Associated Massage and Bodywork Professionals (ABMP)
Massage & Massage Therapy
Massage, or massage therapy, is a system of structured palpation or movement of the soft tissue of the body. The massage system may include, but is not limited to, such techniques as:
- Passive or active stretching within the normal anatomical range of movement
- Effleurage (either firm or light soothing, stroking movement, without dragging the skin, using either padded parts of fingertips or palms)
- Petrissage (lifting or picking up muscles and rolling the folds of skin)
- Tapotement (striking with the side of the hand, usually with partly flexed fingers, rhythmic movements with fingers or short rapid movements of sides of the hand)
These techniques may be applied with or without the aid of lubricants, salt or herbal preparations, hydromassage, thermal massage or a massage device that mimics or enhances the actions possible by human hands. The purpose of the practice of massage is to enhance the general health and well-being of the recipient.
Massage does not include the diagnosis of a specific pathology, the prescription of drugs or controlled substances, spinal manipulation or those acts of physical therapy that are outside the scope of massage therapy.
Registered Massage Therapy Association of Ontario
Massage therapy is the manipulation of soft tissues of the body including, muscles, connective tissues, tendons, ligaments and joints. Massage Therapy is a clinically-oriented healthcare option that helps alleviate the discomfort associated with everyday and occupational stresses, muscular over-use and many chronic pain conditions.
Best Practices Forum
Kennedy AB, Cambron JA, Sharpe PA, Travillian RS, Saunders RP. Clarifying Definitions for the Massage Therapy Profession: the Results of the Best Practices Symposium. Int J Ther Massage Bodywork. 2016;9(3):15-26. Published 2016 Sep 9.
Massage therapy consists of the application of massage and non-hands-on components, including health promotion and education messages, for self-care and health maintenance; therapy, as well as outcomes, can be influenced by: therapeutic relationships and communication; the therapist’s education, skill level, and experience; and the therapeutic setting.