What is Massage?

Massage is defined as the systematic manual or mechanical manipulations of the soft tissues of the body for therapeutic purposes such as promoting circulation of the blood and lymph, relaxation of the muscles, relief from pain, restoration of metabolic balance, and other benefits both physical and mental. Massage is one of the earliest remedial practices of humankind and is the most natural and instinctive means of relieving pain and discomfort.

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What is an MT?

An “MT” is the short term for Massage Technician. A Massage Technician is a person that is awaiting licensure, but has the necessary training and schooling to perform massage. Other terms for “MT” include massage expert, massuese, masseur.

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What should I expect during my first massage therapy visit?

Your massage therapist will require you to fill out a health history form. Afterwards the therapist will begin by asking you general questions to establish what areas you would like worked on, if there are any conditions needing to be addressed and to determine if massage is appropriate for you. Your massage therapist may perform certain assessments and testing to evaluate your condition and to see if you have any complaints.

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Where will my massage session take place?

Your massage or bodywork session generally takes place in a warm, comfortable, quiet room. Soft music may be played to help you relax. You will lie on a table especially designed for your comfort.
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What do I wear during the massage?

Depending on the primary technique your therapist uses, you may or may not need to undress. For a full body massage, most people undress completely. However, you may choose to wear underwear. Your massage therapist will give you privacy to undress, and you will be covered with a sheet and blanket at all times except the area being worked on.
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What do I do during a massage therapy treatment?

Make yourself comfortable. If your therapist wants you to adjust your position, she or he will either move you or will ask you to move what is needed. Otherwise, change your position anytime to make yourself more comfortable. Many people close their eyes and relax completely during a session; others prefer to talk. It’s up to you. It is your massage, and whatever feels natural to you is the best way to relax. Do not hesitate to ask questions at any time.
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How will a massage feel?

It usually depends on the techniques used. Many massage therapists use a form of Swedish massage, which may start with broad, flowing strokes that will help calm your nervous system and relax exterior muscle tension. As your body becomes relaxed, pressure will gradually be increased to relax specific areas and relieve areas of muscular tension. Often, a light oil or lotion is used to allow your muscles to be massaged without causing excessive friction to the skin. Do not hesitate to ask questions or mention if you feel any discomfort so that the massage therapist can use another approach or technique.
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Will the massage oils used make me break-out?

Most massage therapists use hypoallergenic massage oils or lotions. However, if you have sensitivity to certain types of oils or lotion please bring it to the massage therapist’s attention as most practitioners have an assortment of oils and lotions on hand.
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Is a massage always appropriate?

No, there are several medical conditions that would make massage inappropriate. That’s why it is necessary that you fill out the health history forms and before you begin your session. The massage therapist will ask general health questions to rule out if you have any contraindications to massage. It is very important that you inform the practitioner of any health problems or medications you are taking. If you are under a doctor’s care, it is strongly advised that you receive a written recommendation for massage prior to any session. Your massage therapist may require a recommendation or approval from your doctor.
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How long will a massage treatment last?

The average full-body massage treatment lasts approximately one hour. A half-hour appointment only allows time for a partial massage session, such as neck and shoulders, back or legs and feet. Many people prefer a 60- to 90-minute session for optimal relaxation. Always allow relaxation time prior to and after the session.
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How will I feel after the massage therapy treatment?

Most people feel very relaxed. Some experience freedom from long-term aches and pains developed from tension or repetitive activity. After an initial period of feeling slowed down, people often experience increased energy, heightened awareness, and greater productivity which can last for days. Since toxins are released from your soft tissues during a massage, it is recommended you drink plenty of water following your massage. Massage therapists sometimes recommend a hot Epsom salt bath that encourages the release of toxins that may have been stirred up from the massage treatment.
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What is Active Isolated Stretching (AIS)?

Active Isolated Stretching is a type of Athletic Stretching Technique that provides effective, dynamic, facilitated stretching of major muscle groups. AIS provide functional and physiological restoration of superficial and deep fascial planes.
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What is Aromatherapy?

Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils processed from herbs, flowers, fruits, stems, spices, and roots, in massage or inhalation, to affect mood and improve health and well-being.
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What is Chair massage?

Chair massage is a form of massage that takes place in a special massage chair, which is a good choice for people not able to or not comfortable to receive full-body massage on the table. It does not require use of lubricants or removal of clothing.
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What is Deep tissue massage?

Deep tissue massage is a form of massage designed to relieve severe tension in the muscle and the connective tissue or fascia. It is applied to both the superficial and deep layers of muscles, fascia, and other structures. Deep tissue massage is often recommended for individuals who experience consistent pain, are involved in heavy physical activity (such as athletes), and patients who have sustained physical injury.
It is not uncommon for receivers of deep tissue massage to have their pain replaced with a new muscle ache for a day or two. The sessions are often quite intense as a result of the deliberate, focused work. When a client asks for a massage and uses the term “deep tissue”, more often than not he or she is seeking to receive a full-body session with sustained deep pressure throughout.
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What is Fascia?

Fascia is a tough connective tissue that spreads throughout the body in a three-dimensional web from head to foot without interruption covering or binding together muscles and other body structures.
Trauma, posture, or inflammation can create a binding of fascia resulting in excessive pressure on nerves, muscles, blood vessels, and organs.
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What is the Iliotibial Band (IT Band)?

Iliotibial Band is a fibrous thickening of the fascia that provides stability to the knee and assists with flexion and extension of the knee.
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What does LMT stand for?

LMT is the abbreviation for Licensed Massage Therapist.
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What is Massotherapy?

Massotherapy is the practice of therapeutic massage.
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What is Myofascial release?

Myofascial release refers to the manual massage technique for stretching the fascia and releasing bonds between fascia, integument, and muscles with the goal of eliminating pain and increasing range of motion. Myofascial release usually involves applying shear compression or tension in various directions, or by skin rolling.
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What is Reflexology?

Reflexology is based on the principle that there are reflexes in the hands and feet that relate to every organ, gland, and system of the body.
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What is Sports massage?

Sports massage is a method of massage designed to enhance athlete’s performance for an upcoming event and to aid in the body’s restorative and regenerative capacities following a rigorous workout or competition. It is achieved through specialized manipulations that are designed to break down lesions and adhesions that stimulate circulation of the blood and lymph or reduce fatigue.
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What is Stone massage?

Stone massage uses cold or water-heated stones to apply pressure and heat to the body. Stones coated in oil can also be used by the therapist delivering various massaging strokes. The hot stones used are commonly Basalt stones (or lava rocks) which over time have become extremely polished and smooth. As the stones are placed along the recipient’s back, they help to retain heat which then deeply penetrates into the muscles, releasing tension.
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What is Swedish massage?

Swedish massage uses long flowing strokes to massage the body. It is helpful in reducing pain, joint stiffness, and improving function.
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What are Trigger points?

Trigger points are hyper-irritable nodules associated with dysfunctional contractile tissue that causes a pain response when pressure is applied.
An active trigger point is a hypersensitive spot; a palpable nodule located in a tight band of muscle that prevents full lengthening of the muscle and refers pain or other definable sensations to referral areas when digitally compressed.
A latent trigger point is tender when compressed but does not refer pain to other areas. It may become an active trigger point with continued stress.
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What is Trigger point therapy?

Trigger point therapy involves deactivating trigger points that may cause local pain or refer pain and other sensations, such as headaches, in other parts of the body. Manual pressure, vibration, injection, or other treatment is applied to these points to relieve myofascial pain.
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