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Massage Therapy

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The Benefits of Massage Therapy

It may only have exploded in recent years but the practice of massage therapy
dates back to the time of Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine. And that is
about 4000 years ago. In a clear reference to massaging, Hippocrates wrote in
one of his medical notes that physicians must know the practice of 'rubbing.'

Now, massage therapy cannot just be called as 'rubbing.' With most of the young
Hollywood getting a massage or two every week, it has become the toast of the
social set. Its popularity can be seen with the way a lot of massage therapy
clinics have opened shops in the last few years with many more planning to in
the next couple of months. Currently there are about 100,000 massage therapists
in the country and the numbers are increasing two-fold.

Massage therapy in the scientific terms is the process of putting pressure on
muscular structure and soft tissues in the body for relaxation. Pressure in
this instance can mean a lot of things, from holding and pressing to kneading
and rocking. Massages are primarily done with the hands although some massage
therapists also use other parts of their bodies like the forearms, elbows and
the feet.

Its popularity is actually not surprising especially with this stressful world.
Many people are turning to massage therapy for relaxation and regeneration. And
unlike other de-stressors, massage therapy is scientifically based and its
advantages are all research proven. Besides its physical benefits, it also
known to improve the overall wellbeing of the mind and the spirit.

Below are some of the benefits that massage therapy gives us.

1. Relaxation

This is the number one reason why people coming back to the clinics. After a
week of stress in the office or at home, people especially women, just want to
relax. Massages are great for the skin as it stimulates the release of toxins
and hormones. In fact, some studies have even shown massages as being able to
lower the possibility of wrinkles production.

2. Relieves pain

Another benefit of massage therapy is the fact that it can loosen those tight
muscles especially if you frequently have cramps on your legs. Going to the
clinics can also relieve you of your tired and aching muscles. This is
especially useful with people who are into sports or those who live the active

3. Makes you a better athlete

People who are into sports can also benefit much from massage therapy. If you
feel that your muscles have become tight and rickety, massages can improve on
your flexibility and also increase your range of motion. If you get massages
all the time, you will notice that you can now do movements that were painful
to do before. Massages also improve the body's resistance. It lowers the blood
pressure, heart rate and even helps in recoveries from injuries and sprains. It
also strengthens the immune system.

4. Improve mental faculties

Massages are also great ways to improve your mental performance. It can
actually reduce mental stress, allowing you to work better and think clearer.
It is also known to relieve headaches. Massage therapy also allows you to
concentrate better on the task at hand. After a massage, you will basically
have a clean slate in your mind that is equivalent to the restful therapy that
sleep gives.

What Should You Know About Massage Therapy

What should you know about massage therapy? Well apart from it being able to
help relieve sore muscles, a few others things like what are the different
types, what are the risks, if there are any side effects and whether or not it
should substitute conventional medicine.

For starters, there are more than 10 types being used to date. Some examples of
these include reflexology, shiatsu, back massage, Thai, hot stone, deep tissue,
aromatherapy and Swedish.

There are only a few serious risks with regards to massage therapy and this can
be avoided if you take the proper precautions. The best thing to do will be to
consult with your doctor to see if it is safe for you to see a masseuse.

Patients who have the following conditions should not undergo massage therapy.
These include deep vein thrombosis that happens to be a blood clot in a deep
vein, usually in the legs, a bleeding disorder or taking blood-thinning drugs
such as warfarin, damaged blood vessels and weakened bones from osteoporosis, a
recent fracture, or cancer.

You also should get a massage if you have a fever, have an open injury, been
diagnosed with a tumor, have damaged nerves, have an infection or acute
inflammation. Certain conditions could also be dangerous if you decide to have
a massage. These include pregnancy, cancer, fragile skin, heart problems,
dermatomyositis and a history of physical abuse.

There are certain side effects associated with massage therapy. These include
temporary pain or discomfort, bruising, swelling and sensitivity or allergy to
massage oils.

Massage therapy should not be used a substitute for regular medical care. If
your doctor tells you that you can see a specialist, do some research about the

You should check on their credentials or licenses, years of experience and
training. If you need massage therapy to help cure medical condition, find out
beforehand if they have specialized training in this field.

It wouldn't hurt to also ask if they use other CAM practices aside from massage
therapy to help their patients. Some examples of these include the use of herbs
and requiring the patient to go on a special diet.

If everything checks out, then this is the time you find out how many
treatments will be needed, the cost and if this will be covered by your
insurance. In most cases, this will not be honored. Some people may even ask
for a free ten minute test to see how well they perform.

Part of the criteria should include giving you privacy when you change, he or
she covers your body for modesty and warmth, inquires before beginning the
session what part of the body you want worked on, asks for feedback as to how
they are doing and accommodates requests for less or more intense pressure.

The best part about massage therapy is that it can provide relief without the
need to ingest pain killing drugs and knowing some facts about it is good so
you know what you are getting yourself into once you visit the place. You can
read more about this by doing some research which isn't bad even if you just go
for a session to relieve some stress or pain and not have to visit because of a
medical condition.

Massage Therapy Benefits

Massage therapy has been used for centuries. In fact, there are so many of them
around with the purpose of encouraging healing by promoting blood flow,
relieving tension, stimulating nerves as well as stretching and loosening
muscles and connective tissue to keep them elastic. Read on further to find out
what are the other massage therapy benefits.

Massage therapy is beneficial because it reduces waste products such as lactic
and carbonic acid that builds up after an activity which causes cramping,
discomfort and irritability that can happen after working out at the gym. By
working with a therapist, he or she will be able to enhance your immune system
and aid in the recovery of the tissues by increasing blood circulation in the
affected areas.

If you are ill, massage therapy dilates and opens up blood vessels, improves
circulation and relieves congestion. It also increases the number of red blood
cells for those who are anemic.

Massage therapy also acts as a mechanical cleanser pushing along the lymph and
hastening the elimination of wastes and toxic debris. It also helps to
eliminate edema or dropsy of the extremities.

It also increases blood supply and nutrition to the muscles without adding to
the load of toxic acid produced by muscle contraction. This helps you overcome
harmful fatigue resulting from strenuous exercise or injury.

This will also improve muscle tone and prevent or delay muscular atrophy
resulting from forced inactivity. It can also relax muscle spasms and relieve

Massage to some extent compensates for lack of exercise or muscular contraction
especially for those who are recovering from an injury by returning venous blood
to the heart and at the same time eases the strain on this vital organ.

Depending on the type of massage therapy given, some people may feel sleepy,
stimulated or exhausted.

Some forms of massage therapy are able to separate muscle fibers and undo or
prevent the formation of adhesions. It also stretches the connective tissue
which all helps reduce the danger of fibroids.

Believe it or not, massage may burst the fat capsule in the subcutaneous tissue
so that the fat exudes and becomes absorbed. Combined with proper nutrition and
exercise, this can help the person lose weight.

Massage therapy also increases the excretion of fluids via the kidney,
nitrogen, inorganic phosphorous and salt in normal individuals. But for those
who are injured, it does the exact opposite because these are needed for tissue

Studies have shown that massage therapy improves the general circulation and
nutrition of joints and hastens the elimination of harmful particles in the
synovial fluid. It helps lessen inflammation and swelling of the joints thereby
alleviating pain.

It also disperses the dema following injury to ligaments and tendons, lessening
pain and facilitates movement.

Massage therapy improves the general circulation and nutrition of tissues often
accompanied by an increase interchange of substances between the blood and
tissue cells thus heightening tissue metabolism.

This type of therapy also empties the larger ducts and channels of the body
thereby decreasing the auto intoxication resulting from re-absorption of toxic
materials in these channels due to constipation or inflammation.

