Friday, December 2, 2011

The Different Massage Techniques Available at a Spa

Massage is one of the most natural methods of healing and stress relief. While many people choose to reduce stress with prescription medications, many others visit a day spa weekly in order to relax after a hard week at work. Additionally, massage can also be very healing. Many athletes undergo massage treatment for sore muscles, twisted ankles, and torn ligaments.

All day spas offer massage treatment. However, not all offer a wide variety of massage types. This article explains the different massage techniques available at different spas:

Swedish Massage

A Swedish massage is meant to relieve muscle tension and loosen sore joints. It is performed over the entire body. There are five major strokes used in Swedish massage. The first is effleurage, or stroking. The second is petrissage. This is a grabbing and lifting of the muscles. The third is friction. This is where the massage therapist massages the thickest parts of muscles by working their fingers and thumbs in a circular motion. The fourth is tapotement, or tapping and chopping strokes. The final major stroke used in Swedish massage is vibration. This is where the massage therapist flattens their fingers on a muscle and then shakes rapidly in order to create a vibration.

Deep Tissue Massage

Deep tissue massage is a massage technique that targets the parts of muscle that lie far below the surface. All muscles in the human body have many layers, and the lower levels cannot be reached by normal massage techniques. Deep tissue massage therapists use their fingers, thumbs, and, occasionally, elbows to reach the deepest layers of muscle. Deep tissue massage generally involves quite a bit of pressure and friction.

Neuromuscular Massage

Neuromuscular massage is a form of deep tissue massage that is used to increase the blood flow in individual muscles, release pressure on nerves, and reduce pain. Neuromuscular massage therapists search for knots in muscle that can cause pain not only in that individual muscle but also in other unrelated parts of the body.

Sports Massage

A sports massage is not only used to relieve pain -- it is commonly used to prepare muscles prior to activity. Using techniques comparable to that of a Swedish massage, a sports massage can prepare muscles for activity and heighten an athlete's energy. After activity, a sports massage can cool muscles and prevent injury.


Rolfing is a massage technique designed to restore a person's posture. Rolfing massage therapists use their hands and elbows to massage the connective tissue that surrounds muscles. The end result is a noticeable improvement in posture.


Hellerwork is a massage technique that expands on the posture improvement offered through Rolfing. In addition to improving posture, Hellerwork uses techniques that educate a person's body on breaking bad posture habits. Many claim that persons who have undergone the eleven-week Helenwork session have even noticed an extension of their height.

Lomi Lomi

Lomi Lomi is the most common stress-relieving massage technique. Lomi Lomi massage therapists use large, broad strokes, often with hands, forearms, and elbows. Often, Lomi Lomi massage therapists say a prayer before beginning the massage that addresses the type of healing the patient is hoping for.

Thai Massage

Thai massage is different European massage techniques in that it focuses on circulation and pressure points. Thai massage promotes internal health and muscle flexibility through peripheral stimulation. Thai massage therapists use their hands, elbows, knees and feet.


A Shiatsu massage consists of a finger-pressure technique that utilizes acupuncture points. Shiatsu massage is performed with the client in a reclined position. The massage therapist then applies varying degrees of pressure with their fingers, thumbs, palms, elbows or knees. Shiatsu treatment relaxes the body while stimulating blood circulation and lymphatic flow.

The massage techniques listed above are the most common forms of massage offered at day spas. However, there are many other massage techniques, and many go by alternate names. To determine what massage technique is best for your needs, discuss what you're looking for in your massage treatment with your spa of choice.

Melissa Steele is a freelance writer for This site features local and far away day spas, luxury spas, medical spas, spa resorts, dental spas, weight loss spas and more.

The Benefits of Massage For Animals

Animal massage can benefit all animals from companion pets such as cats and dogs to horses and livestock and even zoo animals. The benefits of massage for animals mirror those for people, including decreased stress and improved circulation.

For many, pet massage sounds like a luxury for pampered pets only. However, many canines receive massage to help recover from surgery or injury and athletes such as racehorses or agility dogs receive sport massage to improve performance. Service dogs and dogs used in police or military service have high stress jobs where massage can mean the difference between early retirement and more time on the job.

Many studies have been conducted to verify the benefits of massage. For instance, massage has been proven to lower blood pressure, increase appetite and reduce the perceived pain and discomfort of arthritis.

