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Massage is the manipulation of superficial and deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue using various techniques, to enhance function, aid in the healing process, decrease muscle reflex activity, inhibit motor-neuron excitability, promote relaxation and well-being, and as a recreational activity.
The word comes from the French massage "friction of kneading", or from Arabic massa meaning "to touch, feel or handle" or from Latin massa meaning "mass, dough", cf. Greek verb μάσσω (massō) "to handle, touch, to work with the hands, to knead dough". In distinction the ancient Greek word for massage was anatripsis, and the Latin was frictio.
Massage involves working and acting on the body with pressure – structured, unstructured, stationary, or moving – tension, motion, or vibration, done manually or with mechanical aids. Target tissues may include muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia, skin, joints, or other connective tissue, as well as lymphatic vessels, or organs of the gastrointestinal system. Massage can be applied with the hands, fingers, elbows, knees, forearm, or feet.
In professional settings massage involves the client being treated while lying on a massage table, sitting in a massage chair, or lying on a mat on the floor, while in amateur settings a general purpose surface like a bed or floor is more common. The massage subject may be fully or partially clothed or unclothed.
- 1 History
- 2 Types and methods of massage
- 2.1 Acupressure massage
- 2.2 Breast massage (Lymphatic breast massage)
- 2.3 Anma massage
- 2.4 Aqua Massage
- 2.5 Balinese massage
- 2.6 Barefoot deep tissue massage
- 2.7 Bowen therapy
- 2.8 Breema massage
- 2.9 Cranial release technique
- 2.10 Champissage massage
- 2.11 Chua K'a
- 2.12 Couples massage
- 2.13 Deep tissue massage
- 2.14 Erotic massage
- 2.15 Esalen massage
- 2.16 Foot massage
- 2.17 Hilot massage
- 2.18 Infant massage
- 2.19 Kum Nye
- 2.20 Lomi Lomi and indigenous massage of Oceania
- 2.21 Lymphatic drainage massage
- 2.22 Medical massage
- 2.23 Mesoamerican massage
- 2.24 Metamorphic Technique
- 2.25 Mobile massage
- 2.26 Myofascial release massage
- 2.27 Myomassology
- 2.28 Pediatric massage
- 2.29 Postural integration (PI)
- 2.30 Prostate massage
- 2.31 Reciprocal inhibition technique
- 2.32 Reflexology massage
- 2.33 Remedial massage
- 2.34 Self massage
- 2.35 Shiatsu
- 2.36 Sports massage
- 2.37 Stone massage
- 2.38 Structural integration
- 2.39 Swedish massage
- 2.40 Tandem massage
- 2.41 Tantric massage
- 2.42 Thai massage
- 2.43 Traditional Chinese massage
- 2.44 Trager approach
- 2.45 Trigger point therapy
- 2.46 Vaginal massage
- 2.47 Visceral manipulation
- 2.48 Watsu
- 2.49 Zoku Shin Do
- 3 See also
- 4 References
- 5 External links
Ancient and medieval times
BC 722-481: Huangdi Neijing is composed during the Chinese Spring and Autumn period (the beginning of recorded history). The Nei-jing is a compilation of medical knowledge known up to that date, and is the foundation of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Massage is referred to in 30 different chapters of the Nei Jing. It specifies the use of different massage techniques and how they should be used in the treatment of specific ailments, and injuries. Also known as "The Yellow Emperor's Inner Canon", the text refers to previous medical knowledge from the time of the Yellow Emperor (approx 2700 BC), misleading some into believing the text itself was written during the time of the Yellow Emperor (which would predate written history).
BC 700 Bian Que, the earliest known Chinese physician uses massage in medical practice.
BC 500 Jīvaka Komarabhācca, also known as Shivago Komarpaj, the founder of Traditional Thai massage (Nuad Boran) and Thai medicine. According to the Pāli Buddhist Canon, Jivaka was Buddha's physician. He codified a healing system that combines acupressure, reflexology, and assisted yoga postures. Traditional Thai massage (Nuad Boran) is generally based on a combination of Indian and Chinese traditions of medicine. Jivaka is known today as "Father Doctor" in Thailand.
BC 300 Charaka Samhita believed to be the oldest of the three ancient treatises of Ayurvedic medicine, including massage. Sanscrit records indicate that massage had been practiced in India long before the beginning of recorded history.
AD 581: Dr Sun Si Miao introduces ten new massage techniques and systematized the treatment of childhood diseases using massage therapy.