There are so many benefits with regards to massage therapy which is why almost
everyone needs it. If you haven't found a favorite yet, you can try one style
this week and then another next week to how different they are from the other.

What you need to know to get into massage therapy

If you think carving a career in massage therapy is as easy as knowing how to
knead and press, you are wrong. Because of the increasing popularity of these
clinics, the government has started to regulate the practice. Now, massage
therapists need to get some kind of license in order to work. This of course is
not true for all states. Laws on the industry are still not being enforced all
over the country. This means that each state will have a different take on how
the practice should be done.

Here are some of the things you may want to consider when starting out a career
in massage therapy.

1. Know the massage that you want to do

One of the main considerations that you have to look into before you start your
massage therapy career is what massage to specialize in. Like the medical field,
massage therapists now have specializations. Each will be identified to a
particular field. This is brought on by the kind of training that they will
take before they become full-pledged massage therapists. The best way to do
this is to research on the different kinds of massages and see what you are
most comfortable doing.

There are a lot of considerations when making this choice. One of the factors
that may affect their decisions is what kind of clinical setting they want to
work in. Working in spas and commercial massage clinics will only require you
to be adept at massages that seek to relax the muscles.

This is of course easier to study and much easier to do compared to massages
that are much more technical in nature, which is usually done in the clinical
setting. However, the advantage with more technical and scientific massage
strokes is higher pay and of course more professionalized.

2. Physical problems

Massage therapy involves a lot of physical work. Every day, you will be
servicing the clients with a hard or soft massage as well as helping them lie
back in the massage table and also in disrobing. It is a very hard job and can
be physically taxing. Before you get into a career in massage therapy, make
sure that you can take on the job and deal with its physical requirements.

3. Time to study

Because of the way the industry has been regulated by the state, becoming a
massage therapist will involve first a lot of years of study. Some states in
fact require therapists to have at least three years in specialization. If you
need to earn money right away and don't have time to study first, thisis not
the career for you. You will be better off with jobs that do not really require
a training certificate or a diploma.

4. Good with people

Another thing to consider when you want to have a career in massage therapy is
communication with people. Remember that you will mostly be earning your money
from the tips and not actually in the salary that the clinic gives you. For you
to get big tips, you also need to be sociable and to communicative with people.
Clients love therapists who talk to them and those who listen to their
problems. If you are a little bit anti-social, this is not the career for you.

How to Become a Massage Therapist

If you love to work with your hands, perhaps you should be in a profession that
does exactly that such as massage therapy. In fact, the US Department of Labor
has shown in their latest report that there is demand for such professionals
until the year 2012. If this sounds appealing to you, then you should know how
to become a massage therapist.

Those who want to become massage therapists should enroll in a program that is
accredited by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and
Bodywork or NCBTMB. To become a licensed professional, you must complete at
least 500 hours of training including subjects such as ethics, anatomy and
physiology among others.

If you happen to study massage therapy in a school that is not accredited by
this body, you will not be allowed to take the national certification exam.
This may prevent you from practicing in states that require this prior to
employment which is why you should check first if the school you plan to enroll
in is in the program.

Should you somehow be able to find work without getting a license, you could be
penalized with fines and even be banned from every practicing there.

The advantage of enrolling in a program under the NCBTMB is that you can apply
for federal financial aid if you don't have the funds to pay for your schooling.

But the big question is how much do massage therapists earn? One research group
has pointed out the median salary is $45,611. The report also says that half of
those working earn between $36,930 and $55,920 as this varies with experience.
If you are new, you will probably just have one or two clients a day while more
experienced individuals will have more than 5. This isn't bad because massage
therapy program can go as high as $12,000.

If you are serious about pursuing this as a career, ask yourself some
questions. Are you patient? Are you customer oriented? Do you really want to
help the patient? If your answer to all three questions is yes then the next
thing you have to do is check what specific interests do you have.

Just like medicine, massage therapy has various specialties and these include
sports massage, clinical massage and Swedish massage to name a few. While you
will probably learn all of these in school, you should already see which one
you want specialize in after graduation.

To help you out, it will be a good idea to visit massage parlors and talk to
those who are already working. You can also do some research online as there
are articles that have been written about the profession.

Once you get your degree and the license, you have the option of working for
someone or opening up your own establishment. This will be easy if you had the
capital since you will need to buy your own massage table, chairs, pillows,
sheets and lotions. But if you want to learn first, then go find work, learn
the tricks of the trade and then set up shop.

Now that you know how to become a massage therapist, the ball is already in
your court. The right attitude will get you through school because with that
you will be able to understand the techniques in helping a customer.

What to expect in a massage therapy job

With how stressful life is right now, people are looking at new ways to
de-stress and just relax their minds and their bodies. Massage therapy is the
answer to many people's need for de-stressing. This is the reason why it is one
of the fastest growing industry.

A career in massage therapy can be pretty lucrative. Clients, who are mostly
well to do or those who have money to burn, are known to give big tips
especially if you have given them great service. It is actually through tips
that you can earn a lot in this kind if industry. But it can also be harrowing
and stressful. In order to survive on the job, you need to have the following
set of characteristics.

1. Gift of the hands

Hands down, (no pun intended) having the gift of a comforting set of hands is
the number one requirement for a career in massage therapy. To win customers
over, you need to be skilled not only in massaging but also in relaxing. This
may seem the same for most people who are not in the industry but once you are
already part of it or is an avid client of massage therapy, you will know the

A massage therapist can do all the right strokes to the letter but will not
give comfort to the client. Some, on the other hand, may not do the
conventional strokes but do relaxes the client. Some people's hands naturally
have a strong firm grip but others have a stronger grip that can be hurtful to
the muscles.

2. Gift of Gab

Another way to charm your clients into giving you really big tips is the gift
of talk. Actually, when you think about it the best way to talk to your clients
while massaging them is to listen. Let them talk to you. Let them tell you about
their problems at work and at home. Most people will have something to complain
about in their career. After all, they are there in the massage therapy clinic
to de-stress aren't they?

This is the main reason why there are a lot of massage therapists who are privy
to the deepest and darkest secrets of their clients. You see, when people are in
a relaxed setting, they are more prone to speaking about their problems. This is
especially true when they are in the company of strangers who would not really
know who they are talking about. They feel that massage therapists are not
really part of their world.

3. Gift of patience

Working in a massage therapy clinic will allow you to meet all kinds of people.
This may be good if all of them are interesting and affable. But what if they
are not? And I assure you, you will come across people who you would just like
to forget because of their attitude and their personalities.

In this kind of job, you need to have the patience of a saint especially when
you have a client who is obviously so wrong but is still insisting that they
are right. And the worst thing is, you can't argue because as they say, the
customer is always right. You fight with them, you lose your job. That's the
way the game is played.

Massage Therapy: More than Just Relaxation

Left and right massage therapy clinics are setting up shop in the Metro.
Perhaps more and more people are getting into the healthy living trend that has
taken over Hollywood.

More than just being a stress and pain reliever, massage therapy has a lot more
benefits to offer that actually contribute to a healthy lifestyle. Though not
known to many, massage therapy lowers blood pressure, strengthens the immune
system, facilitates faster recovery from injury and healing and even improves
posture. Not only that, it also enhances attentiveness and flexibility in an
individual. Certainly, these are things that lie beyond the relaxation it is
known for. This is perhaps why massage therapy as an industry has become so big

Through constant application of pressure, massage therapy relaxes blood vessels
and decreases systolic and diastolic blood pressure, decreases the level of
cortisol or stress hormones and prevents anxiety and depression. These reduce
the threat of heart attack and create a clear mind and body making the
individual more dynamic and active. Massage also helps relax the muscles
itself, allowing people to become more energized. This is the reason why people
are so much into massage therapy. It rejuvenates the body from all the stress
that we encounter everyday.

