Massage Therapy – Meaning, Benefits, Precautions, and Tips


Massage has now been emerged as a powerful therapy to
get relaxed, improve health and feel more energetic. Once confined to body spas
and salons; massage is commonly available at business lounges, airports and
even clinics. As massage is so omnipresent, let us understand it in totality.

Massage Therapy

Table of Contents

What is Massage: Meaning and Definition

Massage can simply be defined as pressing or rubbing
skin, muscles and tissues to relax it. The rubbing and pressure can range from
gentle to strong.

As per Cambridge Dictionary, the meaning of
massage can be termed as regular rubbing and pressing movement to alleviate
pain and stiffness in the joints and muscles.

According to
the definition given in Merriam-Webster dictionary,
massage is the manual or by instrumental manipulation of tissue for therapeutic

Benefits of Massage: Why Massage is Important

Massage is increasingly getting importance across the
treatment streams. And you don’t have to worry much to find its benefits. Here
we give a brief description of why massage is important.

Massage is important because it…

Relieves Pain

Not it has been proved that massage plays an important
role in releasing stress. Whether it is headache, body pain or pain induced
from injury massage is a great pain-reliever. So, the next time you have mild
body pain you should search massage near me.

Release Stress

Massage is also a great reliever. And it is why people
with stress and burnout are increasingly visiting massage centers. Besides,
massage also helps you find a great emotional balance essential for your well being.

Improved Sleep

Massage is ideal for those who face problems in
sleeping. Several studies have shown that regular massage can improve the
quality of sleep. Improved sleep adds to improved health and overall quality of
life. So, if you have some sleeping issue you should search massage places near
me and consult a therapist about the remedial massage for good sleep.

Lowers Blood Pressure

With regular massage, complications regarding blood
pressure can be kept in control. With this improvement heart, related diseases
can be kept in check. Before you take such a massage, you should consult your

Reduces Anxiety and Depression

Anxiety and depression take a toll on mental health.
Massage is not a cure for anxiety and depression but it can prove effective
when used in combination with regular treatment. Ask your massager how massage
can benefit you.

Reduces Back Pain

Back pain is one of the most common ailments and most
of the people doing sitting jobs face this problem. Massage has shown a
relaxing effect on back pain curtailing the use of painkillers significantly.
Ask your back massager on how to cut down your dependence on medicine for back

Massage improves Digestion

Digestive issues are very common. Constipation,
acidity and irregular bowl movements the major culprits. Such diseases can be
better treated with massage in conjunction with regular treatment.

Boosts Immune System

The importance of a good immune system is understood
by all. There are people who get sick every year and a weak immune system could
be the reason for that. Several studies have shown that massage can improve
immunity. As the pandemic of Corona taking a test of our immunity, an improved
immune system could be of great help.

Reduction in PMS

The word PMS or Pre-Menstrual Syndrome is not alien to
women. It involves mood swings, fatigue and depression among the other
symptoms. A marked reduction in these symptoms has been seen with an
appropriate massage.

Controls Neuromuscular Diseases

Most of the people doing desk jobs are aware of
neuromuscular diseases as they have to do the repetitive movement of hand wrist
and fingers. Their neck and back also get affected. Good massage therapy with
regular medication can help alleviate the problem.

Promotes Flexibility

Anyone with a background in sports knows the
importance of flexibility. Massage therapy which is known for relaxing stiff
muscles has found a good application in sports therapy. Now it is becoming more
commonplace in sports therapy. If you are facing an injury, you should search
sports massage near me to find if their services could help you with your
speedy recovery.

Cancer Therapy

The number of cancer patients is steadily on the rise.
With cancer comes several symptoms like nausea, pain, lack of sleep and
tiredness. With massage, most of these comforts arising from cancer can be

Blood Circulation

Good blood circulation is essential for good health.
Massage has a proven effect on blood circulation. It also helps reduce
congestion in blood vessels.

More Alertness

Massage plays an important role in increasing
alertness. And it is why a large number of companies are offering chair massage
to their employees. With this massage, the alertness of employees can be
increased that help them perform their duties efficiently.

Scalp and Hair Health

Are you facing problems like dandruff and hair fall?
This problem can be better resolved with a gentle scalp massage. Massage not
only boosts scalp help but also makes oil glands produce natural oil. But while
massaging, don’t use excess oil as it may clog glands.

Also Read

Massage – Romancing Your Way to Relaxation 

Precautions – Risks Involved with Massage

As of now, we have done only good talking about
massage, its benefits and the positive impacts it brings to our lives. But the
therapy that brings happiness to our lives may backfire if not performed well.
Here are the risks involved with massage.