AD 581: China establishes a department of massage therapy within the Office of Imperial Physicians.
Middle-Ages: Medical knowledge, including that of massage, made its way from Rome to Persia in the Middle Ages. Many of Galen's manuscripts, for instance, were collected and translated by Hunayn ibn Ishaq in the 9th century. Later in the 11th century copies were translated back into Latin, and again in the 15th and 16th centuries, when they helped enlighten European scholars as to the achievements of the Ancient Greeks. This renewal of the Galenic tradition during the Renaissance played a very important part in the rise of modern science.
One of the greatest Persian medics was Avicenna, also known as Ibn Sina, who lived from 980AD to 1037AD. He was the foremost philosopher of medieval Islam and also a great philosopher, logician and medic. His works included a comprehensive collection and systematisation of the fragmentary and unorganised Greco-Roman medical literature that had been translated Arabic by that time, augmented by notes from his own experiences. One of his books, Al-Qānūn fī aṭ-Ṭibb (The Canon of Medicine) has been called the most famous single book in the history of medicine in both East and West. Avicenna excelled in the logical assessment of conditions and comparison of symptoms and took special note of analgesics and their proper use as well as other methods of relieving pain, including massage.
AD 1150: Evidence of massage abortion, involving the application of pressure to the pregnant abdomen, can be found in one of the bas reliefs decorating the temple of Angkor Wat in Cambodia. It depicts a demon performing such an abortion upon a woman who has been sent to the underworld. This is the oldest known visual representation of abortion.
AD 1776: Jean Joseph Marie Amiot, and Pierre-Martial Cibot, French missionaries in China translate summaries of Huangdi Neijing, including a list of medical plants, exercises and elaborate massage techniques, into the French language, thereby introducing Europe to the highly developed Chinese system of medicine, medical-gymnastics, and medical-massage. 
AD 1776 Pehr Henrik Ling, a Swedish physical therapist, and teacher of medical-gymnastics is born. Ling has often been erroneously credited for having invented "Classic Massage" aka "Swedish Massage", and has been called the "Father of Massage".
AD 1779: Frenchman Pierre-Martial Cibot publishes ‘Notice du Cong-fou des Bonzes Tao-see' also known as "The Cong-Fou of the Tao-Tse", a French language summary of medical techniques used by Taoist priests. According to Joseph Needhan, Cibot's work "was intended to present the physicists and physicians of Europe with a sketch of a system of medical gymnastics which they might like to adopt—or if they found it at fault they might be stimulated to invent something better. This work has long been regarded as of cardinal importance in the history of physiotherapy because it almost certainly influenced the Swedish founder of the modern phase of the art, Per Hendrik Ling. Cibot had studied at least one Chinese book, but also got much from a Christian neophyte who had become expert in the subject before his conversion.” 
AD 1813 The Royal Gymnastic Central Institute for the training of gymnastic instructors was opened in Stockholm, Sweden, with Pehr Henrik Ling appointed as principal. Ling developed what he called the "Swedish Movement Cure" with the help of a friend named Ming (full name never recorded) who was an expert in the martial arts and Kung-Fu based Tui na massage. Ling died in 1839, having previously named his pupils as the repositories of his teaching. Ling and his assistants left little proper written account of their methods. 
AD 1878: Dutch massage practitioner Johan Georg Mezger takes a sub-set of techniques from Dr. Ling's system, and coins the phrase "Swedish massage system". Notably, Ling's techniques, having been borrowed by Mezger, are still known by their French names (effleurage (long, gliding strokes), petrissage (lifting and kneading the muscles), friction (firm, deep, circular rubbing movements), tapotement (brisk tapping or percussive movements), and vibration (rapidly shaking or vibrating specific muscles)). Each of these techniques are fundamental elements of Tui na, and had been practiced in China for several thousand years prior.
China: Massage has developed continuously in China for over 5000 years. Western ideas are considered within the traditional framework. It is widely practiced and taught in hospital and medical schools and is an essential part of health maintenance and primary healthcare.
United States: Massage started to become popular in the United States in the middle part of the 19th century and was introduced by two New York physicians based on Per Henrik Ling's techniques developed in Sweden.
During the 1930s and 1940s massage's influence decreased as a result of medical advancements of the time, while in the 1970s massage's influence grew once again with a notable rise among athletes. Massage was used up until the 1960s and 1970s by nurses to help ease patients’ pain and help them sleep. The massage therapy industry is continuously increasing, with a projected 19% increase between 2008 and 2009. U.S. consumers spend between $4 and $6 billion on visits to massage therapists, as of 2009.