Since massage decreases one's stress levels, it also lessens the possibility of
an individual's vulnerability to pathogens by increasing the body's cytotoxic
capacity. When the number of active natural killer cells increases, our body's
line of defense becomes stronger and more stable and becomes more effective in
shielding us from illnesses.

Faster recovery from injury is another benefit of massage therapy because it
relaxes the muscles and improves circulation of important body fluids making it
easier for the body to deliver nutrients to vital organs and other parts of the
body. It also initiates pain management when the injured part is undergoing
treatment since it activates the parasympathetic nervous system causing the
production of endorphins which are natural pain killers thus speeding up the
healing process.

Other than these good effects, massage therapy can correct bad posture which
causes pain and stress in muscles that can lead to the body's breakdown. It
eases the tension in worn out muscles, soothes pressure points and increases
the flexibility in joints by stimulating the production of body fluids and
lubricants, so as to allow the body to position itself in a painless way. Thus,
the individual can move freely and carry out daily tasks without hassle.

As shown in electroencephalogram (EEG) patterns, regular massage can also
improve a person's mathematical ability due to increased attentiveness because
of the elimination of stress. The absence of stress imposes less pressure on an
individual resulting to a more concentrated and focused mind, free of worries
and distracting thoughts.

Massage therapy may be considered as a simple recreational activity however it
does more than just restoring one's vitality because it lessens or even
eliminates the dangers imposed on a person's health. It also helps an
individual loosen up because it releases unwanted energy and leaves the person
with a renewed outlook and refreshed senses.

Study even shows that HIV patients who have regular massage therapy sessions
notice an improvement in their condition. This proves that massage therapy is
not a waste of time rather it is an individual's key to having a sound mind and

Aromatherapy Is a Unique Form of Massage Therapy

Aromatherapy is a unique form of massage therapy because of the oils that are
used during a session. The therapist may use one from more than 90 oils to
provide psychological and physical benefits to the body.

Most of the oils used for aromatherapy come from natural ingredients. Examples
of these include herbs, milk powders, hydrosols, sea salts, sugars, clays and
mud. It is frowned upon when some use synthetic ingredients.

It is widely practiced in the US and in Europe and integrated into holistic
treatments. Aside from oils, aromatherapy can be using candles and bath salts
which allow you to enjoy it in the comforts of your home.

Aromatherapy is used to treat various health conditions. These include
allergies, bruises, burns, diarrhea, bronchitis, colds, ear ache, energy, flu,
headaches, insomnia, menopause, nervousness, scars, sprains, stress, shingles
and wounds.

For home treatment, you can buy these oils off the shelf and then use it
whenever you feel like it. These are easy to spot as they are all packaged in
small bottles with the name of the oil and the ingredients that are used. If
you are not familiar with the oil, you can open it and smell it to see if it is
worth buying.

With the oil in your possession, you only have to add 2 to 3 drops like
eucalyptus, tea tree or rosemary in hot water. You then hold your head over the
bowl and then inhale the fumes. For other problems, you can apply oils to baths
and compresses.

Aromatherapy per se is not designed to treat any major illness. It can only
relieve minor problems so before you try aromatherapy, it is best to first
consult with a doctor.

If you decide to go for a massage, talk with the practitioner about your
medical history and current physical condition. Knowing how you feel is the
only way for him or her to determine what oil should be used for the session.

Women who are pregnant or nursing should never undergo aromatherapy as the
scents from the oils could be harmful to the infant.

For those who want to know more about aromatherapy, they can read it in books
or in the Internet. There are also classes that can people of all levels can
join so they can learn how to mix the oils together.

The benefits of aromatherapy as mentioned earlier are psychological and
physical because the scent simulates the brain to trigger a reaction and at the
same time supply therapeutic relief. A good example is eucalyptus oil which is
known to ease congestion.

When the oil is applied to the skin, it is absorbed by the bloodstream and aids
in certain health, beauty and hygiene conditions.

If you want to learn more about aromatherapy, you can take up classes. Here you
will learn how to mix the oils together and create your own concoctions. Most
programs will cost a little over $500 and with it, the materials to be used
during the sessions.

Aromatherapy is a unique form of massage therapy because you don't need
physical contact all the time to get relief. You can inhale it or bathe in it.
It is truly, a holistic form of healthcare that is worth checking out.

A Choice between Swedish and Ayurvedic Massage Methods

Various influences in massage therapy have cropped up leading to the creation
of several methods that differ in techniques but offer the same health
benefits. The Swedish and Ayurvedic massage both have different origins and use
contrasting styles but contribute a lot to achieve a healthy and relaxed body.
With all the kinds of massage therapy programs available today, it has become
really difficult for people to choose.

The Swedish Massage, which is also known as the classic or traditional massage
is the most common massage therapy method and is usually preferred by the
majority of people. It is characterized by long and flowing strokes which relax
muscles, improve joint flexibility and aid in better circulation.

The first stroke is known as effleurage, involves long, gliding strokes from
the neck down to the base of the spine or from the shoulder down to the
fingertips. It is also done on the limbs with all strokes directed toward the
heart to aid blood and lymphatic flow. The therapist uses his whole hand or a
thumb pad. This technique is done for familiarization of the person's body

Next is petrissage that consists of the gentle lifting of muscles up and away
from the bones, then rolling and squeezing them, with a gentle pressure. It
generally involves rolling, squeezing, or pressing the muscles to enhance
deeper circulation. It increases circulation through eliminating toxins from
muscle and nerve tissue.

Friction, the third technique and the most forceful one is characterized by
deep circular movements using fingertips applied near bony areas and joints and
it relaxes the muscle fiber which enhances flexibility in muscles and joints.

After friction, another technique called tapotement is done. Tapotement is a
series of quick forceful movements made by striking or tapping the muscles with
the hand. It can be applied with a closed fist, fingertips and the edge of the
hand. It releases tension and relieves muscle cramps.

Lastly, the therapist uses vibration or shaking that entails the pressing of
hands on the back or limbs and shaking in a rapid motion for a few moments. It
improves circulation and muscle contraction and is beneficial to people with
low-back pain.

On the other hand, Ayurvedic massage originated from India and its aim is to
create harmony and balance within the individual and it aids in the removal of
toxins and rejuvenation of the body. It was not practiced publicly until Indian
practitioners decided to roam around and give muscle, joint and back massages

Ayurvedic massage is based on a special system that includes the knowledge of
Ayurvedic and Greek systems of medicine which is focused on Ayurvedic doshas
and marmas or pressure points. Muslim massage techniques were also adapted in
this system.

Ayurvedic massage techniques uses specific oils that suit your dosha and
depends on your being. One is the Abhyanga-Garshana which comprises of skin
brushing followed by an oil massage, Udwarthanam which is a slimming massage
that uses herbal powders and the Ayurvedic foot massage which is a deep massage
where the therapist uses his feet.

Now with enough knowledge on both Swedish and Ayurvedic massage, a person has
of course the privilege to choose among the two which best suits his/her style
of relaxation. But with both massages having unique techniques, the choosing
part can be a little tricky though.

The Massage Therapy Known As 'Thai Massage'

You have probably tried out massage therapy in the past. Aside from back
massages and shiatsu, there is a massage therapy known as Thai massage.

Thai massage was developed 2500 years ago by Jivaka Kumar Bhaccha. It moved to
Thailand soon after where the Ayurvedic techniques and principles gradually
became influenced by traditional Chinese medicine and this is how it got the

What makes Thai massage different is the fact that it is more energizing and
rigorous than other forms of massage.

