Glossary & Terms

Acupressure (n.) – an ancient Asian therapy that involves pressing points along the body’s twelve meridians (energy channels) by using fingers, thumb or palms to stimulate ki (also called qi or chi) and bring balance and health.

Acute (adj.) – Severe symptoms that happen quickly and last a short amount of time.

Adenosine Tri-Phosphate (n.) (ATP) – is a complex chemical compound formed with the energy releases from food and stored in all cells, especially muscles. The primary function of ATP is to transfer energy from one location to another rather than a long-term storage of energy.

Adhesion (n.) – Abnormal uniting of collagen fibers to surrounding structures following trauma, stress, or as a result of surgery. This can restrict the normal elasticity and transfer of electrolytes and other fluids to and from these structures.

Aromatherapy Massage (n.) – a type of CAM (Complementary and Alternative Medicine) that uses volatile plant materials, known as aromatic essential oils, to promote physical and psychological well-being. This rubbing and kneading of the skin with plant oils that give off strong, pleasant aromas (smells) will promote relaxation, alter moods, and enhance cognitive function, while promoting a sense of well-being and healing.

Atrophy (n.) – The wasting away or decrease in size of muscle, due to disease or other factors such as nutrition.

Blood clots (n.) – Blood has been converted from a liquid to a solid state, which is also called a thrombus.

Bodywork (n.) – Techniques in CAM (Complementary and Alternative Medicine) involve touching or manipulating the body for the purpose of promoting
physical and emotional well-being.

CAM – An acronym for Complementary and Alternative Medicine is any medical system, practice, or product that is not thought of as standard care. The application of physical therapy methods such as massage, yoga, exercise, and relaxation techniques is used to promote physical and emotional well-being.

Chair or Seated Massage (n.) – This therapy is administered while the client is clothed and seated in a specially designed padded chair. These chairs are designed allowing access to the large muscles of the back. Chair Massage usually lasts between 10 and 20 minutes and is intended to relax and improve circulation.

Chronic (adj.) – Diseases or conditions develop slowly and last for a long period of time.
Connective Tissue (n.) – The most abundant type of tissue found throughout the body serves to bind together and support other tissues and organs. It includes various fibrous tissues, fat, bone, and cartilage, which provide support, structure, framework, and scar formation.
Cranial Sacral Massage (n.) – This holistic healing practice uses very light touch to balance the craniosacral system in the body, which includes the bones, nerves, fluids, and connective tissues of the cranium and spinal area.

Deep Tissue Massage (n.) – This technique focuses on deeper tissue structures of the muscle and fascia (also called connective tissue). It uses many of the same techniques and movements as Swedish massage, but the pressure is generally more intense and focused, as the therapist works to release chronic muscle tension or knots (also known as adhesions). It is important to drink a lot of water after having a deep tissue massage to help flush lactic acid out of the tissue.

Draping (n.) – This is a cover for the client, usually a sheet, protecting the client’s modesty and keep him/her warm during the massage therapy session.

Edema (n.) – is a condition of abnormally large fluid volume in the circulatory system or in tissues between the body’s cells (interstitial spaces).

Effleurage (n.) – This technique uses light, gliding motion over the skin that always maintains contact and directs the stroke towards the heart. This stroke is frequently used at the beginning and end of a massage treatment to invoke soothing and relaxing.

Essential Oils (n.) – These are natural substances extracted from grasses, flowers, herbs, shrubs, trees, resins and spices, regularly through a process called steam distillation. Oils can soothe, relax, rejuvenate, cure, energize or alleviate pain, thereby affecting the body’s physical, psychological and emotional levels.

Fascia (n.) – This specialized connective tissue layer surrounds muscles, bones, and joints, providing support, protection and structure to the body.

Friction massage (n.) – The technique is applied across underlying fibers to promote blood flow and prevent adhesion.

Holistic massage (n.) – This refers to forms of massage which take into account the wholeness of the human being, treating the body as a whole (i.e., body, mind, emotions, and spirit).

Homeostasis (n.) – The ability or tendency of an organism or cell to maintain internal equilibrium by adjusting its physiological processes.

Hot Stone Massage (n.) – A CAM that uses heated smooth stones on certain points on the body to warm and loosen tight muscles while balancing energy centers in the body. The massage therapist may also hold the stones and use them to massage certain areas of the body.

Inflammation (n.)– Characteristics of inflammation are pain, heat, redness or swelling. It is usually a result of an injury or infection.

Integrative Massage (n.) – is a therapeutic method that integrates several different modalities of massage and bodywork techniques. It incorporates physical (body), emotional (mind) and spiritual (soul) elements to produce optimal results to promote health and harmony.