For those with aging dogs and cats, animal massage therapy provides one more tool in the management of age-related conditions and helps to improve the quality of their pet's life. Pet health care has moved beyond the age of grocery-store dog food and once-a-year vaccinations. Today, pet health supplies include vitamins, specialty food and treats, hydrotherapy, acupuncture and chiropractic and, yes, pet massage therapy.

The focus of animal massage for many years was horses, particularly racing and show horses. The benefit of massage for horses is well recognized among horse owners. Massage certification has been offered in equine massage therapy for years, but only recently has the focused turned toward pet massage certification. With literally billions of dollars flowing into the pet care industry and pets living longer and more active lives, pet massage therapy is now being offered at veterinarian clinics, grooming salons and doggie daycare establishments all over the country.

One of the benefits of massage for animals mentioned was improved circulation. Better circulation can contribute to improved digestion and better metabolism, a tremendous benefit for the large number of pets suffering from obesity and gastrointestinal disorders. Additionally, improved circulation can slow the degenerative process of arthritis and improve energy levels in geriatric pets. Better circulation means better immune function, helping to reduce the risk of infection or illness and assisting in the rapid recovery from injury or illness. Better blood flow also contributes to improve healing post-surgically.

Two of the most common conditions plaguing our dog population today are hip dysplasia and soft tissue injuries to the knee such as ACL tears (ruptures or strains of the anterior cruciate ligament in the stifle joint). Both are generally corrected by surgery and, particularly in the case of ACL tears, have a high rate of reoccurrence and post-surgical development of arthritis. Pet massage therapy can play a crucial role in optimal and rapid recovery from such surgeries and may play a role in reducing the risk of re-injury. Post-surgical confinement also causes boredom and restlessness for many animals and diminished the health of the immune system which is dependent on activity for optimal health. Animal massage can be used to reduce boredom, decrease stress and increase relaxation for dogs and cats during periods of confinement.

Equine massage therapy has a long history in the United States and abroad. For racehorses, massage can mean reduced recovery time between races and reduced incidence of injury due to improved flexibility of soft tissues. For investors, time off for recovery or lay-up due to injury is expensive and can reduce the career of a horse dramatically. In this case, the benefits of massage for animals is not only physical and psychological, it is also economical.

Even exotic species and wild animals have experienced benefits from animal massage therapy under the skilled hands of specialized animal massage therapists. The benefits of massage for animals in a zoological park fall under three categories: training, enrichment and health. Veterinarian staff can use massage to minimize the time that an exotic species spends in the hospital following surgery or illness, a critical element in the success of the animal's return to the wild or onto exhibit. Specific massage techniques can be used to improve the production and movement of lymphatic fluid and assist in metabolism of anesthesia and related medications.

Animal trainers can use certain massage techniques as reinforcement for performed behaviors when food rewards are not safe or effective. Massage can improve nerve function and brain function as well, making training easier. Enrichment involves providing activities to captive animals that stimulate them physically and psychologically and improve their quality of life. Studies indicate that enrichment programs in zoological parks may contribute to the longevity of individual animals and may reduce safety concerns with animals that may become aggressive due to stress or boredom. Massage can be a valuable tool in enrichment programs for many species.

In closing, the benefits of massage for animals are as numerous and varied as those for people. In the last decade more and more people have added massage to their own health care regimen and seen tremendous benefit. Many of these same people have seen the power of massage add quality and time to the lives of their adored pets. Considering all that animals contribute to our lives through companionship, sport and service; a massage now and then serves as a powerful sign of gratitude.

Lola Michelin, owner of the Northwest School of Animal Massage, has been a force in the field of animal massage for over 20 years. She has provided massage for a wide range of species including giraffe and primates, horses, dogs and even the occasional human! She studied pre-veterinary medicine and genetics at Michigan State University and worked in zoological parks and the biotech industry before dedicating her career to massaging animals. She serves as the Official Guide to Pets on For more information, visit or call toll-free 877.836.3703.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Use Erotic Massages to Make Every Date an Instant Success

Gentleman, start her engine

As an athlete I get massages to soothe sore, tired muscles all the time. Massages not only soothes muscles, it also soothes the mind, causing you to relax--much like meditation. But with a slight change in technique, you can turn regular massages into erotic massages. This type of massage can be used to turn on any woman. Even if it's just for a single night, the women you give these erotic, full-body massages to will be mentally connected to you. Hence, making orgasms an easier objective.