It May Create Blood Clots

If you are suffering from blood pressure, then you
should be extra careful while taking a massage. The pressure built during the
massage could rupture the plaque that may result in blood clots. Though the
chances are low, if blood clots reach to brain or heart, it may cause severe
health issues.

It May Damage Nerves

In deep tissue massage which is a form of massage, the
massage therapist requires to put pressure past the skin layer. He puts the
pressure to manipulate muscle and connective tissue. If the massage therapist
is not well trained, he might end up putting too much pressure that may
temporarily damage the nerves.

May Spread Infections

Massage may have a number of benefits but it can also
transmit infection from client to therapist and vice versa. Herpes and cold
sores are some of the common diseases that can be transmitted in this way. If
the client is suffering from warts, the infection can be transmitted to other
parts of the body through massage.

When to Avoid Massage Therapy

Massage therapy has a good effect on health but there
are health conditions when this therapy should be avoided. Here we are listing
health conditions when this therapy should be avoided.

During Fever

If you are suffering from fever, you should avoid
taking a massage. In this condition, you might be recovering from an internal
disturbance and a massage at this stage might disturb the internal environment.

During Cold and Flu

A massage during cold and flu is not recommended as it
speeds up the infection in the patient. Apart from the patient, the infection
may be transmitted to the therapist given these diseases are highly infectious
in nature. Such patients should be given an appointment for a later date.

During Liver Issues

If someone is facing a condition like a liver failure
he should refrain from massaging. It is because the fluid returned to the blood
from edema further puts pressure on the liver. As previously said deep
massaging causes clotting that can further complicate liver functions.

Diabetic Neuropathy

People suffering from diabetic naturopathy should be
highly careful as they are not able to tell the kind of pressure they are
experiencing. If they are taking hot stone massage, they won’t be able to tell
whether the stones are burning their skin. The diabetic patient should avoid
the area where they have taken an insulin jab. You should ensure that your
doctor and massager are on the same page.

During Injury

Massage should be avoided if you have an injury. You
should wait until your injury heals. Even after that, you should consult your
physician who will make a decision depending upon the severity of the

Hemophilia or Related condition

If you are suffering from hemophilia where blood
clotting is delayed or you are taking blood-thinning medications like Warfarin.
Because even minor bleeding can lead to serious health consequences.


Osteoporosis is very common among old people,
especially among old women. It is the condition in which bones get porous and
fragile. Such bones are prone to fracture if they are subjected to a deep

Platelet Deficiency

Thrombocytopenia is a health condition where the
number of blood platelets falls below normal. Massage is not strictly
prohibited in this condition but people suffering from this condition must
refrain from deep tissue massage.

Alcohol or Drug Influence

People who are under the influence of alcohol or drug
should not go for a massage as they are not able to give proper feedback on the
treatment they are getting. Massage will increase the effectiveness of the drug
they have taken. Besides, it will also increase the task of the liver. Their
hangover and dehydration will also increase with the massage.

Severe Inflammatory Conditions

If you are facing an acute inflammatory condition and
that area in your body is marked with redness, pain and swelling then any sort
of massage would only worsen the situation. Such a condition may arise due to
rheumatoid arthritis, tendonitis, bursitis, bacterial infection, injury and
several other reasons. Before visiting a massage spa, you should know, if your
condition is fit for taking massage.

Infection Issues

If you are suffering from an infection, you should
desist from taking a massage. Infections like Hepatitis A, food poisoning and
influenza can get worse with a massage. It may put added stress on the liver.
Your physician can better guide you on this.

Skin issues

If you have skin diseases with the ability to spread,
then you should take a massage. Some of the common diseases that spread with
massage are acne, boils, herpes, impetigo, scabies, simplex, tinea and


Thrombosis is a condition where blood get a clot. With
massage, the situation can be aggravated and it may harm the lungs, creating
life-threatening situations.

Heart Failure

If someone has just received a heart disease, then
massage shouldn’t be performed. In the case of massage, the returning blood can
mount pressure on the heart.

Varicose Vein

Persons suffering from varicose veins should also
avoid massaging as the pressure put during massage could strain already weak
vain. With pressure, part of the vein or clots may be released into blood
circulation that can create a pulmonary embolism that may prove lethal.


In medical terminology, a hematoma can be defined as a
condition where there is lump of blood accumulates inside the tissues. The
situation is caused due to bruises or injuries. You should avoid massage during
this situation. If you need massage therapy, then you should only do it on a
doctor’s recommendation.


