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Massage and Touch Therapy Techniques

Acupressure based on the principles of acupuncture, this ancient Chinese technique involves the use of finger pressure on specific points along the body to treat ailments such as tension, stress, and arthritis. Want to know more?

Alexander Technique The Alexander Technique is an awareness practice for identifying and developing discipline over the negative physical habits of incorrect posture and movement. Want to know more?

Amma Therapy system of bodywork therapy uses traditional oriental medical principles for evaluating imbalances in the energetic system. It aims to restore promote, and maintain health through the treatment of the physical body, bioenergy, and emotions. Want to know more?

Aromatherapy Massage Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils for curative and rejuvenating effects. Dating back to ancient Egypt, India, and the Far East, this simple therapy has been used for centuries to reduce stress and tension, refresh and invigorate the body, soothe emotions, and clear the mind. Want to know more?

Chakra Massage A staple in the Ayurvedic medicine therapies, this stimulating massage has been done for centuries to harmoniously realign and rebalance our "sacred pools of light and energy". One version has been done with stones in the past. In this age, a unique and enhanced format combines the peaceful "laying of stones" with the option to massage the body and its associated energy centers for an incredible connective experience! Created by master craftsman and artisan, Fred Harrison of Stonehenge, and acupuncturist, metaphysician Andrew Pacholyk of Peacefulmind.com, this brand new approach to healing utilizes the "yin" of stillness with the "yang" of movement to create a unique health care tool. Want to know more?

Craniosacral Therapy Within the craniosacral system is the cerebrospinal fluid that moves in a slight but perceptible tide-like manner. Craniosacral therapists assist in facilitating change in areas of restriction where this tide-like motion is limited, confined, and immobilized. Want to know more?

Feldenkrais system of bodywork is developed to improve posture, movement, and breathing. Method teaches recognizing and breaking improper habits of movement. Want to know more?

Hellerwork is a somatic education and structural bodywork which is based on the inseparability of body, mind, and spirit. Myofascial release, movement awareness, and dialogue are the essence of the sessions enabling one to move more fluidly, have stamina, strength, and increased energy. Want to know more?

Hot Stone Massage The Hot Stone Massage concept was founded 5000 years ago. Ayurveda, the ancient healing tradition of India, spoke of a universal source of all life. Hot stones are positioned on the body and some are gently manipulated with light pressure being exerted on the warm stones to invigorate this universal life force. Want to know more?

Infant Massage Infant massage is usually taught to new mothers as a way of bonding with their newborn and for encouraging infant health. Promoted by Vimala McClure, it incorporates nurturing touch, massage, and reflexology in a loving, fun, one-on-one interaction. Want to know more?

Medical Massage Medical or Clinical massage deals with the dysfunction of the soft tissue or range of motion of the joints.? This type of massage usually occurs after an injury has been sustained or due to over use.? It is important that the injury is assessed as soon as possible after an injury occurs.? The longer an injury goes untreated, the longer the recovery time. Want to know more?

Reflexology Reflexology is a healing technique using points and reflex zones on the hands and feet that correspond to internal and external pathways of the body including the organs and musculoskeletal system. Working these points with various techniques has shown to increase blood circulation, decrease stress levels, boost the digestive system and improve the nervous system. Want to know more?

Reiki is a healing system of using light hand placements to channel healing energies. Used to treat emotional and mental distress, chronic and acute physical problems, and to achieve spiritual focus and clarity. Want to know more?

Rolfing is deep manipulation of the fascia to restore the body's natural alignment. This involves ten sessions, each focusing on a different part of the body. Want to know more?

Shiatsu involves the rhythmic pressing of acupressure points for short periods. The thumbs are used whenever possible because they exert firmer pressure. "Shiatsu" means finger pressure in Japanese. Want to know more?

Swedish is the process of using soothing, kneading strokes to "warm-up" the body. Then a rolling and squeezing of the specific muscle groups are done to relieve soreness by clearing away lactic acid. Want to know more?

