What is massage therapy?
Massage therapy dates back thousands of years. References to massage appear in ancient writings from China, Japan, India, and Egypt.
In New Zealand, massage therapy is used as a complementary or standalone therapy by a number of health care providers. This section focuses on the practice of massage therapy as a stand-alone therapy by a Massage Therapist or massage practitioner.
The practice of massage therapy involves more than applying massage techniques. Massage therapy as a health care approach sits within the wellness model and aims to support clients in balancing mental, emotional, and physical needs. Often a variety of techniques and styles of massage therapy are applied depending on the skill base of the therapist, their scope of practice, and the principle goal of the massage therapy session.
The principle goal of a massage session may include: relaxation massage; clinical/remedial/therapeutic massage; movement re-education, and energy work. Massage techniques may include, for example, Swedish massage, where the therapist uses long strokes, kneading, deep circular movements, vibration, and tapping; deep tissue massage; myofascial release; neuromuscular therapy and trigger point therapy.
Massage therapy appears to have few risks when performed by a qualified practitioner. However, Massage Therapists should take some precautions in people with certain health conditions. If you have a medical condition and are unsure whether massage therapy would be appropriate for you, discuss your concerns with your health care provider. Please also ask about the qualifications and experience of the Massage Therapist you are considering. The New Zealand massage therapy industry is unregulated, and therefore not all Massage Therapists are qualified or hold appropriate qualifications.
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Some forms of massage can leave you feeling a bit sore the next day. But massage shouldn't ordinarily be painful or uncomfortable. If any part of your massage doesn't feel right or is painful, speak up right away. Most serious problems come from too much pressure during massage.
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