In Thai massage, the therapist will use his or her hands, knees, legs and feet
to move you into a series of yoga like stretches. Aside from that, there is
also muscle compression, joint mobilization and acupressure during the session.

When you have a Thai massage, you will be told to lie on a padded mat that is
already set on the floor. The therapist does the session using gently
compression and stretching techniques to open the body starting with the legs
then working their way up.

You don't have to take off your clothes but as much as possible, wear something
comfortable. No oil is also used and most sessions may last for 1 to 2 hours

Unknown to many, Thai massage is a combination of other types of massage
therapies. Part of it is reflexology because a lot of attention is paid to the
feet and legs as this helps to better connect the person to the earth causing
them to be "grounded."

Another is blood stopping where pressure is put on a major artery for about a
minute. This will cause the heart muscle to slow its contractions and bring the
pressure down. Once released, it will help the person relax more deeply. This
technique however cannot be used on patients who have heart or circulatory
problems and diabetes.

Thai massage is known to reduce stress, improve circulation, increase energy
and flexibility, improve range of motion and centers the mind and body.

You cannot have a Thai massage if you have an infectious skin disease or open
wounds, just underwent surgery or chemotherapy and are prone to blood clots.
Pregnant women can have a Thai massage only after they get the green light from
their doctor.

It is best to also have a light meal before going there so there will be no
feelings of discomfort during the session.

One form of Thai massage involves using herbs and a heated compress. It is
often used before and after a session as the ball used here allows the muscle
and joints to have greater movement and flexibility.

At the same time, the herbs used are then are absorbed by the pores in the body
to further release the energy blockages to improve energy imbalances in the
body. In fact, some of the herbs are known to draw properties that allow the
removal of inflammations and swelling typically found in injuries.

There is a massage therapy known as Thai massage and it is here to stay. If you
want to try it out, check the neighborhood to see if there is place that offers
this to customers. Before you go in, check with your doctor if it is safe for
you to try then also make sure that the person doing it is qualified to do the

Reflexology Is Another Form of Massage Therapy

Reflexology is another form of massage therapy. Similar to shiatsu, it is a
physical act of applying pressure to the feet and hands using specific thumb,
finger and hand techniques without the use of lotion. It is based on a system
of zones and reflex areas that reflect the human anatomy on both the feet and
hands which in theory have significant effects on the entire body.

This form of massage therapy has been around for thousands of years. There is
archaeological evidence that suggests this was used by the Egyptians in 2330
BC, China in 2704 BC and Japan in 690 BC. The West only knew about reflexology
in the 19th century.

Although reflexology is usually applied to the feet and hands, there are those
who also apply the same thing to the ear. This technique is considered to be a
modified from auricular therapy which is an acupuncture technique.

In general, reflexology is used to reduce stress because both the feet and
hands help set the tension level for the rest of the body. If you are able to
fix that, then there is balance in the body. It can also help those who are
suffering from arthritis, back pain, digestive disorders or problems, hormonal
imbalance, insomnia, menstrual disorders, sports injuries and tension headaches.

You must never go for reflexology if you are pregnant, have foot ulcers or
blood clots. If you are doing this for the first time, you better tell the
professional your medical history.

Whether reflexology can help certain conditions and diseases is still being
determined. But even if other tests need to be made, many experts agree that it
is complement to standard medical care. With that said, patients should never
use it as a replacement to medical help.

The best part about reflexology is that it is not painful. If this happens, you
should tell the reflexologist to go down one notch. If there are certain areas
in the body that are sore, tell them to focus on it as this will decrease with

Reflexology can be done at anytime and anywhere. If you have the time, you can
even do this once a day. In fact, given its popularity most hospitals and HMO's
now consider this for insurance reimbursement as it is often used for
post-operative or palliative care. In fact, one third of cancer patients
undergo reflexology regularly.

Most sessions being conducted by practitioners may last from 30 minutes to an
hour. It is also a clothed session so the only thing you have to remove is your
shoes and socks. You don't even have to lie down on a table because some will
perform this while you are seated on a chair.

At the end of each session, you should feel relaxed. How long it lasts is a
good indicator as to how effective it was. If you will be having another
session in the future, you should give feedback to the reflexologist so they
know what to do the next time you drop by.

Reflexology is another form of massage therapy you can try if you want to
relieve tension from the body. If you are interested in trying it, all you have
to do is check if there is one within your neighborhood.

Things you should know before carving a career in Massage therapy

Massage therapy clinics have become the haven where people stay during weekends
to get that much-needed relaxation. And with much publicity from celebrities in
Hollywood, it has become part of the American lifestyle.

With the onslaught of massage therapy clinics in the country, more and more
people are considering a career in it. After all, the pay not be as high but
people will be raking in a lot in tips for good service. In fact, people who
work in these clinics make their living out of these tips. This is especially
true if you are working in high end massage therapy clinics in New York and in
the Beverly Hills area.

But if you think that becoming a massage therapist is as easy as filling up an
application form, it's not. In fact, before you start kneading and massaging,
you need to be first trained and certified. Because of the popularity of
massage therapy clinics in the country, therapists have been regulated by the
government. Unlike before when anyone can just work as a massage therapists,
now the industry is more discriminating.

So if you are thinking of getting yourself a career in massage therapy, know
first that it is not easy but not impossible too. Here are some of the things
that you should consider when you are determined to carve a name for yourself
in this fast-growing industry.

No federal regulation for the industry

Having just boomed in recent years, massage therapy is still not regulated by
federal laws. Only state laws are being used in this industry right now. This
means that when you go from one state to another, different laws will apply. In
fact, in Canada, only three states have so far regulated the practice --
Ontario, British Columbia and Newfoundland. The other provinces have yet to
formulate their own regulations about the practice.

This can get confusing especially when you are looking for a career in massage
therapy outside your mother state. For instance in Canada, massage therapists
in the three provinces where it is regulated will carry a professional title
that will distinguish them from other pseudo practitioners. Some will even have
their own specialties similar to medical doctors.

These specialties are taken from the kinds of massages that they have expertise
in: Acupressure, Hot Stone Massage, Thai Massage, Shiatsu, Aromatherapy and a
lot more. Some will of course have more than one specialty but each should come
with a certification. They should also first have a license before they can be
allowed to practice in that particular area. This is attained when they have
submitted all the necessary requirements asked of them and have met the
standards of the state or the province's regulatory board.

These regulating standards often include a specific number of years in total
training in any field or specialty. These training courses are not the usual
massage lessons that you foresee. Often, these lessons include subjects similar
to what medical doctors take: anatomy, pathology, physiology and physical
therapy. Because of these regulations, people who already have a license can
actually assess and treat health conditions and injuries just like a doctor.

So before you apply, make sure that you know first the state regulations. To
know about them, you can go to massage therapy associations and organizations
in the state. Their websites will surely have the current regulations
prevailing in the area.

Things to consider before going to a massage therapy clinic

Massage therapy is one way for people in the metro to de-stress. And with the
fast-paced environment, de-stressing is one of the must-dos of people in
corporate America. This is the reason why in recent years, the number of
massage therapy clinics in the metro tripled in number. The demand is growing
like crazy as people are turning to this relaxant to save their stressed and
tired muscles and spirits.

Although every one can certainly go to massage therapy clinics and avail of
their services, there will also be times when it is not a good idea to get
themselves a massage. Here are some of the reasons why you should first forgo
with the massage and just relax the old fashion way at home with hot water and
a good book.

1. You don't have the budget

It is good to de-stress once in a while but if you don't have the money to
spare for one, don't do it. It will be ineffective anyways because you will be
stressed over being broke. Having no money is the number one stressor for most
people and for sure you are not immune to it. So instead of wasting your money
on massage therapy clinics, be contented on just lying on the couch and
enjoying a good book. Save your money until you have enough to splurge on one
great massage on that hip massage therapy clinic that you have been dying to go
to. That is one ultimate stress buster!

