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What is Massage?

Massage is the working of superficial and deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue using various techniques, to enhance function, aid in the healing process, and promote relaxation and well-being. The word comes from the French massage "friction of kneading", or from Arabic massa meaning "to touch, feel or handle" or from Latin massa meaning "mass, dough".

Massage involves working and acting on the body with pressure – structured, unstructured, stationary, or moving – tension, motion, or vibration, done manually or with mechanical aids. Target tissues may include muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia, skin, joints or other connective tissue.  Massage can be applied with the hands, fingers, elbows, knees, forearms and feet. There are over eighty different recognized massage modalities.  The most cited reasons for introducing massage as therapy have been client demand and perceived clinical effectiveness.

In professional settings massage involves the client being treated while lying on a massage table, sitting in a massage chair or lying on a mat on the floor. The massage subject may be fully or partly dressed. Parts of the body may be covered with towels or sheets. Those who practice massage as a career are referred to as massage therapists.



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National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork
Massage Therapy Licensing

Massage Therapy

 Most states in the US have licensing requirements for massage therapists. The pay range and demand is dramatically rising each year.  If you are interested in a relaxing and growing field and want to work with and help people, massage therapy is a great choice for you.

Massage therapy uses touch in order to manipulate the soft body tissues to increase the health and well-being of each patient.  Massage Therapists:

  • Provide clients with rehabilitative exercises
  • Confer with clients about medical histories
  • Develop client treatment plans
  • Preparing clients for tests, therapy or treatments
  • Maintaining treatment records
  • Preparing and blending massage oils

Massage therapists need to be able to assess clients' soft tissue conditions, joint quality, muscle strength and their range of motion.  They must consult with other health care professionals like physiotherapists, chiropractors, physicians and psychologists so they will be able to develop effective treatment plans for their clients.
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