Tantra Based on the Tantric school of thought. Tantric combines the principles of yoga and meditation to weave together sensuality and spirituality. It is rooted in ancient Hindu and Buddhist texts and practices dating back to the sixth century A.D. Want to know more?

Tui Na Known as the grandfather of all massage, Tuina was developed in China over over 5,000 years ago. This Oriental bodywork encompasses Reflexology, Accupressure and Massage. Tuina works on the energy channels and points on the body using the same principles as Acupuncture except you are using your hands and fingers instead of needles. Want to know more?

Suggestions For Finding A Massage School

First, look in your local phone book or on-line for a listing of massage schools in your area. Call them and ask them to send you an information packet for perspective students. This will tell you how many hours the program involves, what classes are required, how long it will take, the cost, the application process, and the licensing requirements for your area.

Then, you need to figure out what you need in a school. Do you need flexible class schedules, so you can take some classes at night or on weekends? Are you able to go to school full-time? Is your priority to finish school A.S.A.P., or to do it slowly while still working and taking care of your family? Do you need financing of any kind, or can you pay all at once? How much of your tuition can you get back if you decide to drop out/change schools?

The next step is to talk to other massage professionals. Find out where your own massage therapist went to school. Call some people and see if they'll talk to you about their schooling experiences.

You can also schedule informational interviews at massage schools. Get a tour of the school, talk to some instructors and get a good sense for the place. Most massage schools that I know of also offer an introductory one-night class called "Interested in a career in massage therapy?" or something similar to that, to give you a general orientation to the profession and their program. Find A Massage School Now


1. Alexander Technique International: The Worldwide Professional Organization for the F.M. Alexander Technique. www.ati-net.com.
2. American Massage Therapy Association: definition of massage therapy and basic massage therapy terms. www.amtamassage.org.
3. American Organization for Bodywork Therapies of Asia (AOBTA). www.aobta.org.
4. American Polarity Therapy Association. www.polaritytherapy.org.
5. Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals (ABMP). About massage, bodywork and somatic therapies. www.abmp.com.
6. Burack, Marsha. "Reiki, Healing Yourself & Others" (Ca: Lo Ro Productions, 1995)
7. Consumers guide to therapeutic massage and bodywork. National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork (NCBTMB). www.ncbtmb.com.
8. Derick, Linda M.A., L.M.T., Pecora, Robert L.M.T., Ramsby-Andrews, Synthia B.A., L.M.T., and Schrier, Matthew M.S., D.C., "The Application of Therapeutic Massage for Low Back Pain.", Techniques in Orthopaedics, ISSN: 0885-9698, March, 2003
9. European College of Bowen Studies. www.thebowentechnique.com.
10. Feldenkrais Educational Foundation of North America (FEFNA). www.feldenkrais.com.
11. Fritz, Dandy, "Mosby's Fundamentals of Therapeutic Massage" Mosby, St Louis, Missouri
12. Guild for Structural Integration. www.rolfguild.org.
13. Kellog, John Harvey, "The Art of Massage", Modern Medicine Publishing Co, Battle Creek, Michigan
14. MassageTherapy.com. www.massagetherapy.com.
15. Myofascial Release. www.myofascialrelease.com.
16. Natural Healers. www.naturalhealers.org.
17. National Institutes of Health. Alternative medicine: expanding medical horizons. A report to the National Institutes of Health on alternative medical systems and practices in the United States. NIH Publication No. 94-066. 1994.
18. Oschman, James. Energy Medicine: The Scientific Basis. New York: Churchill Livingston. 2000
19. Tappan, France M. and Benjamin, Patricia J., "Healing Massage Techniques", Appleton & Lange Stamfod, Ct
20. Trager Association. www.trager.com.
21. TuiNa BodyWork: Class notes, Master Yang, PCOM. New York, 2003 

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