2. You just went the other day

The body can take so much massage in one week. Be kind to your muscles and
flesh by giving them a rest day. A respite from all that kneading and pounding
will surely be welcome. Although there really is not recommended number of
times that you can go to a massage therapy clinic, it is good to space out the
visits to give your flesh a time to breathe and rest. A once or twice a week
visit to the clinic is already good for most people.

3. You have a sprain

If you sprained yourself in of those softball games or while fixing the roof at
home, don't go to the massage therapy clinic for a cure. Go instead to your
doctor and have him check your injury. That way, you can be sure that proper
medical attention has been given to it. Remember that though people in massage
therapy clinics are expert in massages, they are by no means an authority when
it comes to sprains and injuries. In fact, they can even exacerbate the
situation if they apply too much pressure on the problem area. That is why it
is good to ask your doctor first if it is okay to go to a massage therapy
clinic before you go.

4. Your last visit resulted to sore muscles

Although sometimes a visit to the massage therapy clinic will hurt some of your
muscles, sore muscles are entirely different. Sometimes, too strong pounding and
too much kneading can hurt the muscles and bones. So be careful with the massage
therapy that you avail of. If you are the type of person who easily bruises, opt
for the softer or milder ones.

If you had sore muscles from your previous visit, then it is safe to say that
you need something milder than that.

How to set up a massage therapy clinic

Massage therapy has become a really big industry in the country. As proof of
this, clinics have sprouted like mushrooms at every block and there are a lot
of more coming. The booming industry is both a boon and a bane for people who
want to set up their own massage therapy clinics. the good news is, you have a
lot of clients as massages have become a fad. On the bad side, there are
already a lot of massage clinics in the block and you have to compete with them
for clients. And being the new kid in the block, this may not be an easy thing.

Before you get disheartened by this, remember that when you plan it right, any
business can be a potential cash cow. Here are some tips on how to set up a
massage therapy clinic that is guaranteed to make money.

1. Location

With so many massage clinics in the area, you would want a location that
guarantees a lot of foot traffic. As much as possible look for places that are
near major public areas like the park, schools, markets and even department
stores. Being near public places will help you in terms of publicity. You are
already being seen. All you actually need is a set of signboards announcing
your services and of course a good display window. Another reason why it is
good to place your clinic in a public area is the fact that when people walk by
all the time, some of them would think of trying your services.

2. Services

Your location is just the design of your product. It is the one that you use to
encourage people to get a taste of your massage therapy clinics. But what will
make your business thrive and last is the service that you provide to your
clients. Once they try your services and find it to their satisfaction, they
will be your lifelong customers.

One way to do this is to include a unique service that one cannot find in other
massage clinics in the area. Research on some ancient massage techniques that no
clinic is offering yet. Introduce the massage in the area. For sure, you will be
an instant hit. People by nature would want to try something new. Make sure
though that you can sustain the new service through training employees and
using products that are appropriate to the massage.

3. Employees

Another way to build a successful massage therapy franchise is to hire people
who can do the job for you. Of course when you are starting, you will not be
able to afford people who are already experienced. Because of this, it will be
up to you to train your employees. That is why it is also important that if you
are setting up a massage clinic that you know a lot about the industry. You must
know for yourself how to massage people. Otherwise, you must know someone who
knows the massage therapy techniques. That way, he or she can be the one to
train your new employees.

4. Ambiance

Another important part of the massage therapy business is the ambiance. People
go there to relax so you must also create a relaxing and comforting
environment, somewhere where your clients can escape to.

Ten of the Best Types of Massage Therapy

Massage therapy has been around for hundreds of years. If you need to relief
from muscle pain or stress, you can choose from one of the ten best types of
massage therapy around.

1. First is Swedish massage therapy. This happens to be the most common type to
find in the US because it is very gentle and relaxing. Here, the masseuse will
use long strokes, kneading and circular movements on superficial layers of
muscle using massage lotion or oil.

2. Next is aromatherapy and the reason why it is called such is because one or
more scented plant oils are used during the session. You will just have to
select the oil you want to use. In fact, the most popular one is lavender as it
is well suited for stress related conditions together with an emotional

3. There is also hot stone massage. Here, heated smooth stones are placed on
certain parts of the body to help loosen those tight muscles and balance energy
centers in the body. At times, the masseuse may also apply gentle pressure
especially for those who have muscle tension.

4. Then there is deep tissue massage. This type is designed to target the
deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue. Here, the masseuse will use slow
strokes better known as friction techniques across the grain of the muscle.

The distinctive feature of deep tissue massage is that it is used on those that
have chronically tight or painful muscles, repetitive strain, postural problems
and recovery from injury. You will often feel sore for the next day or two.

5. Shiatsu is a Japanese form of massage therapy. Here, the masseuse will use
localized finger pressure in a rhythmic sequence on acupuncture meridians. Each
point is held for 2 to 8 second designed to improve the flow of energy and help
the body regain balance. Those who have tried it say that it is relaxing yet
firm. The best part is that there is no soreness afterwards.

6. Thai massage is similar to Shiatsu because it aligns the energies of the
body using gentle pressure on specific points. Part of the session also
includes compressions and stretches as you are moved in a variety of postures
just like yoga but in this case, you don't do anything except go with the flow.

7. For women that are expecting, they can opt for pregnancy massage. It is
designed to relieve stress, decrease swelling, relieve aches and pins as well
as reduce anxiety and depression.

8. Reflexology is also known as foot massage because it involves applying
pressure to certain points on the foot. Those who practice this believe that
the foot corresponds to certain organs and systems so if you are able to work
on that, you have also done it in the whole body.

9. Then there is sports massage that is designed for people involved in sports
activities. This type is designed not only for professional athletes since it
helps prevent and treat physical injuries.

10. Lastly is back massage which usually lasts 30 minutes. Unlike reflexology
that focuses on the feet because it represents special points in the body, this
one simply relieves tension in the back caused by lifting heavy objects or
driving for long periods of time.

Of course there are other kinds of massage therapy aside from the top ten most
popular ones mentioned. Given that these are the only ones available in spas,
perhaps you should just stick with the best sellers.

Swedish Massage Therapy

What is Swedish massage therapy? It is a technique designed to help the muscles
in the body relax by applying pressure and then rubbing it in the same direction
as the flow of blood returning to the heart.

Unlike other methods of massage therapy, this was first developed in the 18th
century. It is also called the "classic massage" because it represents the
Western way of relaxing those muscles.

The main purpose of the Swedish massage then and now is still the same. This is
to increase the flow of oxygen in the blood so toxins are released from the
muscles. These toxins include lactic and uric acid as well as metabolic waste.

When this happens, circulation is increased without increasing the heart load.
The ligaments and tendons are both stretched keeping them supple and pliable.
This also stimulates the skin and nervous system and soothes the nerves at the
same time. As a result, stress is reduced.

There are various techniques in the Swedish massage. Some examples of these are
friction, effleurage, kneading, tapping, long strokes, vibrations and shaking
motions. The therapist may use the fingertips, hands or palm to achieve maximum
effect and of course, a little bit of bending and stretching.

During the session, the person has to undress and lie down on the mattress. He
or she is then covered with a blanket and the only time it is opened is when
the therapist has to massage that region of the body with oil so this will be
absorbed by the body.

If you do not feel comfortable about being nude, bring some old loose clothes
because the oil may stain fabrics.

A Swedish massage usually lasts for 60 to 90 minutes. Before the session
begins, the therapist may check your complexion then choose the type of oil to
use based on your skin type. If ever you want to increase or decrease the
pressure, just say so and the therapist will adjust accordingly.

