is the manipulation of superficial and deeper layers of muscle and
connective tissue 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", cf. Greek verb (masso)
"to handle, touch, to work with the hands, to knead dough".
In distinction the ancient Greek word for massage was anatripsis,
and the Latin was frictio.
involves acting on and manipulating 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, as well as lymphatic vessels, or organs
of the gastrointestinal system. Massage can be applied with the
hands, fingers, elbows, knees, forearm, 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
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
unclothed. Parts of the body may be covered with towels or sheets.
Those who practice massage as a career are referred to as masseurs,
masseuses, or, if certified, as massage therapists.
In modern times, massage in China has developed by absorbing western
ideas into the traditional framework. It is widely practiced and
taught in hospital and medical schools and is an essential part
of primary healthcare.
States: Massage started to become popular in the United
States in the middle part of the 19th century and was introduced
by two New York physicians based on Per Henrik Ling's techniques
developed in Sweden.
the 1930s and 1940s massage's influence decreased as a result of
medical advancements of the time, while in the 1970s massage's influence
grew once again with a notable rise among athletes. Massage was
used up until the 1960s and 1970s by nurses to help ease patients’
pain and help them sleep.
it is illegal to advertise or offer sexual services in much of the
United States, these are sometimes advertised as "Asian massage"
or under the terms "masseuse" or "masseur";
this has contributed to the rise of the term "massage therapy"
in an attempt to provide a distinction between sexual and non-sexual
Lowers blood pressure
Stimulates lymphatic drainage
Time for oneself
of Massage & Vocabulary
chair - portable, padded chair designed
to fully support the relaxed weight of the massage client.
table - padded table designed specifically for massage
in a recumbent position.
Western - method of therapeutic friction, kneading and
stroking of the body derived from European anatomic and physiologic
- a holistic healing practice that uses very light touching to balance
the craniosacral system in the body, which includes the bones, nerves,
fluids, and connective tissues of the cranium and spinal area.
tissue (CTM) - a diagnostic and therapeutic treatment that
involves stroking and pulling deep connective tissues to release
the existing tension and return them to a natural alignment. May
be uncomfortable and produce vasodilatation and sweating.
- a style of massage that uses strong pressure; slow, deep strokes;
and friction across the muscle grain to release chronic muscle tension.
- a style of massage used to relieve pain, stimulate circulation,
and loosen trigger points. This form of massage focuses on individual
muscles rather than muscle groups and uses deep pressure.
- a therapeutic approach to injury and pathology treatment of the
locomotor system; uses multiple techniques.
- massage designed to address the needs of an uninjured athlete
directly after a competition or a vigorous workout. The focus is
on minimizing fatigue or soreness and cleansing tissues to shorten
- a therapeutic method of relieving pain by stimulating predefined
pressure points on the feet and hands. This controlled pressure
alleviates the source of the discomfort. In the absence of any particular
malady or abnormality, reflexology may be as effective for promoting
good health and for preventing illness as it may be for relieving
symptoms of stress, injury, and illness.
- massage used specifically to speed re-covery after surgery or
in cases of injury.
- massage designed to help recovery from mild to moderate injuries.
- a manipulative therapy developed in Japan and incorporating techniques
of anma (Japanese traditional massage), acupressure, stretching,
and Western massage. Shiatsu involves applying pressure to special
points or areas on the body in order to maintain physical and mental
well being, treat disease, or alleviate discomfort. This therapy
is considered holistic because it attempts to treat the whole person
instead of a specific medical complaint. All types of acupressure
generally focus on the same pressure points and so-called energy
pathways, but may differ in terms of massage technique. Shiatsu,
which can be translated as finger pressure, has been described as
- a style of massage that works specifically on problems resulting
from athletic performance, training, and injury. This form of massage
uses techniques similar to those of Swedish and deep-tissue massages.
See also massage, deep-tissue and massage, Swedish.
- systematic soft tissue manipulation applied directly to the skin
via effleurage, petrissage, friction, tapotement, and vibration.
Developed by Swedish physiologist and gymnast Per Henrik Ling (1776–1839).
- a style of bodywork that incorporates aspects of Ayurveda, Chinese
medicine, and Thai Buddhist meditation. Its form is similar to like
facilitated yoga because of its emphasis on opening and stretching
the body. It uses acupuncture meridians to move energy, and its
slow pace is conducive to of contemplative states of consciousness.
Also called noad bo-rom, Thai yoga-massage, Thailand medical massage,
or traditional Thai massage
Jonas: Mosby's Dictionary of Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
(c) 2005, Elsevier.