Here is why you should learn how to give erotic massages

An erotic massage is an excellent seduction technique. I have learned how to become a good masseur and because of this I have the ability to turn almost any date into an instant success. Everytime I massage the women I'm with we usually end up having unforgettable sex. It seems as if women get ultra-sensitive to the touch after an erotic massage; everything is heightened--from her emotions to her body sensitivity.

Being patient pays off

You must be patient when dealing with women. Massages go hand in hand with the way a woman's mind and body operates: they both should be worked slowly and with care. Since women can take anywhere from 20-45 minutes to get fully aroused, a massage is the perfect way to get her "juices" flowing.

Just imagine starting off with a harmless massage: "You mind if I give you a foot massage, Ruby?" then gradually moving into an erotic massage. You will be having super hot sex with her by the time you're halfway through your routine because she will be so aroused. Sounds great doesn't it?


Before you move from a regular massage to an erotic massage, ask her if it's ok. Usually she will say yes if she is into you. But if you are not sure if you should transition into an erotic massage, stop and then ask her if it's all right to touch here or there to avoid any embarrassing and awkward moments.

Improving your massage technique

You must add erotic massaging to your "woman pleaser" repertoire if your goal is to seduce and satisfy women. Now to work on your technique you are going to need some help from the professionals. What you can do is pick up a couple of dirt-cheap books on and learn the basics of erotic massages. I actually make recommendations on my site.

Some massaging tips for beginners

Always be prepared...

If you are planning a massage please be sure you can go through your entire routine uninterrupted. No phone calls or similar types of disturbances. Assure yourself that you will have at least an hour of free time (maybe more because sex usually follows erotic massages).

Be prepared before giving a massage. Set the perfect atmosphere by making sure the room is warm and some pleasant music (i.e. Sade) is playing in the background. If you are going to play music, make sure you use a CD and have it programmed to repeat disc(s) so that it plays right through without stopping. Once again it's about rhythm... there nothing worst than having to reach over and change the song or station.

When you have everything set up nicely she will see that you are a romantic man who puts a lot thought into pleasing a woman. That's more than she can say about any other man she has been with, I bet.

Don't forget your heat warming massage oils. Keep the massage oils in an easy-to-reach location just incase you have to reapply. You don't want a break in rhythm.

You must also remember to have clean hands. Make sure your hands are clean and fingernails are cut.

Wear light clothes (if you decide to wear any) when giving or receiving a massage.

I usually massage women on a bed or table; but you can also do it on the floor so long as you have plenty of towels, sheets, and pillows to make the surface as comfortable as possible.

Before you start a full-blown erotic massage, your goal should be to get her as relaxed as possible. Tell her to close her eyes and breath deeply. Ask her once every so often if it feels good or if there is anything she wants. For example, ask her if you should go faster or slower-- use more or less pressure. When you pay attention to what a woman wants she will be even more turned on.

You have to always have at least one hand on her body; never lose contact. Move very slowly while building a nice rhythm.

Remember, the key is to go from a regular massage (back, neck, and arms) into an erotic massage (focusing on her breasts, inner thighs, clitoris, and G-spot). Start on the non-sexual regions then move you work closer and closer to her erogenous zones. You want her to anticipate your touch as much as possible.

As you get to the more sensitive areas try using your fingertips to slowly glide over her skin to get those goose bumps going. Use your thumbs and palms for the larger portions of her body. As you gain experience you will find that some places need to be touched more firmly (the buttocks and thighs), while other places will only need light touches (breasts and vulva).

"So where should I start?"

While there is no right or wrong place to start a massage, I found the best place to start massages is with the feet. You'll want to start at her feet and then work your way up her body. Because the feet has thousands of nerve endings, she will feel many sensations if you massage her feet the right way. Use your thumbs in circular motions on the bottom and top of her feet.

Her back is another area that you need to pay attention to. Using your palms, slowly make circular motions in opposite directions while applying slight pressure with your body.

The next target should be the back of her thighs (so have her lie on her stomach for this). This is an extremely erotic region that usually goes unnoticed.

Tease her genitals and breasts as you pass them by. For example, if you are massaging her back (or stomach) slowly touch and rub her labia as you move towards her thighs. Teasing her in this manner will make her feel like the Nile is running between her legs.

