The word massage is one with a varied reputation. It has both a popular meaning and a professional one. It is disreputable in some circles, respected in others. Massage can be a generic word or a specific one. It can be a derogatory term or a term implying relief and beneficial aspects. It is sexual and medical. It is a verb and a noun. Like so many other words in the English language, massage is subject to its context.
A dictionary usually defines massage as a mechanical or manual manipulation of various parts of the body, as by rubbing, kneading, slapping or similar actions to promote circulation and muscle relaxation. This applies to both popular and therapeutic massage. The problem is the word massage can be used instead of the term – massage therapy. The separation between the two arrives from the level of professionalism. It is also derives from the overall intent and degree of training.
Popular massage is part of an underground business. Massage is also employed by consenting partners to relax tension after work or working-out. Massage is a regular part of bedrooms across North American and Europe. It is both a tool of sexual gratification and a form of foreplay. It is all about context.
Body rub parlors and therapeutic massage businesses both utilize massage. The intent is for patrons to relax. In both instances, the masseuse carries on from relaxation to another plain. This other level differs radically. Massage in body rub parlors is usually some form of stimulation or sexual gratification. It is not strictly medical and can only be considered therapy in the loosest sense of the word. In this world of massage, there is really no place for no-hands massage. This is not a world of energy work or mind-spirit alignment.
Training is another defining factor. The training for a body rub parlor is infinitely lower than that required for massage therapy. A message therapist or practitioner requires textbook knowledge and studies theory and anatomy. He or she undertakes hours of skilled training, frequently under a licensed or professional massage therapist. This is true whether they set up their own practice or work at a spa.
A person who undertakes massage of his or her partner at home is often somewhere in between the levels of skill of either “professional.” Proper massage requires some skill. Instinct may be helpful, but many rely on books or take courses. This helps them with sensual massage, practical massage and therapeutic massage techniques. Community colleges and local groups often offer such courses. You can find instruction on reflexology, aromatherapy, sensual massage and other related massage types. However, the average person does not intend to expand further in this field. He or she usually uses it for his or her own means and not as part of a future business venture.
Massage Therapy is a profession. The overall goal is a complete sense of well-being. While some practitioners might have the intent to make a living at massage therapy, this is probably less the major focus than it is for the body parlor masseuse. The focus of the practitioner is to use massage like the body parlor worker and the average partner, to initially, achieve relaxation. Yet, the professional massage therapist does so with the intent of achieving improvement of the body and/or mind.
Massage therapy is all about intent. It uses the word and the actions of massage to indicate its medical purpose. Therapeutic massage is stress releasing. The benefits include both the physical and the psychological. Therapeutic massage abets healing after abdominal surgery. It speeds up recovery time and helps with waste elimination. Massage therapy helps alleviate chronic pain and reduce muscle soreness. Unlike the common form of massage, therapeutic massage is applied to both pregnant mothers and their babies. It is especially good for premature infants. Furthermore, massage therapy is helpful in the treatment of many large and small animal conditions. Dogs, cats and horses benefit from massage. Equine Therapeutic Massage and Sports Massage are two burgeoning fields of therapeutic massage.
All types of massage have their place in society. At home, in a body rub parlor, as part of a spa treatment or in a professional setting, massage can be beneficial. Whatever type of massage you want, whether it is sexual or part of massage therapy, be sure you know what you want and where to go before hand. Be informed. Check the listings and the credentials. Know what services you are signing on for before you sign. This will make the event truly worthwhile.
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