What is Massage therapy?
Massage therapy is a technique used to heal, relax and revive the body. Benefits of massage therapy include improved physical dysfunction/pain and stress relief.
Various Methods used in Massage Therapy
There are about 80 massage therapy techniques that differ in terms of touch, pressure, and intensity. The types of massage therapies are also known as modalities.
Massage therapists specialize in various modalities that require different techniques.
Some of the examples of modalities include:
- Swedish massage
- Sports Massage
- Deep Tissue Massage
However, the primary purpose is to heal and balance the body.
Massage Therapists & What They Do:
An essential element of massage therapy is a trained, certified professional, the massage therapist.
Therapists with their touch reduce stress, increase relaxation, relieve pain, rehabilitate injuries and assist in the general wellness of their clients.
To treat injuries and promote wellness, massage therapists use their fingers, forearms, hands, elbows and even sometimes their feet to massage soft tissues and muscles of the body.
Some of the responsibilities of the massage therapists include:
- Talking to clients about symptoms
- Looking at their medical history
- Evaluating clients to locate painful or tense areas in the body
- Manipulating muscles and soft tissues
- Improving posture
- Stretching, Strengthening and overall relaxation.
Interested in becoming a massage therapist?
Wholistic Training offers both basic and advanced options as part of its Massage Therapy Program.
Register for our Massage Therapy Program to learn more about the principles of therapeutic massage therapy training and to find out whether massage therapy is the right field for you. The program is offered in the evenings and can be done 100% remotely, in-person or hybrid.
Steps prior to Massage Therapy
Here are some measures to take before going to a massage therapy session:
- You should be clean
- You should be empty stomach prior to the massage therapy
- Provide the massage therapist with the details that they require, including:
- Information about your physical condition
- Medical history
- Reasons for Getting Massage Therapy
- information about any of your injuries or other conditions
- Details about allergies, areas of tightness/pain
- Conditions like pregnancy
- Your preference for light or firm pressure during the session
It is strongly recommended only to get massage therapy if you are feeling well.
After your consultation, the massage therapist will give you instructions on how to lie down on the table, i.e. face up or face down, and underneath the sheet.
Here are steps to follow after consultation:
- Start by lying face down with your head in a u-shaped face cradle, so your spine stays neutral.
The individual’s modesty is essential at all times. The massage therapist will leave the room for a short time and will ask if you are ready before re-entering.
During the Massage:
Ensure that you are dressing so you are comfortable. Only the part of the body being worked on is uncovered by the massage therapist; a technique called draping.
If you are not comfortable undressing completely, it is common for people to wear your underwear.
You will be responsible for communicating your preferences to the massage therapist. If the pressure is either too light or too firm, you must inform the therapist to adjust the pressure.
The massage therapist will lubricate your skin with massage oils, lotions and perform different massage strokes to promote relaxation and ease muscle tension.
Benefits of the massage strokes, including
- Warming and working the muscle tissues
- Breaking up muscle knots or adhered tissues (adhesions).
Clients may also offer information about additional relaxation techniques or exercises to practice between sessions by the therapist. The massage can last for 15 minutes or more than an hour.
After Massage Care:
There are no specific measures to take after the massage. However, a period of quiet activity or rest following the massage therapy helps preserve full benefits from the massage therapy.
Massage therapy optimizes health and well-being besides having a therapeutic effect on the body by acting on the nervous, muscular and circulatory systems. However, the type of massage therapy given to a client depends on their needs and physical conditions.
For example, massage therapists may use a unique technique for elderly clients that they would not use for athletes while other forms of massage therapy are given exclusively to one type of client like prenatal massage is given only to pregnant women.