United Kingdom: Massage is popular in the United Kingdom today and gaining in popularity. There are many private practitioners working from their own premises as well as those who operate from commercial venues.
Massage in sports, business and organizations: Massage developed alongside athletics in both Ancient China and Ancient Greece. Taoist priests developed massage in concert with their Kung Fu gymnastic movements, while Ancient Greek Olympians used a specific type of trainer ("aleiptes") who would rub their muscles with oil. Pehr Ling's introduction to massage also came about directly as a result of his study of gymnastic movements.
The 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles was the first time that massage therapy was televised as it was being performed on the athletes. And then, during the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta massage therapy was finally offered as a core medical service to the US Olympic Team. Massage has been employed by businesses and organizations such as the U.S. Department of Justice, Boeing and Reebok. Notable athletes such as Michael Jordan and LeBron James have personal massage therapists that at times even travel with them.
Types and methods of massage
Acupressure (a portmanteau of "acupuncture" and "pressure") is a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) technique derived from acupuncture. With acupressure physical pressure is applied to acupuncture points by the hand, elbow, or with various devices.
Breast massage (Lymphatic breast massage)
Lymphatic breast massage is a type of breast massage designed to stimulate lymphatic movement in the breast tissue.
Anma is a traditional Japanese massage involving kneading and deep tissue work.
Aqua Massage is a dry-water hydrotherapy massage that involves the client laying down on a mattress, water jets pummel on the client, while keeping them dry.
Balinese massage techniques are gentle and aim to make the patient feel relaxed and calm throughout. The techniques include skin folding, kneading, stroking,and other techniques. The massage therapist applies aromatheraphy oil throughout the massage. A patient's blood, oxygen and energy flow is said to increase due to the treatment. Balinese hot stones are an option.
Barefoot deep tissue massage
Barefoot deep tissue, also known as barefoot compressive deep tissue, or barefoot sports massage, is a blend of Eastern barefoot techniques, such as barefoot Shiatsu massage, coupled with a Western manual medicine, encompassing deep tissue, myofascial release, trigger point therapy, transverse friction, compression, tension, shear, proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF), stretching, as well as parasympathetic response, on clothed clients using no oil. Dara Torres, 41-year-old Olympian, received barefoot compression massage on a daily basis in her training program.
This modality typically uses the heel, sesamoid, arch and/or whole plantar surface of foot, and offers large compression, tension and shear forces with less pressure than elbow or thumb, and is ideal for large muscles, such as in thigh, or for long-duration upper trapezius compressions. The unclothed cousins of this modality are Keralite, Barefoot Lomi Lomi, Chavutti Thirummal.
Bowen technique involves a rolling movement over fascia, muscles, ligaments, tendons and joints. It is said not to involve deep or prolonged contact with muscle tissues as in most kinds of massage, but claims to relieve muscle tensions and strains and to restore normal lymphatic flow. Because this technique is so gentle, Bowen Therapy can be suitable for newborn baby to elderly. It is based on practices developed by Australian Tom Bowen and the practitioners are all over the world. 
Breema bodywork is performed on the floor with the recipient fully clothed. It consists of rhythmical and gentle leans and stretches.
Cranial release technique
Champissage is a massage technique focusing on the head, neck and face that is believed to balance the chakras.
Couples massage is a service offered by some spas and massage parlors where two people (usually, but not always, couples), are massaged side-by-side on separate tables and by separate providers. It adds a social element to massage.
Deep tissue massage
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Deep tissue massage is designed to relieve severe tension in the muscle and the connective tissue or fascia. This type of massage focuses on the muscles located below the surface of the top muscles. 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 term “deep tissue” is often misused to identify a massage that is performed with sustained deep pressure. Deep tissue massage is a separate category of massage therapy, used to treat particular muscular-skeletal disorders and complaints and employs a dedicated set of techniques and strokes to achieve a measure of relief. It should not be confused with “deep pressure” massage, which is one that is performed with sustained strong, occasionally intense pressure throughout an entire full-body session, and that is not performed to address a specific complaint. Deep tissue massage is applied to both the superficial and deep layers of muscles, fascia, and other structures. 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. If a practitioner employs deep tissue techniques on the entire body in one session, it would be next to impossible to perform; it might lead to injury or localized muscle and nerve trauma, thereby rendering the session counterproductive.