Massaging her genitals

You should use water-based lubricants to massage her genitals.

Since every woman is different you should ask her how she would like to be touched in terms of speed and motion. Some women like it when you directly stimulate their clitoris with your tongue and fingers; some women prefer you rub and lick their inner and outer labia because their clit is too sensitive.

The best way I found is to stimulate and work on the clitoris first then move into to some G-spot stimulation.

Be gentle when massaging her clitoris. First, rub the shaft of the clitoris and then gently rub the top of the clitoris. Always use circle, zigzag motions to stimulate her clitoris, then adjust as necessary. Use lots of lubrication.

Final thoughts...

Erotic massaging is a seduction technique that you must learn. Women just loved to be touched; it stimulates their minds and draws them closer to her partner.

Learn how to seduce women with exclusive secrets tips and strategies that few men use. Gain the upper hand and get any woman you desire with ease. Seducing women is something that has to be learned and I show you exactly how. For part 2 of this article, as well other important seduction methods, please visit

Chris Walker is the owner of all said material in this article. You can distribute his material on a non-exclusive, royalty-free basis, while he retains full rights to his work. You can use his article as long as you do not change any of the content without his permission.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

History of Massage Therapy & the Benefits of it

Massage has been an important part of medicine for over five

thousand years. It is also a major topic in the first medical

texts printed. The first medical texts were used by early

physicians who were primarily men. These men commonly practiced

the art of massage therapy when treating and caring for their

patients. I only mention this because I have spoke to many

people who find it surprising in today's world, that there are

men who are professional Massage Therapists. Today Massage

therapy is primarily a career chosen by women. Whether your

therapist is male or female should not be of importance, unless

you have a specific reason that makes you uncomfortable getting

a massage from a female or male therapist. What is important is

that your therapist is licensed or certified in the type of

massage that will help you most.

The massage therapy profession has been severely abused by

prostitutes that use massage therapy as a cover up for illegal

sexual activities. The places where they work are often referred

to as "Massage Parlors". That is why massage licensing and many

city ordinances were put into effect. Professional licensing

requires people who want to pursue a career as a massage

therapist to get a specified number training hours from a school

or college of massage. Most states also require that these

students pass a national certification exam that shows that that

person has the ability to identify specific pathologies and has

a good understanding of the human anatomy. This helps to make it

more difficult for illegal parlors to exist and helps to protect

you as a consumer. In recent history the profession has been

abused and still is in some places. If you are interested in

getting a professional, non-sexual massage you should not only

ask if that person is licensed or certified, but also be sure to

ask if they have had any specific training in the area you are

wanting massage for.

Hippocrates, who is considered "The Father of Medicine" was

highly respected in his findings. He is probably the most

respected man in medical history. That is why he is known as

"The Father of Medicine". I have read many historical books that

stated that Hippocrates said, "The physician must be acquainted

with many things and assuredly with rubbing" (Massage Therapy).

Hippocrates had an oath for Medical Doctors to take. I

personally feel that this oath is ignored often when it comes to

the use of Massage Therapy and other fine sources of alternative

health. One version of the Hippocratic oath is printed below if

you are interested in reading it. The first few lines of the

oath seem to be conveniently avoided or forgotten by many of

todays Physicians. I have asked many of my clients if their

physician has ever recommended they get a massage without being

asked about it specifically. Very few of them have ever told me

yes. I have had a few clients that asked their physician

specifically about the benefits of getting a massage in order to

help them with their specific condition or problem. My

experiennce has been that less than half of these people report

that they were ever told by their Physician to pursue treatment

by a Professional Massage Therapist. On the other side of the

argument, I have several Physicians and Nurses that are clients

of mine and they have told me that they often refer patients to

get Massages. Most of these Physicians and Nurses have told me

they feel the reason that their patients do not always pursue

their recommendation is because massage is seldom covered by

medical insurance. Over the past years there have been many

studies providing an abundance of proof that certain kinds of

massage therapy are very effective for treating many conditions

when used as either a primary or secondary type of care. Many

insurance companies have put an end to paying for massage

therapy because of a few massage therapists that have billed the

insurance companies for massages that were not considered the

appropriate type of massage for that patient or clients

particular condition. Insurance companies expect hard evidence

from clinical studies that have shown that a particular massage

modality or technique has helped with a specific condition,

before they want to reimburse anyone for it. I can't say that I

blame them for that because I would not want to pay for gasoline

if I was given a tank of water. Giving someone a simple

relaxation massage or Reiki treatment may be helpful, but isn't

necessarily the best type of massage treatment for someone with

a specific condition such as low back pain, frozen shoulder,

carpal tunnel, tennis elbow, lymph drainage, migraines, sciatica

and many other conditions. Whereas a professional Massage

Therapist with proper training in one or more of these areas

would be much more effective in treating a specific condition

that they have been trained for.

