Massage therapy is used to help manage a health condition or improve well-being. It involves manipulating the soft tissues of the body.
Massagehas been practiced in most cultures, both Eastern and Western, throughout human history, and was one of the first tools people used to try to relieve pain. A massage therapist treats clients by using touch and pressure to manipulate the soft tissue muscles of the body.
The term massage therapy covers many different techniques (see box for examples). In general, therapists press, rub, and manipulate muscles and other soft tissues in the body. Most of the time they use their hands and fingers, but they can use their forearms, elbows, or feet. Other theories suggest that massage could stimulate the release of certain chemicals in the body, such as serotonin or endorphins, or cause beneficial mechanical changes in the body.
Approved massage therapy education programs require courses in human anatomy, physiology, neurology, hygiene, massage techniques, and other elements of general health care. You will find massage therapists in private practices, in groups, hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, sporting events such as the Olympic Games, health spas, resorts and in corporate offices. Massage therapists work in a variety of settings, both private and public, such as private offices, spas, hospitals, fitness centers, and shopping malls. A massage therapist evaluates and treats the body's soft tissues and joints to improve circulation, treat pain from injuries, and maintain good health.
With the autonomous nature of the massage therapy profession, many programs also offer core business and business ethics courses. Massage therapists work in a variety of settings both public and private, including hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, private doctor's offices, health spas, resorts, sports facilities, fitness centers, and corporate offices. To be licensed in New York, a massage therapist must complete an approved massage therapist training program and pass a state-approved licensing exam. This fact sheet provides an overview of massage therapy and suggests additional sources of information.
Increasingly, she claims that licensed massage therapists require them to have a minimum of 500 hours of training at an accredited institution, pass a national exam, meet specific continuing education requirements, and have malpractice insurance. Most therapists who work 15 to 30 hours per week are considered full-time workers, because when you add time to travel, equipment setup, and business functions such as billing, a massage therapist's weekly hours can be more than 40 hours. Among the many other examples are deep tissue massage and trigger point massage, which focuses on myofascial trigger points, muscle knots that hurt when pressed and can cause symptoms in other parts of the body. Massage therapists use their hands, fingers, forearms, elbows, and sometimes feet to knead the muscles and soft tissues of the body to treat injuries and promote overall well-being.