Erotic massage (or sensual massage) is the use of massage techniques to achieve or enhance sexual arousal. It can be used as part of sex, either as foreplay or as the final sex act. Erotic massages typically feature massages in erogenous zones of the body to increase sexual arousal.
Esalen Massage was developed at the Esalen Institute based on a combination of many massage and bodywork techniques. The two main influences were Swedish massage and the Sensory Awareness work of Charlotte Selver. Esalen Massage works with gentle rocking of the body, passive joint exercises and deep structural work on the muscles and joints, together with an energetic balancing of the body.
While various types of reflexology related massage styles focus on the feet, massage of (usually) the soles of the feet is often performed purely for relaxation or recreation.
See also Thai Foot Massage
Thai Foot Massage is the therapeutic massage of particular areas of the soles of the feet, and to a lesser extent the lower legs. The aim is to stimulate reflex points or lines – sen in Thai – that correspond to other parts of the body: to the internal organs, the glands, and the senses. The overall goal is to improve blood and lymph circulation, and to stimulate and improve the workings of the body’s internal organs.
Thai Foot Massage is based on the theory that there are zones and reflex areas in the feet which correspond to all glands, organs, senses and systems of the body. The act of reading signs on the feet, of understanding the client as much as possible, and of applying pressure using the thumb, finger and hand techniques through specialized combinations of pressure is the art at the foundation of this 2,000-year old massage technique.
Hilot is a traditional healing technique from the Philippines that also includes massage techniques. The massage techniques relax stressed muscles. Hilot also includes joint manipulations to help relax stressed muscles.
Hilot encompasses a wide variety of techniques beyond the treatment of stressed muscles. Hilot can be used to reset sprained joints, diagnose and treat musculoligamentous and musculoskeletal ailments, and even to aid in giving birth and to induce abortion.
Dislocated joints can also be reset by hilot after an X-ray has been done on affected body parts and medical experts advised that the same body parts are safe to be massaged.
After giving birth, hilot can be done on the mother and the baby born of normal delivery for 10 consecutive days so that they may recover easily. Hilot should not be done on mothers who deliver via caesarian section.
Hilot also uses banana leaves and herbs for enhanced efficacy.
cf Pediatric massage
Infant massage is a type of complementary and alternative treatment that uses massage therapy for human infants. This therapy has been practiced globally, and has been increasingly used in Western countries as a treatment for infants.
Kum Nye and sKu-mNyé are a wide variety of Tibetan religious and medical body practices. The two terms are different spellings in the Latin alphabet of the same Tibetan phrase (Wylie: sku mnye), which literally means "massage of the subtle body". Some systems of sku mnye are vaguely similar to Yoga, T'ai chi, Qigong, or therapeutic massage. "Kum Nye", Ku Nye, and Kunye are also used to transcribe the Tibetan phrases dku mnye ("belly massage") and bsku mnye ("oil massage"), which are pronounced identically to sku mnye. dKu mnye and bsku mnye manipulate the physical body, rather than the subtle (energetic) one.
Lomi Lomi and indigenous massage of Oceania
Lomilomi is the traditional massage of Hawaii. As an indigenous practice, it varies by island and by family. The word lomilomi also is used for massage in Samoa and East Futuna. In Samoa, it is also known as lolomi and milimili. In East Futuna, it is also called milimili, fakasolosolo, amoamo, lusilusi, kinikini, fai’ua. The Māori call it roromi and mirimiri. In Tonga massage is fotofota, tolotolo, and amoamo. In Tahiti it is rumirumi. On Nanumea in Tuvalu, massage is known as popo, pressure application is kukumi, and heat application is tutu. Massage has also been documented in Tikopia in the Solomon Islands, in Rarotonga and in Pukapuka in Western Samoa.
Lymphatic drainage massage
Massage technique used to gently work and stimulate the lymphatic system, to assist in reduction of localized swelling. The lymphatic system is a network of slow moving vessels in the body that is responsible for the removal of cellular waste and toxic microbes from the body. The Lymphatic drainage massage is believed to help in detoxification of the body and in stimulating the body's immune system.
Medical Massage is a controversial term in the massage profession. Many use it to describe a specific technique. Others use it to describe a general category of massage and many methods such as deep tissue massage, myofascial release and triggerpoint therapy as well as osteopathic techniques, cranial-sacral techniques and many more can be used to work with various medical conditions.
