Most Americans know that massage therapy can help relieve stress and pain, reduce blood pressure and boost the immune system. And, more people than ever are trying massage for the first time.
Perhaps you received a gift certificate for massage. Maybe work’s been stressful, and you’ve thought about getting a massage to unwind. Or maybe you’re already a fan of massage and want to try a different type of massage.
Whatever your reasons, there are some basic things you should know to get the most from your massage.
There are many terms for types of massage. The American Massage Therapy Association? (AMTA) designates the various methods as massage modalities. Ask your massage therapist what massage modality will give you the results you want.
The most popular include:
– Swedish massage: The most common type of massage, to relax and energize you.
– Deep tissue massage: For muscle damage from an injury, such as whiplash or back strain.
– Sports massage: To help prevent athletic injury, keep the body flexible and heal the body should injury occur.
– Chair massage: Massage of the upper body, while fully clothed and seated in a special portable chair.
Finding a qualified massage therapist is also important. Ask your massage therapist about his or her credentials. And remember, each massage and bodywork modality requires specialized training.
AMTA, which requires members meet education standards, recommends asking the following questions:
– Did you graduate from a program accredited by the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation (COMTA) or from an AMTA member school?
– Are you licensed or registered as a massage therapist in this state? Not all states license massage therapists.
– Are you a member of AMTA?
– Are you certified by the National Certification Board of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork?
– Do you have training in any specific massage modalities?
The web has become an excellent resource to help you find qualified, accredited massage therapists in your area.