Phlebitis is a condition marked by inflammation in
veins. Thrombophlebitis is a condition of it where there are one or more clots
in the vein. The disease generally affects the legs but it can also cause arms
or other parts of the body. Patients suffering from this disease shouldn’t go
for a massage. If it is necessary, they should consult their doctor.


Aneurysm is a medical condition where there is an
inflammation of arteries due to weakness in the walls of arteries. Aneurysm has
no prominent symptoms but it causes grave situations when arteries rupture due
to inflammation. Patients suffering from aneurysm should not try massage. If
they must, they should talk to their physician in this regard. Seek your
doctors’ advice on massage during aneurysm.


Edema is a condition where excess fluid gets deposited
in tissue spaces. edema is of two types – pitting edema or non-pitting edema. Some types of edemas get better with a massage while other kinds of
edema can get worse with it. Before seeking massage, you should know the causes
of edema.


There is a lot of precautions attached with massage
during pregnancy. The precautions are stiffer for those having a history of
miscarriage. If you have such a history, you should consult your gynecologist
before taking a massage. She will suggest you a detailed regimen for every
trimester. Hire a reputed massager to get a pregnancy massage.


If you have a history of Asthma, you should follow
certain precautions suggested by your physician before taking a massage. One
general precaution is avoiding fragranced oil that may trigger asthma.

Umbilical Hernia

An umbilical hernia is another condition where you
have to be careful while taking a massage. People suffering from this disease
should avoid deep abdominal massage. They should consult their physician who
will better guide them on this topic.

Psychological Conditions

People suffering from psychological conditions should
seek expert guidance before going for a massage. Some psychological conditions
may get better with a massage while others may worsen with the same massage


Meningitis affects the brain and spinal cord and it
may be contagious. It may be fatal if it is at an advanced stage. So, patients
with advanced-stage meningitis should avoid massage. However, massage is
beneficial at some stages of treatment and your physician will better guide you
on this. Your doctor would better guide you on massage during meningitis.

Types of Massages

There is a vast array of massages that serves specific
purposes. Here we describe some of the major massage types.

Swedish Massage

It is one of the traditional types of massages. In
this massage, a therapist performs kneading, stroking, and friction to release
muscular tension and improve blood circulation.

Swedish massage takes 30-60 minutes to complete.

Swedish massage is ideal for relaxation and relieving

Hot Stone Massage

In hot stone massage therapy, a therapist uses heated
stones for massage. This massage is similar to traditional massage or hot
massage therapy.

Hot stone massage takes 90 minutes to complete.

The hot stone massage is considered ideal for
relieving muscle pain, relaxing stress and improving blood circulation.

Korean Massage

Korean massage is a type of massage that incorporates
elements of Swedish, Shiatsu and Thai massages. The massage covers the whole
body from head to toe.             

The massage is beneficial in relieving stress and
pain. It relaxes muscles and improves the overall quality of life.

Aromatherapy Massage

In Aromatherapy massage, soft and gentle pressure is
performed on the body. In this massage oil is used. Your therapist decides
which oil to be used. This massage is given to different body parts.

Aromatherapy takes 60-90 minutes to complete.

People sensitive to smell and essential oil should
avoid this massage.

Thai Massage

Thai massage is popular worldwide. A Therapist performs
Thai massage on the entire body with palms and fingers. It improves flexibility
and circulation.

The time taken in Thai massage is 60-90 minutes.

You should wear comfortable clothing during the

Also Read

Thai Massage – Relaxation Therapy Filled with Surprises

Shiatsu Massage

Shiatsu massage is a Japanese massage that aims at
providing relief to pain and stress and making its recipient calm and

Shiatsu massage can be completed in 60 to 90 minutes.

This massage is best suited for those suffering from
pain, anxiety, and depression. So if you are also suffering from pen in your
leg then you should search shiatsu foot massager.

Trigger Point Massage

Trigger point massage is ideally suited for those who
are suffering from chronic pain or a particular condition. The area of the body
from where the pain originates is called the trigger point. A massage therapist
massages trigger points to relieve pain.

The time taken in trigger point massage is 60-90

You are advised to get light clothing while getting
this message.

Deep Tissue Massage

In deep tissue massage, a massage therapist exerts
more pressure than a Swedish massage. The therapy is useful for muscle pain,
tight muscle, and anxiety. Search for a deep tissue massager near me and
consult how this therapy can help you.

Deep Tissue massage can be completed in 60-90 minutes.