Massage used in the medical field includes decongestive therapy used for lymphedema which can be used in conjunction with the treatment of breast cancer. Light massage is also used in pain management and palliative care. Carotid sinus massage is used to diagnose carotid sinus syncope and is sometimes useful for differentiating supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) from ventricular tachycardia. It, like the valsalva maneuver, is a therapy for SVT. However, it is less effective than management of SVT with medications.
A 2004 systematic review found single applications of massage therapy "reduced state anxiety, blood pressure, and heart rate but not negative mood, immediate assessment of pain, and cortisol level", while "multiple applications reduced delayed assessment of pain", and found improvements in anxiety and depression similar to effects of psychotherapy. A subsequent systematic review published in 2008 found that there is little evidence supporting the use of massage therapy for depression in high quality studies from radmonized controlled trials.
In Mesoamerica as in other areas of the world an indigenous form of soft tissue and structural massage has developed. Today this art survives thanks to the many Sobadoras/es or Hueseros/as that have handed-down these techniques via oral tradition.
The Metamorphic Technique is a gentle form of foot, hand and head massage that can be carried out by anyone with a brief training in the technique. It draws on reflexology in its theory and approach.
Given some of the main benefits of massage, many people prefer to have a therapist come to them to perform the treatment as opposed to visiting the therapist. Amongst other things, this type of treatment has the benefits of allowing the recipient to remain in their own environment with which they are likely most comfortable, to avoid the pre and post stresses of travelling to the therapist to receive their massage and of course to retire directly to a place of rest immediately following their massage. Therapists can bring a dedicated table with them on which to perform the massage or perform the treatment on the floor or the client's own bed. Mobile (or outcall) massages are particularly popular in big cities around the world where life can be more hectic than elsewhere and there are many operators of such services in places like London and New York.
Myofascial release massage
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, increasing range of motion and equilibrioception. Myofascial release usually involves applying shear compression or tension in various directions, or by skin rolling.
An integration of techniques including basic Swedish massage, aromatherapy, reflexology, shiatsu, energy balancing, tuina Chinese medical massage, acupressure and craniosacral therapy along with other modalities in conjunction with instruction in nutrition, meditation and yoga. The term Myomassology was coined by Irene Gauthier to describe her combined work of Swedish massage, craniosacral therapy, reflexology and body mechanics.
cf Infant massage
Pediatric massage is the complementary and alternative treatment that uses massage therapy, or "the manual manipulation of soft tissue intended to promote health and well-being" for children and adolescents.
Postural integration (PI)
Postural Integration (PI) is a process-oriented bodywork combining deep tissue massage with breathwork, body movement and awareness as well as emotional expression.
Prostate massage was once the most popular therapeutic maneuver used to treat prostatitis. According to the Prostatitis Foundation "it used to be, in the age before antibiotics (before about 1960 for prostatitis), doctors performed massage when their patients had prostatitis. In some cases it was enough to cure them of the disease. ... it fell out of common practice with the advent of antibiotics."
Reciprocal inhibition technique
Reciprocal inhibition involves locating specific muscles that are in spasm and then actively contracting the opposing muscle groups. This causes the tight muscles to reduce by limiting nervous system input, allowing relaxation and reducing pain. Reciprocal inhibition technique takes advantage of the neurological mechanism that exists naturally. It is effective in treating acute spasm and joint inflammation, especially in the lumbar and cervical spine.
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.
Massage techniques such as sports massage, trigger point therapy and PNF stretching combined for an overall curative approach.
A few various techniques that are practiced on oneself, such as stroking the temples with strong pressure from front to back, rubbing the bottoms of the feet with one's knuckles or a wooden massage tool, and circular movement with thumb on palm of hand.
Shiatsu (指圧) (shi meaning finger and atsu meaning pressure) is a Japanese therapy that uses pressure applied with thumbs, fingers and palms to the same energy meridians as acupressure and incorporates stretching. It also uses techniques such as rolling, brushing, vibrating, grasping and, in one particular technique developed by Shizuko Yamamoto, pressure is applied with the feet on the receiver's back, legs and feet.
Also known as manual therapy, manipulative therapy, or manual & manipulative therapy, this is a physical treatment primarily used on the neuromusculoskeletal system to treat pain and disability. It most commonly includes kneading and manipulation of muscles, joint mobilization and joint manipulation. NIRNAVA teaches a blend of clinical sports along with traditional thai style for exceptional results within quick turn around time.
A 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.