Most of todays society has been conditioned to believe that

drugs are the fastest and best way to get better. Our society

today wants and expects a drug or procedure that can be

prescribed and can quickly cure whatever is bothering them. I am

not against the use of medical drugs or Physicians. In fact I

highly recommend that you find a Physician who is knowledgeable

about the use of certain drugs and when it is appropriate to use

them. Find a Physician that will take the time to really listen

to you and explain what is wrong, what drugs or other treatment

or procedures you may need, and why it will be of benefit to

you. I say this because I have had several clients that have

come to see me about muscular pain that they have been having.

Muscular pain that they have often seen more than one Physician

or other professional about. These clients tell me that they

still have no idea what is wrong with them or why they have the

pain. Many of them come to see me as a last resort, because they

have exhausted all of their other options. I often ask what they

were told or how they were treated for the pain that they are

having. I often hear them reply that they were given a

prescription for some type of pain reliever and told to rest.

Most of these pain relievers will either help to relax the

muscles because of the effect on the central nervous system or

help to reduce inflammation. These pain relievers often help to

reduce pain and that is about it. What I have found with these

clients is that they have been taking pain relievers for a long

time and have tried many different therapies, rest, heat, cold,

traction, ultra sound, etc... without any lasting results. Many

of those treatments can be helpful for many people but do not

always solve the problem. Massage doesn't always solve the

problem either, but it has been my personal experience that many

of my clients have told me that it did do the trick for them and

that they are very thankful that they gave massage a try.

Sometimes, regardless of all they have tried, the pain continues

because the injury may have an excess of painful scar tissue or

keeps getting re-injured because of their daily activities. It

can even be because of swelling or tension in the muscle that

has caused a lack of blood flow to the area that causes it to

become ischemic (lack of blood flow). Blood flow is needed to

carry the cells that help to heal an area. Without good blood

flow it is unlikely to heal properly. Ischemic tissue may

collect toxins from the slow moving blood around it. Many of

those toxins cause trigger points to develop and cause pain in

the muscle.

So what can a professional Massage Therapist do that is

different for this type of muscular pain? The proper massage

given by a professional with knowledge of how to treat your

specific type of muscular pain may use friction and compression

to help reduce the amount of scar tissue in that area. Scar

tissue is not very flexible, but with massage it can be made to

be more flexible, thus reducing the amount of pain you may have

in that area. A good Massage therapist will be able to tell you

what muscle or muscles are likely to be causing your pain. They

should also be able to tell you what actions or movements these

muscles are responsible for making. This is important to know if

you need to rest the area, so that you do not re-injur it by

doing the same activities or movements that may have caused the

pain or aggravated an old injury. Massage will also help to

increase the blood flow in the affected area, allowing your own

blood to circulate better in the area of injury. This increase

in blood flow will carry cells that your body already uses to

heal injuries. These cells can then get to work on helping you

heal faster. The increase in blood flow will also help to carry

away any toxins from the affected area and help your body to

naturally dispose of them. In almost every case massage will

result in more flexibility, less formation of scar tissue, and

also help the area to heal properly.

So you see, pain relievers more often help to relieve the

symptoms and do not always treat the cause. Very few medical

drugs made will help your body to heal. They mostly cover up the

symptoms you are having. Although I have been told there are a

handful of drugs today that are used for specific conditions,

and I'm told that they can help the body to heal. Mostly they

are newer drugs and not commonly prescribed for everyday

conditions due to the expense and newness of them. Maybe in the

future we will have more medicines that will help the body heal

and can also be used on everyday conditions. But for now I

suggest that you have both a good Physician and a good Licensed

or Certified Massage Therapist on your side. Both that are

willing to work together to help you recover from whatever

conditions you may have. Your Massage Therapist as well as your

Physician should be willing to let you know if you have a

condition that requires someone else's expertise or a

combination of therapies and treatment. Massage is not always

appropriate for all conditions and Massage Therapists do not

diagnose or treat disease. Massage Therapists do not heal you

because they simply use their skills to help facilitate your own

bodies ability to heal itself. Massage therapists are not

Doctors, but a good Licensed or Certified Massage Therapist will

have the training and skills to know when it may be necessary to

refer you to see someone else.