In the room, you may hear some soothing music playing in the background as this
has been known to help people unwind. If you don't like it, just tell them so
they can play something else or just turn it off.

You might notice that the therapist would like to chat while working on you.
Just like the music, if you don't feel like talking, just tell them. Don't
worry, they won't be offended.

Lastly, some people sleep during Swedish massage therapy. Again, that is
perfectly fine because it has been known to happen.

Swedish massage therapy is considered to be the foundation of other types of
Western massages. This is because the principles behind it are the same as when
you try sports massage, seated chair massage, hot stone therapy, deep tissue
massage or aromatherapy. If you like the way you were treated, try out the
others the next time you drop by.

Before going for a session, check with your doctor if it is safe for you to do.
You should also avoid eating a heavy meal before going in.

Swedish massage therapy is good. Once the session is over, you will feel
relaxed and invigorated. Since you will feel thirsty afterwards, you better
drink up. Some places offer water while others hand out warm tea. Whenever you
are ready, it is time for you to get dressed and head on home.

Licensure in Massage therapy

Massage therapy as a profession has come a long way. From the first few years
where anyone good with their hands can do the kneading and the massaging to now
where only the licensed can perform massages.

With state laws regulating massage therapy clinics, people can now breathe a
sigh of relief. No more problems with massage therapists who don't know how to
massage. Now, when you get a massage, you don't have to be afraid that you will
end up having sore muscles and aching bones instead of the relaxed feeling that
you are aiming for. Nowadays, you can be assured of a superb service that will
be worth every penny that you paid for.

You will find, however, that different laws govern different states. This is
because the laws in massage therapy have not yet reached the federal stage.
This is the reason why every state has unique regulations. It seems that the
government feels that this is an issue that is best dealt with per state and
not federally. And the United States is not alone in this regard.

Canada, for instance, only have three provinces that actually enforce massage
therapy regulations -- British Columbia, Newfoundland and of course, Ontario.
Only these three have registered and licensed therapists working in clinics.
The other provinces are still non-regulated. This means that anybody can do the
job without having to get some training.

Getting regulated is actually advantageous to clients who expect good service.
Besides they deserve to put their bodies in the hands of those who know what
they are doing. Because of the regulation and additional training, massage
therapists do not only act as masseurs but also health advisers and sometimes
even doctors.

They can assess and sometimes also respond to medical issues especially if it
involves physical wellbeing and injuries. Another benefit in the regulation is
that massage therapists are also given identified according to a field of
expertise be it shiatsu or the more technical aromatherapy and acupressure.

This however is bad news to massage therapy practitioners who still don't have
the time or the money to avail of the training that is required of them. You
see, in order to get a license you need to be able to pass the standards that
are set by a group of massage therapy experts. Sometimes, these standards can
be very hard to reach.

Industry regulating standards often focus on the education and training. In
Canada, for instance, one must need about 3000 hours of training in order to
get a license. That is equivalent to years of training. And though massage
therapists have the skills to get through these training programs, most of them
cannot start because of lack of money and time.

Some of them need the money to support their families and would rather use
their earnings to buy food and other necessities than send themselves to
training schools. Some feel that the number of experience in the job should
also count for something when getting a license.

To answer this problem, many massage therapy organizations have established
programs where people who are experienced in the industry can avail of
scholarships and free training. Morning and Night classes have also been
started to cater to those who have job shifts and have no time to go and study.

How to Give a Soothing Massage

Massage relieves stress and tension as well as give the person renewed energy.
If you want to do this, you have to know how to do it.

1. The first thing you have to do is create the right atmosphere or ambiance.
This means finding a cozy, quiet and warm room. You can even use aromatherapy
oil or light a scented candle to make the place smell good. It is best to close
the curtains so nobody will see that you are giving a massage.

2. You then prepare the massage oil. The best one to use is Jojoba oil but
since this is too expensive, you can try almond oil or lavender instead.

3. The best place to give a massage if you don't have the massaging bed is on
the floor. So it is not too hard to lie on, you should spread linen and then
cover it over with a blanket.

4. When the room is ready, you tell the person to take off their clothes and
lie in between the blanket. If the person is shy, it is okay and let them just
lie down in their underwear. Make sure to cover them up to keep them warm.

5. The proper way of giving a massage is by working from right to left. So, you
should sit on the right side of your partner on the thigh or between the legs.

6. You then use your flat hands to smoothly slide from the foot to the bottom
on top of the back of the right leg and slide again down. Knead the right leg
from the bottom to the top in 3 parts by working inwards then outward and then
start over. When you are done, the same thing will be done to the opposite leg.

7. Once you are done with the legs, it is time to work on the back by placing
yourself at the head facing the legs. Again, you use your flat hands to
smoothly slide from head to the bottom with each hand close to the spine. Slide
over the edge of the bottom to the side and then slide on the sides upwards just
underneath the scapulas, you slide back and move the rest back up to the
beginning of the shoulders. This should be done 3 times.

8. You then move over to one side and then use your left hand to do a full
circle on their back. With your right hand, you do a half circle beginning away
from your left going clockwise. This should be done very slowly, smoothly and
sensitively starting at the bottom and then moving all the way up to the
shoulders and the back again.

9. Now that you have finished working on the back, it is time to work on the
front by letting the person lie down on their back. But before you do that, the
steps taken to massage the legs should also be done on the left and right arms.

10. Next, you rub your hands and then place these slowly over your partner's
eyes. This must be placed inches away from the face for about 1 to 2 minutes
before you slide your thumbs from the part between the eyebrows to the point
where the hair starts.

11. You place the thumbs a bit higher then move it apart. This should be
repeated until you reach the beginning of the ear then you move on to the nose,
cheeks, upper and lower lip.

The secret of how to give a soothing massage should come from your hands and
not your eyes. If the person wants less or more pressure, be ready to respond
so they get the best out of what you are giving them.

Shiatsu As A Type of Massage Therapy

Shiatsu is just one of the many types of massage therapy. In English, the word
shiatsu means "finger therapy" and is considered to be a Japanese form of

Similar to acupuncture, this type of massage therapy is based on the holistic
system of traditional Chinese medicine because those who practice it believe
that a person does not feel well due to imbalances in the life force.

To fix it, the massage therapist uses finger and palm pressure to energetic
pathways known as meridians to improve the life force.

Scientists have a better explanation for this by saying that shiatsu calms the
overactive sympathetic nervous system. By doing so, it helps improve blood
circulation, relieves stiff muscles and alleviates stress.

For shiatsu to be effective, the massage therapist has to apply pressure in a
continuous rhythmic sequence. Unlike other types of massage therapy, the
pressure feels more localized so certain points feel tender. If at any time you
feel pain, you can tell the therapist to adjust the pressure so it is
comfortable to you.

Treatment fro shiatsu is done on a low massage table or on the floor. Two
others things that differentiates this type of massage therapy from the rest is
that it does not use any massage oil and this is done while you are fully

Shiatsu is very good for people who suffer from anxiety, arthritis, back pain,
constipation, depression, headaches, insomnia, neck and shoulder pain, poor
digestion, stress, tiredness and premenstrual syndrome. It is so good that you
can even get one just for relaxation.

But not everybody can enjoy acupuncture. It is not safe for people who have
open wounds, have undergone chemotherapy or radiation therapy, immediately
after surgery, and are prone to blood clots, pregnant as well as immediately
after surgery.

If you don't have any of these problems, they by all means, you can enjoy
shiatsu. When you schedule an appointment, make sure you don't eat a heavy meal
before going there. Also, if it is your first time, try to be there at least 10
minutes before your scheduled appointment since you will have to fill up some
forms first. But if you are a regular, just be there 5 minutes before.