Structural integration's aim is to unwind the strain patterns residing in the body's myofascial system, restoring it to its natural balance, alignment, length, and ease. This is accomplished by deep, slow, fascial and myofascial manipulation, coupled with movement re-education. Various brands of Structural Integration are Kinesis Myofascial Integration and Rolfing.
Swedish massage uses five styles of long, flowing strokes to massage. The five basic strokes are effleurage (sliding or gliding), petrissage (kneading), tapotement (rhythmic tapping), friction (cross fiber) and vibration/shaking. Swedish massage has shown to be helpful in reducing pain, joint stiffness, and improving function in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee over a period of eight weeks. The development of Swedish massage is often inaccurately credited to Per Henrik Ling, though the Dutch practitioner Johann Georg Mezger adopted the French names to denote the basic strokes. The term "Swedish" massage is actually only recognized in English and Dutch speaking countries, and in Hungary. Elsewhere (including Sweden) the style is referred to as "classic massage".
A massage by two or more therapist. It is occasionally called a four hand massage. Therapist usually work simultaneously in a rhythmic fashion providing a great relaxing stimuli on the nervous system.
Known in Thailand as นวดแผนโบราณ (Nuat phaen boran, IPA: [nûət pʰɛ́ːn boːraːn]), meaning "ancient/traditional massage", Traditional Thai massage (Nuad Boran) is generally based on a combination of Indian and Chinese traditions of medicine.
Thai massage – or Nuat Thai – is unique among massage therapies in combining both physical and energetic aspects. It is a deep, full-body massage progressing from the feet up, and focusing on sen or energy lines throughout the body, with the aim of clearing blockages in these lines, and thus stimulating the flow of blood and lymph throughout the body. By the end, one feels both relaxed and energized, in an almost dreamlike state, and typically without pain.
Thai culture is the wellspring of modern massage therapies, and is much more than what is typically considered massage in the West, which accounts for its appeal and attraction to visitors. It combines many different techniques into one all-encompassing system, drawing particularly on acupressure, reflexology, and assisted yoga postures. In short, it is a unique form of Buddhist physiotherapy that blends yoga, acupressure and reflexology.
Traditional Chinese massage
Two types of traditional Chinese massage exist - Tui na (推拿) which focuses on pushing, stretching and kneading the muscle and Zhi Ya (指壓) which focuses on pinching and pressing at acupressure points. Both are based on principles from Traditional Chinese Medicine. Though in the Western countries Tui Na is viewed as massage, it is not. Massage of Chinese Medicine is known as Anmo (按摩), which is the foundation of Japan's Anma.
Within the foundation of Tui Na, Traditional Chinese Medicine principles are followed, from Meridian Applications to Herbal Formulas, Qigong Therapy and heated herbal application (Moxa). Technique applications such as friction and vibration are used as well.
The Trager approach combines movement and touch to educate the body/mind.
Trigger point therapy
Sometimes confused with pressure point massage, this 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. Trigger points were first discovered and mapped by Janet G. Travell (President Kennedy's physician) and David Simons. Trigger points have been photomicrographed and measured electrically. and in 2007 a paper was presented showing images of Trigger Points using MRI. These points relate to dysfunction in the myoneural junction, also called neuromuscular junction (NMJ), in muscle, and therefore this modality is different from reflexology, acupressure and pressure point massage.
Aside from erotic applications, studies[which?] have shown that vaginal and perineal massage during pregnancy can reduce the tearing of the vaginal canal during childbirth and reduce pain.
One form is Mayan abdominal massage which is practiced in many countries in Latin America. This type of massage may have been developed by Elijio Panti of Belize and brought to the United States by Rosita Arvigo.
Watsu is the combination of hydrotherapy and shiatsu developed by Harold Dull. The work is done in skin temperature water with both the practitioner and the client in the water, usually a pool that is between 3.5 ft to 4 ft (100–120 cm) deep (although it can be done in a warm sea). The work entails much movement in the water, and it is used as a therapy for stress, insomnia, and back pain. It has also been proposed as a therapy for fibromyalgia syndrome, and rehabilitating patients after a stroke. Practitioners may believe that it incorporates the activation of the "energy lines" derived from shiatsu.
In a more advanced version, called waterdance, the receiver is taken underwater during the therapy to increase the sensations of peace, relaxation and weightlessness. (A noseclip is used to increase comfort, and touch signals are used to communicate when the receiver is to be submerged.)
Zoku Shin Do
Zoku Shin Do is an ancient Chinese system of foot massage that claims to treat the foot as a system related to the whole body and stimulate energy flow.
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