Article by Dwayne Crandall, LMT Visit [] for more original content like this. Reprinting this article is permitted with this footer included.

Shiatsu Massage Chairs Deliver a Full Body Massage at Home

You come home after a long day at work. You are tired, maybe a little stressed. Relaxing would be nice option or even better yet, how about a massage? Unfortunately, my house did not come with masseuse service. However, there is another option: A shiatsu massage chair. There is no appointment necessary, all you have to do is sit down, get comfortable, lean back, put the footrest up and push the start button. Ah, that feels great!

Massage chairs have come a long way over the years. The advance of electronics and mechanical systems has combined with massage techniques into the massage chair of today. You can find a robotic chair that is capable of massaging almost all parts of your body. These chairs can reach your neck, shoulders, back, buttocks, thighs, calves, feet and even your arms and hands. The best massage chairs have great technology to simulate many of the most beneficial massage techniques. Massage techniques such as a Shiatsu massage, Swedish massage or a Deep Tissue massage. These massage techniques have specific applications for your overall health and wellness.

For a truly technological marvel, the Montage Elite massage chair by Omega Massage, Inc. is an amazing machine. The Montage Elite brings sophisticated luxury with advanced technology giving you the healing benefits of a full body massage. The Montage Elite is equipped with full body heat. One can individually control the heat for the chair back, the seat and the footrest. Music is a great way to relax and the Montage has an MP3 player and headphones. There is a massage synchronization button that synchronizes the massage movements to the tempo of your music. Need a great foot massage? Look no further, the Montage Elite has a reflexology foot massage built into the footrest. Need to get stretched out a bit? Omega even included a lower body traction function that will stretch and elongate your lower body from the hips down.

The massage chair field is highly competitive and has major players such as Panasonic and Sanyo. Sanyo for instance has incorporated a technology to find your stress points throughout your back with the HEC-DR7700K. Sanyo has equipped the DR7700K with its GK roller system, which can reach out and touch you. These rollers are contained in the chair back and can extend forward to reach out and massage your neck and shoulders. The Sanyo shiatsu massage chair certainly a delightful and invigorating massage.

Panasonic has the EP-3222 provides a full body massage. This chair also has a lower body air massage with airbags built into the seat and footrest. The rollers provide a realistic massage with the Panasonic Swede-Atsu massage. The Swede-Atsu massage uses a blend of Swedish and Shiatsu massage which feels tremendously realistic. The Panasonic EP-3222 shiatsu chair can even memorize the settings you like for up to 3 different users. I can get used to a chair knowing what I like in a massage therapy!

The premier massage chairs built today integrate a multitude of capacities to provide relief in the areas you need most. Each advance of technology enables more and more realistic functions to be added to the chair. The shiatsu massage chairs is getting closer to simulating a skilled masseuse. These advanced chairs come remote controls allowing both manual and automatic controls. Pinpoint the massage to a trouble area on your back or choose an automatic massage and let the chair give you a vigorous total body massage.

There is a wide variety of massage chairs with many different features. You should take your time and educate yourself. It is important to know what types of massage therapy would be good for you. If you can, get out and try some massage chairs. Be sure the chair is comfortable to sit in. Try chairs from different massage chair brands. Invest a little time upfront to really find what is suitable for your needs. A shiatsu massage chair is an investment in your health and relaxation. Find the right chair for your needs. Then you can enjoy a full body massage in the privacy and comfort of your home.

Steve has tremendous expertise with Massage Chairs and knows the top brands and the premier Massage Chair Comparison models on the market today. Steve's Website Massage Unlimited carries the top brands on the market.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Massage Training in the 21st Century

Find Massage Training in the United States and Canada. While massage therapy has an age-old history, massage training today has taken this healing art to a whole new level by integrating a variety of bodywork modalities to meet growing health demands of people from all walks of life.

