Ask about professional organizations that you should be aware of, accreditation in the massage field, etc. Visit websites of massage schools and review them before making a decision of which school to attend.
Like every other important life goal. It's important that once you've made the decision to begin a career in massage therapy, that you get started right away toward your goal. It's too easy in life to procrastinate, so don't put it off if it's really something you want to do.
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More About Massage
What Is Massage?
Massage is the practice of applying pressure or vibration to the soft tissues of the body, including muscles, connective tissue, tendons, ligaments, and joints. A form of therapy, massage can be applied to parts of the body or successively to the whole body, to heal injury, relieve psychological stress, manage pain, improve circulation and relieve tension.
Where massage is used for its physical and psychological benefits, it may be termed "therapeutic massage therapy" or manipulative therapy. Although the subject is generally unclothed, their body is "draped" with towels or sheets. This also helps keep the patient warm.
Good communication is essential to effective massage. As a client, it is good to communicate what you hope to get out of the session, for example relaxation or pain relief, full body massage or focus on a specific area, the amount of pressure that is comfortable for you, preferred techniques, and past medical history and current physical condition.
Most types of massage can be performed with pressure from superficial to deep. The ideal amount of pressure for therapeutic massage is when the receiver experiences some discomfort ("hurts good"). This activates the body's natural healing response. If it is too deep, the result may be another trauma to the body. Some soreness after the massage is OK if it lasts less than 1-2 days. If the soreness lasts longer, it usually means the massage was too deep.
Types of massage
There are well over 150 different types of massage therapy. Various styles have developed from a number of sources. Here are some of the most well-known.
This style utilizes long, flowing strokes, in the direction of the heart. Swedish massage is designed to increase circulation and blood flow. There are five basic strokes: effleurage, pettrisauge, friction, tapotment and vibration. Oil, cream, or lotion is applied on the skin to reduce friction and allow smooth strokes. This style of massage is generally attributed to the Swedish fencing master and gymnastics teacher Per Henrik Ling (1776-1839).
Deep tissue techniques are generally designed for more focused massage work. Working a specific joint, muscle or muscle group, the practitioner can access deeper layers of the soft tissue. Each person experiences pressure differently. Starting superficially and easing into the depth of the muscle slowly often allows more movement. If the pressure is applied too deeply or too quickly, the muscle may tighten to protect that area.
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