One of the Most Frequently asked questions about Massage Therapy is:
"What is it?"
If you suffer aching muscles or poor circulation, therapeutic massage may be the solution. First used over 3,000 years ago by the Chinese, massage has made its way through other ancient cultures, including the Egyptians, India, the Greeks & Romans, and the Japanese,
There are different types of hand movements used by massage practitioners. Muscle stroking, which can be light or hard, is meant to relax muscles and improve circulation. Compression—including kneading, squeezing, and friction—stretches muscles and tendons to facilitate movement. Percussion, repeatedly striking the massage point with the sides of the hands, improves circulation.
The next very commonly asked question concerning Therapeutic Massage is:
"How Do I Choose a Massage Therapist?"
Make sure that the therapist that you are seeing has graduated from an accredited massage program, accreditation ensures that Therapeutic Massage programs meet educational, legal, and ethical standards. One such accredited program is the American Massage Therapy Association, which represents about half of all certified massage therapists in the U.S and maintains a directory of its members and their credentials.
We have reviewed various directories and have included our recommendations in the text of this page. Our very first recommendation is for the above mentioned American Massage Therapy Association Therapist Directory. This is one of the Top Professional Association for Massage Therapy in the United States. It maintains a database for its members that is by far the most accurate and user friendly.
The next big consideration is the therapists skill set. Massage therapists are trained in anatomy & physiology, and pathology, stress-related conditions, and energy imbalances. Training also includes addressing soft tissue dysfunctions, kinesiology, therapeutic evaluation, business, ethical, and legal education, and hands-on practice. When choosing a massage therapist, ask about his/her training, experience, and licenses or credentials. First aid and CPR are also included in the basic training in many programs.
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Massage therapists can become nationally certified by meeting specific standards of education, experience, and training, and passing a certification exam offered by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork.
Our second recommendation is to use the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodyworks Directory of Certified Therapists. The NCBTMB was developed to improve the credentialing of Massage Therapists on a State Wide Level. They have an application procedure that confirms education and performs background checks before granting certification status of its applicants. The applicants must also pass an examination in order to confirm their education level as graduates of Massage Therapy Schools. This verification process is why, we at getmassagesmart.com have chosen this organization as our second pick.
Another great resource for finding a Skilled Massage Practitioner that should never be overlooked is Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals organization. Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals (ABMP), founded in 1987; is a national membership association that provides comprehensive liability insurance and practice support for massage/bodywork practitioners and students. The ABMP has recently surpassed the AMTA in membership base with over 80,000 members. As a growing force in the US massage therapy industry, Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals Therapist Directory ; is Get Massage Smart's third choice for a recommended source directory for skilled bodywork.
If you live in Florida or happen to be vacationing in the sunshine state, the Florida State Massage Therapy Association Therapist Directory is an outstanding source directory for finding a Skilled & Professional Massage Therapist. Florida is a large state and has the highest percentage of License Practitioners in the country. Not all of them are top notch, a little research before choosing a practitioner is highly recommended. The FSMTA was founded in 1939, three years before Massage Therapy became a licensed profession in the state. As you can see Massage Therapy has been practiced professionally in Florida for a long time, partly due to its weather; the same reason for its huge popularity as a vacation destination.
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