently, there are well over 100,000 massage therapists practicing in the United States alone. Training requirements vary from state to state, although an increasing number of schools and states recommend massage therapy programs of at least 500 hours training. As of March 2004, 33 states and the District of Columbia have official massage licensing regulations, and other states are pending.

Learn more about specific massage techniques and related terms by clicking on the links below (Note: New techniques and terms are added on a continuing basis.):

 

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