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Massage Therapy

Description and Benefits of Massage

Massage therapy has been used for thousands of years and can be used to relieve physical and mental stress.

Massage therapists use various touch and manipulation techniques such as kneading, stroking, friction and vibration to stretch muscles, tendons and stiff joints in order to increase flexibility.

Massage therapy is designed to stretch and loosen muscles, improve blood flow and the movement of lymph throughout the body, facilitate the removal of metabolic wastes resulting from exercise or inactivity, and increase the flow of oxygen and nutrients to cells and tissue. In addition, massage stimulates the release of endorphins into the brain and nervous system.

Massage therapy can promote relaxation, mobilization, improved circulation along with stimulating the immune system.

There are over two hundred different forms of massage and it is used in conjunction with many other therapies as a part of the healing process.

Before You Get a Massage

If you suffer from certain circulatory ailments (such as phlebitis), infectious diseases, certain forms of cancer, cardiac problems, certain skin conditions, or any inflamed or infected tissues, be sure to consult your physician before initiating any massage program.

Use caution if you are ill or suffer from a long term health problem such as cancer. Massage may cause spreading of the illness or infection.

Use caution if you are pregnant, have diabetes or suffer from high blood pressure.

Consult a massage therapist about specific health conditions. A trained and experienced massage therapist will be able to tell you when massage is not indicated.

It is important that you make sure that you go to a qualified therapist to avoid possible aggravation of a health condition or disease. Once you choose a therapist, inform them of any current conditions and of your past medical history.

Questions to Ask a Massage Therapist

Are you currently licensed as a massage therapist in this state/municipality? Most states require licensing of massage therapists.

Are you a member of the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA)?

Are you certified by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork?

Are you a graduate of a training program accredited by the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation, or that is a current AMTA School Member?

Do you have advanced training in any specific massage techniques?

Research on Massage

Back Pain
Weight Loss

Websites || Glossary of Massage Terms

last update: April 2009

This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. You should not use this material to diagnose or treat a health condition or disease without consulting with your healthcare provider.
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