If you’re thinking of attending a massage school, you may be unfamiliar with some of the terminology and key words so often used in the field of massage therapy. Below we'll define some important terms you may encounter as you research massage schools.
Thai massage – A type of massage therapy that uses a combination of stretching exercises and “deep” massages. Thai massage is generally performed with the recipient lying on a mat placed on the floor.
Deep tissue massage – A type of massage therapy intended to relieve pain and tension in afflicted muscles below the superficial layer of musculature. Not to be confused with so-called deep pressure massage, a non-localized massage where heavy pressure is evenly applied all over the recipient.
Acupressure – A form of therapy in which pressure is applied with the hand or needles to specific points. It is closely related to acupuncture, but the skin is never penetrated.
Homeopath – Someone who treats disease by administering tiny doses of drugs that in larger amounts would create symptoms of the same disease in normal persons.
Reflexology – A physical therapy technique in which the practitioner places pressure on the feet, hands, or ears. Also called zone therapy.
Chiropractic – A type of physical therapy involving the manipulation of the spine.
Shiatsu – A Japanese massage technique where the practitioner applies pressure using only fingers, thumbs, and palms. It is believed to help reduce stress and anxiety.
Aromatherapy – A type of therapy, believed to aid in mood disorders, that employs fragrances derived from plant materials.
When a massage is done right, it can be relaxing and therapeutic. Massage therapists are professionals who have gone to school and earned their certification to provide a wide variety of natural massages, each one delivering a different benefit. From Swedish massage to deep tissue massage, therapists skilled in these areas can help your sore muscles and joints feel much better.
Students interested in this application can attend an accredited massage school. There, they can learn about the physical attributes and systems of the body, including the muscular system. They also learn the various techniques associated with massage, such as deep tissue or Thai massage, which sometimes involves the patient lying on the floor.
Many professional sports teams employ therapists to provide regular therapeutic sports massage techniques to players to keep them limber. Massage therapists can also own their own business, making house calls or opening up a spa or even their home to provide holistic, hot stone or shiatsu massage therapy.
Massages are meant to help the body relax, and can be used in conjunction with alternative healing therapies such as acupuncture, acupressure and reflexology. Chiropractic professionals can provide physical healing massages to patients, as can homeopaths, aromatherapy professionals and masseuses. Homeopaths practice homeopathy, which subscribes to the theory that treatment of a disease should be based on giving small amounts of drugs that would ordinarily produce symptoms in health patients.
Finding the right school to train you in the art of massage therapy, such as Thai or deep tissue, isn’t difficult. Simply seek out your school’s guidance counselor or browse the web for massage schools in your area, then check each one’s course list, rates and course availability.