Massage Therapy: The Power of Touch
How Massage Therapy Works
What to Expect From the Different Types
- Swedish—Considered the most common type, this involves long strokes, kneading, and other techniques on the more superficial muscle layers, along with active and passive joint movement. This type of massage is intended to relax and energize you.
- Deep tissue—Designed to release tension through slow strokes and deep finger pressure. Deep tissue is so named because it focuses on the deeper layers of muscle tissue. The strokes and pressure either follow or go across the grain of muscles and tendons. It is commonly used for muscle damage from an injury, like whiplash or back strain.
- Chair—This is massage of the upper body. It is done through your clothes while you are seated upright in a portable chair.
- Sport therapy—Sports massage focuses on warming up an athlete to prevent athletic injury, keep the body flexible, or help rehabilitate injured muscles.
What Studies Have Found
How to Find a Massage Therapist
- Where did you receive your training?
- Are you a member of the American Massage Therapy Association?
- LMN—Licensed Massage Therapist
- LMP—Licensed Massage Practitioner
- CMT—Certified Massage Therapist
- NCTMB—has met requirements (including exam) of the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork for practicing therapeutic massage and bodywork
- NCTM—has met requirements (including exam) of the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork for practicing therapeutic massage
The American Massage Therapy Association http://www.amtamassage.org
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine http://nccam.nih.gov
Canadian Massage Therapy Associations http://www.massage.ca
Massage Therapist Association of Alberta http://www.mtaalberta.com
Licensing. National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork website. Available at: http://www.ncbtmb.org/licensure/licensing. Accessed March 4, 2-014.
Massage can aid in pain relief. AMTA Position Statement. American Massage Therapy Association website. Available at: http://www.amtamassage.org/statement6.html. Updated September 2009. Accessed March 4, 2014.
Massage therapy. EBSCO Natural and Alternative Treatments website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/academic/natural-alternative-treatments. Updated July 2012. Accessed March 4, 2014.
Massage therapy for health purposes: what you need to know. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine website. Available at: http://nccam.nih.gov/health/massage/massageintroduction.htm. Updated February 2014. Accessed March 4, 2014.
Massage therapy may benefit newborns. AMTA Position Statement. American Massage Therapy Association website. Available at: http://www.amtamassage.org/statement4.html. Updated September 2008. Accessed March 4, 2014.
Types of massage. The American Massage Therapy Association website. Available at: http://www.amtamassage.org/findamassage/massage%5Ftype.html. Accessed March 4, 2014.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 03/2014 -
- Update Date: 03/04/2014 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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