Massage therapy is a form of integrative medicine that is increasingly being offered as a treatment alongside standard medical care. It can be used to treat a wide range of medical conditions, and is practiced by both spa massage therapists and clinical massage therapists. The difference between the two is the approach of the modality, with clinical massage therapists evaluating the body's soft tissues and joints for the treatment and prevention of dysfunction, injury, pain and physical disorders. Massage therapy can help manage a health condition or improve well-being, and consists of manipulating the soft tissues of the body.
It has been practiced in most cultures throughout human history, and is now considered part of the allied health field. Massage therapy can be used to reduce pain, such as acute back pain, neck pain, headaches and knee pain. It can also help control edema and alleviate compensatory muscle discomfort, so patients are prepared to get the most out of their physical or occupational therapy. Studies have also shown that massage over the course of five weeks can improve the symptoms of fibromyalgia, a chronic condition that causes muscle and joint pain and fatigue. While some offer body treatments solely for relaxation, others work with doctors independently or directly at medical centers to improve the patient's health. The most common form of massage therapy in Western countries is called Swedish or classical massage; it is the core of most massage training programs.
Other styles include sports massage, clinical massage to achieve specific goals, such as relieving muscle spasms, and massage traditions derived from Eastern cultures, such as shiatsu and tuina. Studies have looked at different types of massages and different types of headaches, with results that are not consistent. Receiving a massage can lower cortisol (a stress hormone) and increase levels of serotonin and dopamine, neurotransmitters known to stabilize mood. The results show that the relief may be short-term, rather than long-term, and in some cases, receiving a 60-minute massage several times a week had better results than fewer or shorter massages. If you're interested in becoming a massage therapist, you can start your career at the Minnesota School of Cosmetology. After completing your training program you will be prepared to take the MBlex licensing exam offered by the State Board of Massage Therapy (FSMTB).
The two largest professional organizations for massage therapists are the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) and the Association of Body Work and Massage Professionals (ABMP).Massage therapy is an effective form of integrative medicine that can be used to treat a wide range of medical conditions. It can help reduce pain, control edema and alleviate compensatory muscle discomfort. Receiving a massage can also lower cortisol levels while increasing serotonin and dopamine levels to stabilize mood. If you're interested in becoming a massage therapist, you can start your career at the Minnesota School of Cosmetology.