Ischemia (n.) – A local and temporary decrease in blood flow to an area.

Lactic acid (n.) – This chemical is produced in the body during the anaerobic metabolism of glucose, such as in muscle tissue during exercise (derived chiefly from muscle cells and red blood cells), where buildup can cause cramping pains.

Ligament (n.) – Bands of dense fibrous tissue connecting one bone to another, forming a joint.

LMBT (n.) – An acronym for Licensed Massage & Bodywork Therapist

Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD) (n.) – MLD is a gentle manual medical massage that uses slow and rhythmic strokes to assist the lymph flow and aides in drainage of tissues to improve the overall function of the Lymphatic (immune) System.

Massage (n.) – The systematic manipulation of muscle and connective tissue through rubbing, kneading, squeezing, or tapping, with the hand or an instrument for therapeutic purposes to promote healing, relaxation and ease stress.

Massage Therapy (n.) – A technique of physical therapy in which hands and body are used to massage soft tissue. It’s objective is to improve muscle function, circulation, release scar tissue and promote relaxation.

Medical Massage (n.) – Massage techniques are used to treat specific physical conditions as diagnosed by a doctor. Medical massage therapists have extended training.

Muscle (n.) – A tissue composed of fibers capable of contracting to effect bodily movement.

Muscle spasm (n.) – A non-voluntary contraction of the motor unit of a muscle, usually causing a contraction without shortening the muscle. It can be a result of mental, physical, emotional, or chemical stress.

Muscle Stripping (v.) – Manual deep tissue therapy to clear out the adhesions (scar tissue) formed in muscle fiber during physical activity. Stripping elongates the muscles, removing the knots formed in muscle fiber during physical activity.

Myofascial Massage (n.) – A general term that describes techniques aimed at restoring mobility in the body’s fascia and softening connective tissue that has become rigid. Also called myofascial release and myofascial unwinding.

Myofascial Release (n.) – A specialized form of massage/stretching using deep manual pressure on the body to release trigger points, which can result from giving birth, trauma, falls, strains, sprains, or misuse, overuse of the body.

Myotherapy (n.) – This technique assists in the reduction of muscle tightness while improving circulation and tissue repair.

Neuromuscular Therapy (n.) – A method that uses corrective muscle exercises involving pressure on fingers and joints to relieve pain or spasms.

Oncology Massage (n.) –  Is the modification of existing massage therapy techniques in order to safely work with complications of cancer and cancer treatment.

Petrissage (n.) – This massage technique involves grasping and squeezing muscle tissue to relieve tension and increase circulation. Also called kneading.

Polarity (n.) – Health systems occasionally involve energy-based bodywork, diet, exercise, and self-awareness. It works with the Human Energy Field-electro-magnetic patterns expressed in mental, emotional and physical experience.

Pregnancy Massage (n.) – Various touch-therapy techniques can be used to alleviate the strain and discomfort of pregnancy. Prenatal massage has been shown to improve labor outcomes for both mother and child.

Range of Motion (n.) (ROM) – Also known as flexibility, this is the full spectrum of a joint‘s possible movement. The shoulder joint has a greatest range of motion than any other joint in the human body.

Referred Pain (n.) – Pain that is present at one point, though it’s source is elsewhere.

Reflexology (n.) – Sometimes called foot massage, reflexology is more than a simple foot massage. It involves applying pressure to certain points on the foot that correspond to organs and systems in the body.

Reiki (n.) – Reiki (pronounced ray-kee) is a natural form of energetic healing and spiritual awakening that uses simple gentle hand placements in specific positions either on or above the body. In Japanese, Reiki means “universal life energy”. Energy flows through channels from the practitioner into the patient in order to promote and encourage healing or to restore wellbeing treating the whole body (mind, spirit, body & emotions).

Scar tissue (n.) – This dense fibrous tissue is a result of healing wounds. It is composed of collagenous fibers which would restrict normal elasticity of tissue involved.

Shiatsu (adj.) – Eastern therapy is developed through physical and energy rebalance. Pressure with thumbs, fingers and palms applied to specific areas and points of the human body, will correct internal dysfunctions, promoting and renewing health and treating specific illnesses.

Traditional Thai Massage (n.) – is an ancient Asian holistic bodywork therapy that combines the elements of Indian Ayurvedic medicine, Chinese acupressure and assisted yoga-like stretching and pulling. The purpose of Thai massage is to bring wellness to the whole body through the manipulation of the energy lines (called Sen in Thai) encouraging health promotion by redistributing and to unblock an impeded flow of life energy (Prana).