In addition to basic massage training, students enrolled in one of several massage therapy schools gain essential skills and knowledge to compete in the increasingly growing job market. Today, it is not unusual for students to learn fundamental theories and principles of the art, in addition to hands-on training in sports massage, Swedish massage and deep tissue massage. Likewise, students enrolled in a massage training program will begin to comprehend kinesiology and the application, thereof. Advanced massage training courses often include natural health concepts, herbology, aromatherapy, nutrition, and progressive massage techniques.

Though a great number of massage training programs involve at least 300 class and clinical hours, more and more healing arts schools are beginning to present more in-depth training options, entailing upwards of 1,000 hours or more. In cases such as these, students will qualify for state certification and national certification as well.

One can expect to encounter a vast assortment of practical massage training classes as diverse as their names imply. For example, Tuina is a Chinese medical massage that integrates meridian therapy into bodywork. This massage training is commonly taught at Oriental medicine schools, as well at a number of massage schools.

It is no longer uncommon for major sports teams to have a sports massage therapist at the ready, so if you’re interested in helping athletes, specialized massage training in sports massage may be ideal for this career goal. Other fascinating massage training options that may be of interest include animal and equine massage. Since public opinion for natural healing techniques has favorably shifted in recent years, more pet and horse owners are turning to animal/equine massage as a non-invasive alternative for common musculoskeletal disorders and conditions.

The growing trend of combining mind, body and spirit medicine has become quite the phenomenon. For instance, students wanting to become entrepreneurs in the field will find that many massage training programs now carry extra education in spa and salon management. Common massage training classes in these programs entail aromatherapy and aromatherapy massage, spa and salon management fundamentals, essential oils, body wraps, facials, holistic skin care treatments; and an assortment of bodywork methods including facial massage, craniosacral therapy, hand massage, Swedish and Thai massage, as well as other related practices.

Overall, massage training is the modern complement to both conventional and alternative medicine and is quickly gaining leeway in the educational industry. In many cases, students who qualify may apply for financial aid programs and other scholarship options that are now afforded through a number of accredited massage colleges and schools. Once candidates have successfully completed all massage training and education, they have an assortment of work settings from which to choose – whether on the playing field, on the horse track, in a primary care clinic or on a sea-faring cruiser, massage therapists can enjoy both professional and personal rewards of the trade.

If you (or someone you know) are interested in finding massage training, let career training within fast-growing industries like massage therapy, cosmetology, acupuncture, oriental medicine, Reiki, and others get you started! Explore career school programs [] near you.

Massage Training in the 21st Century
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Resource Box: CarolAnn Bailey-Lloyd - Freelance Writer and Web Consultant for, in association with - Educational Resources for Massage Training, Massage Schools, and other Natural Health Schools.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Ripple Massage - Baby and Infant Massage

Benefits of Infant Massage

o Massage releases both oxytocin and endorphins and therefore can assist in relieving discomfort from teething, congestion, colic and emotional stress.

o The abdominal stroking you will learn today can help relieve and prevent colic in babies.

o Some babies will sleep for longer periods of time following a massage (similar to adults experiencing sleepiness after relaxing Swedish style massage).

o Touch is a basic human need, like eating or drinking, and massage when done correctly can provide a reassuring and nurturing touch to infants.

o Aids growth

o Enhances the bonding process between parent and child

o Enhances body awareness and ability to say no to people touching their body.

Tips for Infant Massage

o Ensure before starting the massage that it's a good time for you and your baby. If your baby is very resistant to massage, stop and try again at another time.

o Do not massage infants less than 5 months in conjunction with bath time. This will be too stimulating for the infant, try to space these activities apart.

o There is no need to watch the clock. Let the massage go for as long as you and your baby are happy doing it, this could be two minutes it could be thirty. Go by your intuition. If you can see that your baby has had enough, stop. Allow your baby to say "no" to you and perhaps try again later that day or next day.

o Always begin by massaging the legs. This is a good way to introduce your touch to them.

o Use long firm strokes. Light feathery strokes can be irritating, just as they are for most adults.

o Never massage your baby while he/she is crying. (The only exception for this should be with colic and painful gas). Any arm movements going in and out from the chest indicate that you should stop the massage.

o Do not use normal massage blends with aromatherapy oils as these will be too strong for your baby. Ripple has a special infants and babies blend that is safe to use.

o Always use natural based oil such as sweet almond, never baby oil or other petroleum based products. These will nurture and nourish your baby's skin as well as providing the "slip" needed to massage gently. Olive oil is too rich and thick to be effective.

