Rubbing areas that hurt is a natural human response. Other mammals have the same reaction. Massage is based on the same idea: Rubbing and manipulating muscles helps reduce pain and aids healing.
Massage is found to be helpful both physically and emotionally. The rubbing soothes sore muscles and releases tension in the body and mind.
Massage therapy has been found to be helpful in the treatment of:
High blood pressure
Carpal tunnel symptoms
Side effects of cancer and cancer therapy
Massaging muscles and soft tissue stimulates the nerves. It also increases blood flow and relieves stress in the muscles. Over the centuries, many massage techniques have developed including:
Swedish massage. This massage technique involves the use of long, smooth strokes. The strokes knead and compress the muscles with deep circular movements, vibration and tapping.
Shiatsu. This Japanese form of massaging is a form of acupressure. It involves putting pressure on certain key points of the body.
Thai massage. This massage technique also involves the use of yoga and certain Chinese traditional medicine methods.
Massages are usually given in a quiet room, with soothing background music. A person usually lies down on a massage table or in a massage chair. Massage uses a group of manual techniques, made up of both fixed and moveable pressure.
Massage therapy is regulated by law with specific guidelines in 44 states and the District of Columbia. The National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) has set up standards of practice and also gives a board certification exam.
In 2013, the NCBTMB established board certification. This is the highest attainable credential for massage therapists today.
The NCBTMB states that to become board certified, you must meet these requirements:
Pass the Board Certification Exam
Complete 750 hours of education
Complete 250 hours of professional hands-on experience
Pass a thorough national background check
Maintain a current CPR certification
Agree to uphold NCBTMB Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics
Agree to oppose human trafficking
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