For shiatsu to be effective, the practitioner must be relaxed so he or she will
be able to give comfort to the person lying down on the mattress. Proper
positioning is also required and both hands must be used at all times even if
one hand is still and the other is active.

Though this form of massage therapy is all about applying a little pressure,
the key here is perpendicular penetration without any side to side motion so
the professional is able to treat an entire meridian and not jot just an
individual point. So the person leaves feeling relaxed and ready to go home.

Shiatsu as a type of massage therapy has been around for years and there are
various styles to choose from. Some focus merely on the acupressure points,
others more on the general work of the human body and the meridians while some
highlight the diagnostic systems such as the Five Element System. Whichever is
used, you can't deny the fact these are all based from traditional Chinese

How to look for the best massage therapy clinics

It seems that everybody in America is having some massage therapy nowadays.
Popularized by Hollywood celebrities who schedule a massage and a spa twice and
even thrice a week, Americans have also started to get into the program. The
result? A goodly number of massage therapy clinics that have opened shop in
virtually every street corner.

With so many clinics to choose from nowadays, it has become really hard to
choose a good one. Because some of these so-called massage clinics are only
there for the fad, one must be shrewd enough to separate the legitimate ones
from those who are just riding the bandwagon but are not really adept with the
real techniques of massage therapy. Below are some tips on how to find a good
massage clinic in the metro.

1. Go for the tried and tested

When looking for a good massage therapy clinic, go for the tried and tested.
They may be more expensive but you can be sure that what you are getting is a
safe and effective massage. You see, if not done correctly, massage therapy can
also cause health problems especially problems that involve the bones. A little
too much pressure can also bruise the skin and even cause sprains on the bones.

You don't have to go for the massage therapy that celebrities frequent. When
you say tried and tested, it does not mean that you will go for the upscale
ones whose therapy can be ultra expensive. What you can do is ask for referrals
from people who are very much into massage therapy. Those who do this on a
weekly basis will definitely have one or two recommendations that you will
definitely use.

2. Join internet forums

The internet is a rich source of information about anything under the sun. One
information that you can get from the internet especially from forums are names
of massage therapy clinics that give good service. You can either read through
the forums or join in on the conversation with the members of the sites. You
can also look into blogs and check what they recommend for good massage therapy
clinics. These people will frequently have recommendations on the best massage
therapy in the country.

3. Try it out

If you are the adventurous type and you are not afraid of trying out a service,
then try the service of different massage therapy clinics. You will not always
get good service and at some point, you will even experience the worst kind of
service but at least you have tried the service yourself and have not relied on
mere hearsay. Of course, when you say trying it out for yourself, this does not
mean that you will just go inside any massage therapy clinic.

What you can do to keep safe is to also discriminate among the massage therapy
clinics in your neighborhood. Check out the place first and try to learn about
the various massages that they do. You can also look into the oils that they
use as well as strokes that they employ.

Ask about the massage therapists and ask if they have licenses to practice.
This way, you can be sure that what you are getting into is completely safe for
your body and your mind.

Qualities of a good massage therapy clinic

Nowadays, massage therapy is recognized by the medical society and is
considered by the public because of its health and relaxation purposes. In
modern times, a lot of new methods and techniques of massage have emerged and
more people are now aware of the value of massage therapy.

In fact, a lot of states are already enforcing laws on massage therapy clinics
and practices. Massage therapists are even required to get licenses before they
can practice in a specific area. Of course, the law will be different from one
state to another and until a federal law is passed, this will remain so.

But with all the massage therapy clinics that have been cropping up in every
street corner in the metro, it has become hard to choose among them. Most of
the time, what factors in our decision whether to go in or not is not actually
the service but the ambiance or the aura that the store has. This is very
unfortunate as we are compromising our safety for a great window display.

Below are some of the qualities that a good massage therapy clinic should have.

1. Wide range of massages

One quality that a good massage therapy clinic should have is a wide range of
choices for their customers. There are many kinds of massage therapy being done
and having some of them in your list of services means that you are not just a
too-bit business establishment. Also, a wide selection of services also allow
people to try out different things. After all, there is a different massage
therapy that is appropriate for every person and for every situation.

2. Professional masseurs

Another important characteristic of a good massage therapy clinic is having
professional masseurs. This means that the massage therapists should have at
least a license in the kind of massage they are doing and several years of
experience. That way, you can be sure that what they are doing is right and
good for your body. You see, when done the wrong way, the massage therapy
strokes can cause health problems, sprain someone and even maim in some

3. Quality equipment and oil

Another thing that you can look into when determining how great a massage
therapy clinic is the equipment and materials that they use for the massage.
Remember that what they will be using will determine how good your experience
will be during the massage. The oils that they use for instance can help in
soothing the muscles and relaxing the body. The more upscale massage therapy
clinics will even use oils that have scents. These can be more expensive but at
least what you are getting is the real thing.

4. good location

Believe it or not, the location of a place also determines whether a massage
therapy clinic will become a success or not. A good location with a lot of
people can mean constant foot traffic. No matter how great your service is, if
people do not know that your business exists, it will come to nothing. You need
to be in a place where you can be seen by people.

5. Reasonable price

Another important quality of a good massage therapy clinic is of course the
price. A reasonably priced service with a good service will definitely be a
success hands down.

Would you want to get into massage therapy?

Becoming a massage therapist is a big decision to make. Because the industry is
already being regulated, a career in massage therapy is harder to get into. You
need training and sometimes licensure in order to work in a particular clinic.
This is especially true if you are aiming for those top of the line clinics
that really pay well. One of the decisions that you have to make before getting
into the field is what kind of massages will you be specializing in. Like the
medical field, massage therapists have specializations.

There are various kinds of massages that are being done in clinics. Some are
simple enough and only requires a specific set of strokes. Others are more
technical and involve pressing certain pressure points in the body and using
oils that are not usually used in the practice. Examples of these are
acupressure and aromatherapy. Before you get into the massage therapy business,
know first what you are comfortable doing. If you study one massage and then
realize that you are not for it, you will be wasting money and time on your
training. Before you plunge in, know first what you want.

Below are some of the things that can help you clarify what you really want to

1. Western against Eastern

Although there are a lot of different kinds of massages, they are divided into
just two big groups -- Eastern and Western. Ask yourself, are you more
comfortable doing the more traditional medical model that is often the
characteristic of western massages or are you more for the eastern types that
makes use of essential oils and pressure points?

2. Medical against Relaxation

The various kinds of Massage therapies may also be divided into either massages
for relaxation or massage therapy for medical purposes. If you feel that you
only want something simple as providing relaxation, then training is easier for
this group. All you need to learn are specific strokes that will help your
client relax their muscles. However, if you feel that you want to make a career
out of it that is similar to a medical doctor, then you are better off training
in the medical area of massages. Here you will study subjects such as anatomy,
physiology, physical therapy and a lot of other science subjects.

3. Spas against nursing homes

The clients that you will be servicing will also help you determine the kind of
massage therapy specialty you would like to take. For instance, it you foresee
yourself working at a spa or a resort, your clients will primarily be those who
just want a bit of relaxation. On the other hand, if you like to work in a
nursing home or in a hospital setting, then you may want to get into something
that is more medical in nature. Although relaxation may be easier to do, the
pay for the other is much more competitive so you may also want to consider
that when making your decision.

4. how hard can you do the massage

Another consideration in choosing your specialty is whether you can take on the
massaging itself. Remember that massages for relaxation is softer and more
relaxed compared to those being done for people who have problems with their
muscles and their bones. Also, when dealing with medical clients, you also need
to be more precise with your massages.

