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Popular Terms for Massage Therapists
Massage therapists often use terms that you haven’t encountered before. Knowing a few key terms that they use could help you decide which professional massage therapy parlor you want to visit.
Deep Tissue Massage – Deep tissue massage targets connective tissues and muscles that lie underneath your primary muscles. When performed by a certified therapist, deep tissue techniques can improve muscle health, relieve pain, and prevent stress.
Swedish Massage – This technique is also known as classic massage. It uses five different approaches to preventing muscle and joint pain. It has also been noted for preventing pain in patients with osteoarthritis.
Thai Massage – Thai techniques that therapists have learned in school, use yoga to relieve stress and improve muscle health. Therapists that have taken classes in southern Thai massage use acupressure while those that have attended schools that emphasize northern techniques use more stretching.
Physical Therapy – physical therapy can combine a variety of massage styles to meet the needs of people with injuries. Physical therapy might also use equipment to encourage muscle development and recovery. Therapists might, for instance, use inflatable balls to exercise foot muscles and improve balance. Massage parlors do not always offer the same level of therapeutic service. Physical therapists are certified to work in health care facilities.
Well Being – Many therapists say that physical therapy techniques can improve one's overall health and well being. This often refers to the relaxing effects of massage. Some therapists offer full body services that are designed to improve overall well being, while others concentrate on specific body parts, like the foot or neck, to help clients recover from stress and sports injuries.
Sometimes the stress of the day becomes too much and your muscles tighten to the point of pain or immobilization. When this happens, you need to seek out a massage therapy parlor, where certified therapists will know exactly how to get your body back to a state of well being.
The art of massage has been a physical healing tool since at least 2700 BC. The Chinese book The Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine from that time promotes the massage of skin and flesh as a good health practice. We know this form of therapy was present in other Asian cultures as well as practiced in ancient Egypt. The therapeutic practice continued to move west, taking root in Greece and Rome around 100 BC, before finally hitting the bulk of Europe in the 1600s AD. In the 1800s, Swedish physician Per Henrik Ling developed a method of massage and medical gymnastics to relieve tension, but no real advancements in the physical therapy came about until the 20th century in America.
The wellness boom has breathed new life into natural healing methods and more folks are going to school to become therapists. In these schools, students take classes to learn muscle relaxation techniques, like hot oil or stone therapy, full body, or deep tissue. The students learn what parts of the body are connected to the muscles of the foot, how to stretch a body properly for the Thai method, and how not to damage an unborn child during a pregnancy session. Many therapists who finish classes go on to work in parlors and spas, though some venture into sports medicine where foot and back therapy are especially important.