Massage Therapy

General Information on Massage

It is the job of a masseuse or masseur to rub, handle and manipulate muscle and connective tissue in superficial and deeper layers. The term itself is derived from the French word of the same name, and it refers to “friction of kneading.” It also has roots in the Greek word μάσσω, a verb meaning to work with the hands, and the Arabic word massa, with a similar definition.

There are many ancient civilizations that wrote about similar treatments and procedures as those you will find here. Among these are the Romans, Greeks, Japanese, Indians, Mesopotamians, Egyptians, and the Chinese. There have been passages about rubbing of the flesh since 493 B.C., in Biblical times, from Esther 2:12.

Hippocrates wrote of physicians in 460 B.C. that they must be “experienced in many things, but assuredly in rubbing.” There are several other examples supporting the prevalence of this practice since antiquity, and findings are growing.

Massage Therapy

Massage Therapy

The whole point is to apply pressure to muscles and tissues in a person. These areas include muscles, ligaments, fascia, flesh, joints and tendons. Lymphatic vessels may also be manipulated.


Sometimes, depending on the amount of profession involved, gastrointestinal organs may be stimulated. Areas include the forearms, back, hands, flanges, elbows, feet, shoulders, stomach, chest, legs, neck, and sometimes even the forehead or scalp.
It should be noted that only certified masseurs or masseuses are called a true massage therapist.

Normally, a person lies facing frontwards or downwards in a massage chair, becoming completely or partially unclothed. Other acceptable places are on a mat in the floor, or on a table. Many massage parlors offer a selection between these three surfaces, and the choice of which is based solely on what the customer feels the most comfortable with. More intimate areas are covered with towels, sometimes slightly warm and moist ones that become draped over, to maintain a level of professionalism.

The Most Popular Massage Therapies

Neuromuscular Massage Therapy
This works deeper tissues and is generally used on individual muscles. Neuromuscular massage benefits include increasing the flow of blood, releasing accumulate nerve pressure, and reducing pain caused by injuries and other damages. It focuses on releasing what are called trigger points, which have an impact on other areas of the body. For example, a point in the neck can affect the shoulders, and relieving it will help remove pain in both of these areas.

Feldenkrais Massage Therapy
This is an interesting massage variant that involves a lot of postures and movement rhythms from the receiver, rather than putting an emphasis on working out parts of their body through rubbing and coercion. There is enough massaging involved to quality as a massage therapy however. Practitioners of this style guide their clients through slow, relaxing movements, similar to yoga. It assists them in increasing their general range of motion.

Swedish Massage Therapy
The Swedes have devised their own Swedish massage.

Thai Therapy
The above applies to the Thai massage, and everything involved with it.

Deep Tissue Massage
There are many branches when it comes to this variation. This is the biggest target for chronic tension in muscles that rest in much deeper layers than normal. There are methods that apply the necessary pressure, which can be uncomfortable to people who are sensitive in this regard.

The therapist may even use his or her elbows to move against the muscle grain. The strokes here are slow and meticulous, offering direct friction in the movements that are intended to travel down deeper than the first few layers of whichever is being worked over. This is similar to a Athelete Therapy, which is a type of deep muscle penetration intended to help atheletes train or perform better. These help to improve circulation in the extremities, or maintain focus within a competitive environment.

Benefits Related to Massaging

There are many benefits when it comes to receiving treatment in your muscles, bones, ligaments and joints. The client feels more relaxed overall, even if nothing else benefits him or her. Plus, there are certain benefits, such as alleviating pain, helping certain muscle groups to loosen up, removing tension from the shoulders and other areas, and balance out other issues in the body.

Massage also helps with stiffness, anxiety, stress, and may even aide in lowering high blood pressure. These are benefits that have been replicated for many years, as techniques were perfected.

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