How to land a job in a massage therapy clinic

Massage therapy clinics are setting up shop all over the metro. They are like
mushrooms that have sprouted out of nowhere. But though one would not know
where they come from, one certainly has an idea why. Massage therapy is one of
the fastest growing industry in the country.

This is perhaps because of the fact that people are looking for ways to relax
after a hard day's work. This is especially true for people who live in the
city where life is more fast-paced. Another reason is the continued publicity
coming from celebrities. Massage therapy is becoming a fad.

Because of this, many people are looking into the massage therapy industry for
jobs. Although the pay is not lucrative enough for most people, the tips can be
pretty amazing especially if you already have a steady list of clients. If you
are one of those people wanting to have a career in this industry, here are
some ways on how to land that job.

1. Get some training

Unlike other professionals, you don't need a degree to be able to land a job in
a massage therapy clinic. Most clinics do not even require college degrees
especially for starting employees. This does not mean however that you won't
make an effort to learn the job. One way that you can get a massage therapy job
easily is to get some training on massages.

Remember that in the job, you will not just knead the shoulder blades and back
of your clients in the directions that you want. You will also have to follow
certain massage techniques. It is a plus point to know even a little of these
techniques before you apply for a job.

2. Visit massage therapy clinics

One way to get to know the industry is to observe first hand what goes on
inside these clinics. Visit some of them in your spare time. Look at their list
of massages and if you can, observe how they do the massages. Check out the
directions of their massages and the products that they use on their customers.
While there, formulate any questions that you have because for sure you will

You can use these observations, questions and your experience inside the
massage therapy clinics during your job interview. Employers are impressed with
potential employees who are interested in the job enough to make such

3. Ask the massage therapists

Ask people who are already working in massage therapy clinics about their
experiences. That way, you will know what to expect when you are there on the
job. Ask about the hours that they put in, the tips that they get every day,
their monthly salary. You can even ask for their worst experiences in the job.
This will also help you decide if the massage therapy industry is the one that
you want to get into.

Don't be afraid to ask. Often, they will be more than happy to help you through
their insights. You can even ask them if there are any vacancies in their
clinics. If you can, leave your number with them so that they can contact you
should a vacancy come up. Remember, most of these clinics will not advertise
job openings. They would just rely on referrals.

How to choose a good massage therapy school

Perhaps because of its increasing popularity, states have taken notice of
massage therapy clinics and created laws to regulate its practice in the
country. Although this is largely advantageous to the millions of Americans who
have been availing of their services in the country, it has frustrated a lot of
massage therapists in the country. After working in the industry for so many
years, suddenly they need to get a training certificate that tells that they
can perform the work that they have been doing for a lot of years.

Still, state laws are state laws and one cannot do anything about it unless of
course they want to go to another state and see if the laws are different
there. But most people would like to stay in their states and continue the
services that they have already established in the country. In fact, most are
going to massage therapy training schools in order to obtain their
certificates. After all, schooling will be a breeze considering that they
already know what they will be training for. They just need the paper.

One problem though that face these people is how to find the right training
school that will fit their schedule and their budget. Here are some tips to
help them.

1. Location

One way to save money and time is to find schools that are near your home or
your place of work depending of course in your schedule. For instance, if you
are going to school after work it is logical to look for schools that are near
the massage therapy clinics you are working for.

2. Tuition fee

Another big consideration for people is the tuition fee. This is especially
true with people who don't have enough money to send themselves to school. As
much as you can, look for programs that have flexible payment terms and If
possible, a school that offers a scholarship programs. You can offer to teach
part time or to work in the school in exchange for a discount. Some people have
more time than money in their hands so this can work.

3. Certification

Remember that not all schools are recognized by the governing bodies that issue
the certification and the license. It is important that before you enroll, make
sure that the school you have chosen are certified by the state regulatory
board. Otherwise, all your time and money will go to waste. Actually, as an
advice: ask for a list of the schools that they are recognizing before you look
for a massage therapy school. That way, you can be sure that whichever you
choose is already legitimate. No time is wasted looking for schools that is not
accepted in the first place.

4. Specialization

Like ordinary schools, there are massage therapy training schools that have
more expertise in a particular field. If you want to focus on a particular
field then it is logical for you to choose the school that is known for that
field. This way, you will be able to benefit from better education as most of
the instructors there will probably be specializing in that field of

This is especially true if the field that you want to get into is the more
technical one that may require more difficult training and study.

The History and Development of Massage

The history of massage started during the 3000 BC when the Chinese wrote
Cong-Fu of the Tao-Tse, the oldest book written about massage which was later
translated to French in the 1700s. In 2760 BC, Nei Ching or the Yellow
Emperor's Esoteric Classic discussed therapeutic touch.

The Egyptians made their contribution in massage when they created reflexology
in 2500 BC. Even the Indians participated in the development of massage when
they established Ayurvedic massage.

During 500 BC-50 AD, the Greek and Romans used massage on Olympic athletes and
to relieve neuralgia and epileptic seizures. Hippocrates, the father of
medicine, incorporated massage in medicine. In 130 AD-201 AD, Galen, a Greek
physician from the school of gladiators who were rubbed before fighting wrote a
book on manual medicine.

In 100s AD, schools for massage therapy were created in China. Then in 600s AD
the Japanese developed shiatsu, which uses the fingers to apply pressure on
acupuncture points to regenerate energy. During the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644),
pediatric massage therapy or tuina evolved into a higher form of therapy which
is still used today.

During 1776-1813, Per Henrik Ling, a fencing master and gymnast cured himself
of rheumatism through massage and created Medical Gymnastics and later formed
the Royal Gymnastic Central Institute in Stockholm, Sweden. Then in 1839-1909,
Johann Mezger introduced medical massage to the scientific community and the
terms effleurage, petrissage and tapotement became familiar.

The effects of massage on anemia were researched by medical doctors and
professors in New York City in 1880. Four years later, Professor Charcot, a
French physician who taught Sigmund Freud recommended massage therapy in French

The Society of Trained Masseuses was formed in Britain which offered massage
education recognized by schools in 1894. A year after, Sigmund Freud used
massage therapy to treat hysteria. During the same year, Harvey Kellog wrote
The Art of Massage.

The 1900's gave birth to different massage therapy methods like Jin shin jyutsu
or the art of circulation awakening developed in Japan by Jiro Murai, The
Alexander Technique created by F.M. Alexander, an Australian actor, Naprapathy
(1907) which originated in Chicago, Bindgewebs massage (1929), created by
German Physical therapist, Elizabeth Dicke and Neuromuscular therapy (1930)
created by Stanley Leif.

In 1937, Rene Maurice Gattefosse, discovered the healing powers of essential
oils accidentally during a laboratory experiment where he burned his hand and
used lavender oil to soothe it. He coined the word Aromatherapy. Two years
after, The Florida State Massage Therapy Association Inc. (FSTMA) was
organized. Today, it is one f the oldest massage organizations with 85 charter

The Massage Registration Act was formulated during 1949, and in 1950 Francis
Tappan and Gertrude Beard wrote books and articles concerning massage
techniques. Two years later, Hoshino Therapy, which is an official medical
therapy in Argentina was developed. Then during the 1960s, John Barnes created
Myofascial Release Therapy.

In 1977-1978, Aston- Patterning was developed by Judith Aston and Hellerwork
was created by Joseph Heller. Both methods are forms of rolfing.

During the 1980s, the Association of Bodywork and Massage Practitioners was
established. Also, Watsu or water therapy was developed by Harold Dull followed
by Stuart Taws creation of Taws Method or Soft Tissue Release.

In the 1990s, a protocol for fybromyalgia syndrome was defined by the American
College of Rheumatology and the Touch Research Institute, which studies the
effects of touch therapy was established.

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