Contraindications for Massage

o Open or weeping wounds

o Infected skin irritations

o Fractures or other acute injuries

o Bleeding

o No massage over an unhealed navel

o Burns, including sun burn

o Undiagnosed lumps

o No abdominal massage if the infant has hiccups or has just been fed

The Massage

Choose a room that is warm and draft-free where you can sit on the floor or a bed with the baby in front of you on a padded pillow or blanket. Choose a moment in which you and your child are relaxed and calm. A half hour after the baby has eaten is recommended.

Take a few deep breaths to relax before you begin. Stretch and shake the tension from your body. Feel free to speak to your baby, do not inhibit yourself.

If the baby wants to change position let them do so. Do not force your baby to keep a position; you can go back to these areas later

Make sure your hands are clean and warm, remove jewelry and be sure to rub in a way that your nails don't scratch the baby's skin.

Warm the oil in your hands, enough to allow you to easily let your hands flow on the infant's skin. Begin with the legs and feet using slow gentle strokes. If your baby avoids your gaze, looks away or splays her fingers or toes your touch maybe too firm. If your baby clenches her fists in front of her chest she is not ready to be massaged there. Observe your baby's body language.

Start at the thighs and use long strokes down the legs to the feet. Think of the massage as a gentle, warm communication. Go slowly at the beginning so your baby can get used to the new sensations gradually. Stop if your baby cries.

"Milking". Start at the top of the thigh and very gently squeezing the leg in a milking motion down to the heel. Reverse and go back up the leg. Try to be symmetrical in your massage, repeat on opposite leg the same number of times.

On the sole of her foot, use a thumb-over-thumb motion to massage from heel to toes. Use your whole hand to stroke the bottom of her foot from heel to toes. Stroke the top of her foot. Gently squeeze and pull each toe. Massage around her ankle using small circles.

Stomach - Note: Avoid massaging tummy if the cord hasn't completely healed. Massage gently in clockwise direction (this is important to follow the colon and large intestine). This will help expel gas and help with colic. Follow up with small circles with your finger tips in a similar clock wise direction.

Walk your fingers around her navel, clockwise.

Hold knees and feet together and gently press knees up toward her abdomen. Rotate baby's hips around a few times to the right. (This often helps expel gas.) Place hand on tummy horizontally and rock your hand from side to side a few times.

Chest- With both hands together at the center of your baby's chest, push out to the sides, following the rib cage, as if smoothing out the pages of a book. Without lifting your hands from your baby's body, bring them around in a heart-shaped motion to the center again.

Arms - do some long strokes from the shoulder down the arms and to the palms. This is a shiatsu stroke often used on infants and is very relaxing. Hold her wrist with one hand and hold your other hand in a C-shape around baby's upper arm; stroke from her shoulder down to her wrist. Massage her palm, moving thumb over thumb from heel of her hand to her fingers.

Face - With your thumbs, stroke across the upper lip and then across the lower lip and into the cheek as if drawing a smile on your baby's face. This helps soothe the muscles used for sucking Cradling your baby's head in both hands, massage the scalp with your fingertips, as if you're shampooing. (Avoid the fontanel, the soft spot on top of baby's head.) Massage her ears between your thumb and index finger.

Trace a heart shape on your baby's face, bringing your hands together at the chin. Place your thumbs between your baby's eyebrows, and stroke out. Again with your thumbs, stroke gently out over baby's closed eyelids. Stroke from the bridge of the nose out over the cheeks. Using your fingertips, massage the jaw in small circle

Back - Place baby on tummy horizontally in front of you, or lay her across your outstretched legs. Keep her hands in front of her, not at her sides. With both of your hands on baby's back, move each hand back and forth (keeping them going in opposite directions) from the base of the neck to her buttocks. Hold your baby's buttocks with one hand and use the other to stroke down from her neck to her buttocks.

Using your fingertips, massage in small circles down one side of baby's spine and up the other. Avoid pressing on her spine directly. Massage her shoulders with small circular motions. Massage her buttocks with big circular motions. Holding your fingers like a rake, stroke down her back.

Pregnancy Massage is also a great way to look after both the baby and mother before birth, both physically (sore back and swollen feet of the mother) and emotionally (reducing stress and tiredness).

Alison Shaw is the owner of Ripple Massage and fully qualified remedial and pregnancy massage therapist. More details at or contact