Massage therapy is one of the fastest growing fields in health care. Massage therapists can improve a person's health and well-being through the manipulation of muscles and tissues in the body.
What are the potential benefits of massage therapy?
- Improves circulation
- Relieves muscle tension
- Stimulates the immune system
- Relieves chronic pain
- Improves range of motion
- Improves focus and concentration
- Calms the mind
- Creates a relaxed state of alertness
- Satisfies the need for caring touch
- Enhances self image
- Reduces anxiety levels
- Allows greater expression of feelings
How many massage techniques are there?
Many techniques have been developed around the world. The benefit of many techniques is that therapists can better address the many conditions of their patients. Here are some common techniques used:
- Swedish massage - uses a system of long gliding strokes, kneading and friction (rubbing) techniques on the top layers of muscle to promote relaxation.
- On-site massage - 10-15 minute seated massage; client remains fully clothed; therapist focuses on the back, arms, hands, neck and head. On-site massage is offered in a variety of places such as office buildings, airports, shopping malls and health fairs.
- Neuromuscular therapy - applies finger pressure to "trigger points" (painful, irritated areas in muscle) in order to break the cycle of spasm or pain.
Massage for special populations
- Sports massage - is a vigorous massage of the muscles being used in athletic activity.
- Prenatal massage - is carefully done for women in all stages of pregnancy; movements are focused on the back, buttocks and legs to help relieve stress and aches associated with pregnancy.
- Infant and child massage - a calming touch usually given by a parent; uses gliding strokes, first away then towards the heart, to potentially enhance the health and well-being of the infant/child and improve the bond between child and parent. Classes are periodically held at various Aurora facilities. Check our calendar of events for dates and times.
- Geriatric massage - applies a sequence of strokes and compressions on an older adult to offer comfort and help ease the discomforts that often come with age.
- Clinical massage for cancer patients
- Craniosacral therapy
Where should I begin when looking for a massage therapist?
- Decide what you expect to get out of your massage.
- Determine what technique would best fit your needs.
- Get personal references. Ask your family, friends and those in the community whom they might recommend.
- Ask for referrals from physicians, chiropractors, physical therapists or other health professionals.
- Contact the American Massage Therapy Association to get a list of the certified therapists in your area.
What is the next step?
Before making your final choice on a massage therapist, ask the therapist the following questions:
- Was the therapist properly trained at an accredited institution?
- Does the therapist have a valid license or certification to practice massage in your state?
- How many years of practice does the therapist have?
- Is he or she professionally affiliated in a national organization?
- Is the therapist's place of practice clean, safe and comfortable?
What is a licensed massage therapist?
- Licensed - means that an individual has completed a course of training from a school of bodywork, which generally means 500-1000 hours of training, and have met additional requirements to be granted a license to practice massage therapy in the state of Wisconsin. Some practitioners have taken a national certification exam. Others are affiliated with a national organization which may or may not require a level of proficiency for admittance.
What about cost?
Call the site location nearest you for pricing information. Senior and employee discounts available.