People sensitive to pressure shouldn’t try deep tissue

Sports Massage

The term is self-explanatory. Sportsmen get a
repetitive injury and they have to be on their toes when it comes to
flexibility. This massage plays a great role in increasing their flexibility
and efficiency.

The time duration for sports massage is 60-90 minutes.

Sports massage is highly effective in relieving pain
and anxiety.

Prenatal Massage

Prenatal massage is a massage given to pregnant women
during pregnancy. The massage relieves body pain, stress, and tension in the
muscle that are common during pregnancy.

The massage takes 40 to 60 minutes to complete.

It is advised to keep your gynecologist in the loop
while taking this massage.

Couples Massage

A couples massage is a massage that is given together
with a partner, friend or family member. Your partner or friend gets a massage
in the same room. You will have access to the sauna and other facilities
available in the room.

The massage takes 60 to 90 minutes to complete. The
duration may increase according to the types of services taken.

This massage is highly sought after as you can talk to
your partner while taking a massage. If you are interested you should search
for a couple of massage spas near me.

Chair Massage

Chair massage is ideal for those working in an office
setting. In this massage, therapy is performed on the back, shoulder, and neck.
The massage is ideal for relief from stress and flexibility.

This massage takes 10-20 hours to complete.

Chair massage is ideal for those working in offices
sitting in a chair.

Reflexology Massage

Reflexology massage is based on the concept that there
are certain zones in your hand and feet to which the entire body is linked. In
this massage, certain points on the hand and feet are massaged.

Reflexology massage can be completed in a small time.

This massage is ideal for relieving mild pain. If you
have pain foot you should search reflexology foot massage.

Active Release Therapy

Active release therapy is best suited for athletes who
want speedy recovery from muscles and soft tissue injury. People whose work
demands physical exertion should also take this massage.

The time taken in active release therapy is 60 to 90

The massage is considered ideal for pain relief.

Myofascial Release Therapy

Sometimes you may have experienced stiffness in the
body. The problem arises when connective tissue or deep fascia gets stiffened.
In this therapy balls of different sizes are rolled over the body to break

Myofascial Release Therapy can be performed on your

Cupping Therapy Massage

Cupping therapy massage is one of the ancient forms of
massage tracing its origin from ancient times. Cupping massage helps improve
blood circulation. In this massage, a cup is applied to the affected area to
create a vacuum. The massage has been proved helpful in improving blood

How to Select a Massage Therapist?

As massage is so important you might be looking for
ways to select the right massage therapist. Here we suggest ways to select the
right massage therapist.

  • Identify the kind of massage you need
  • Ask from the people who got this message
  • Give preference to a quality therapist
  • Know about the product they use
  • Visit the spa to check the cleanliness
  • Check whether it is value for money
  • Check the online forums to know about the reputation
  • Know the education of massage therapists
  • Check whether they have required certification
  • Know about their experience in massage

Massage Therapy: Frequently Asked Questions

Why is it hard to find a good massage therapist?

Massage could be of great help if performed by a good
massage therapist. If the massage therapist is not well trained, then a massage
could prove a disaster. As massage therapists are making tall claims, finding
the right massage becomes difficult.

How much does a massage therapist make?

It varies from location to location. A massage
therapist in the United State might be earning more than a therapist in the
Philippines. As per the data collected from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics  the median annual salary of a
massage therapist is $ 43,620.

What is the difference between a massage therapist and
a masseuse?

Let us go by their dictionary meaning first. Merriam Webster dictionary defines masseuse as a person, usually, a
woman, who practices massage. The male massage professional is called a
masseur. The word has a negative connotation.

On the other hand, the Merriam-Webster dictionary
defines a massage therapist as a person who practices massage therapy. The
dictionary defines a massage therapist 
as a professional who has license or certification to manipulate muscles and
tissues using hand or therapeutic instrument.

As per the Oxford dictionary,
the meaning of the term masseuse is the woman who gives massage to people.

Is the term masseuse offensive?

Let us describe the history behind why women massage
therapist doesn’t like to be called masseuse. In the 1950s, the term was used
for prostitutes operating under the cover of the massager. The massage
professional fought a long battle to get separate titles like massage
practitioner, massage therapist, and massage technician.

What is the difference between a spa therapist and a
massage therapist?

A spa therapist works in a spa where several
treatments including massage are given. Some of these treatments are water
treatment, manicure, pedicure and several other wellness treatments. On the
other hand, a massage therapist remains confined to rubbing and manipulating
muscle and tissues to make the patient relieved from pain and make him feel

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *