Massage Therapy Archives | Broadview University

How Do You Prepare for the MBLEx Licensing Exam?

Massage Therapy instructor training students for the MBLEx Licensing Exam

Find out that you need to be licensed to be a massage therapist in Utah? Massage therapists must pass the MBLEx licensing exam to become a licensed massage therapist in Utah. The MBLEx licensing exam is offered by the Federation of State Massage Therapy Board (FSMTB). The questions on the exam are designed to allow you to demonstrate your knowledge and facts about massage therapy techniques and ethics.

What is on the MBLEx Licensing Exam?

The MBLEx licensing exam focuses on the curriculum that you will learn during an accredited massage therapy program. This includes, but is not limited to, anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, pathology, sanitation, CPR, first aid, massage therapy theory and technique, professional standards, business practices and ethics, and clinical lab work in a supervised environment.

Anatomy & Physiology

Some of the topics that are included in the anatomy and physiology section include the 12 body systems and how they relate to massage therapy. Body systems like circulatory, lymphatic, and muscular, to name a few. The exam will test your knowledge about body system structures and their functions. Further topics in this section include tissue injury and repair, and the concepts of energetic anatomy.

Kinesiology

This section of the MBLEx licensing exam on kinesiology focuses on the components and characteristics of muscles and concepts of muscle contraction. Further, it tests your knowledge on proprioceptors, joint structure and function, and range of motion.

Pathology, Contraindications, Areas of Caution and Special Population

This section of the MBLEx licensing exam focuses on an overview of pathologies, contraindications, areas of caution, special populations and different classes of medications. Pathology is the study of disease, their cause, origin and nature. With the different classes of medication, the massage therapist must know the contraindications or symptoms that make a treatment risky, such as someone that is prone to blood clots in their legs and the massage therapist not dislodging them to travel to the heart. Special populations include ethnicity, sex, sexual identify, disabled, as well as the un-homed and uninsured patient.

Benefits of Massage

There are many different benefits to massage therapy that any massage therapist should be familiar with. Each technique may have its own set of benefits and many benefits overlap between different massage techniques. This section of the MBLEx licensing exam confirms your understanding of the physiological effects of soft tissue manipulation, the benefits of touch, the different techniques like Swedish massage, hot and cold applications, and a full overview of the different bodywork modalities. What are some of the benefits of massage, according to the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA)?

  • Improved Blood Circulation
  • Stress Relief
  • Improved Posture
  • Pain Reduction
  • Better Sleep
  • Reduction in the Symptoms of Depression
  • Improved Cardiovascular Health
  • Promotion of Relaxation
  • Increased Range of Motion

Client Interaction

An important part of client interaction is the initial assessment, reassessments and treatment planning. This section of the MBLEx licensing exam focuses on the organization of massage sessions, proper client consultation and evaluation, how to visually assess a client, testing range of motion, an evaluation of the response to previous treatments and the formulation of massage treatment strategy. During a massage therapy program, you will master the skills of communication that are imperative for successful client interaction.

Massage Therapy Ethics, Laws & Regulations

Another important part of massage is the ethics, laws and regulations that keep both you and your clients safe during a session. This section of the MBLEx licensing exam will test your knowledge of professional boundaries, the code of ethics and consequences of violations, understanding the massage related laws and regulations, and confidentiality.

Maintaining a Professional Massage Practice

As a massage therapist, it is important for you to maintain a professional massage practice. The final section of the MBLEx licensing exam focuses on these guidelines. Whether it is the proper use of massage equipment and supplies, proper hygiene, the importance of sanitation, wearing protective gear, preventing injuries, or proper draping, you will need to abide by laws and regulations to provide a safe and sanitary experience for your clients. Further focus in this section is on proper business planning, office management, advertising for clients, hiring practices, and proper record keeping and documentation.

How Do You Prepare for the MBLEx Licensing Exam?

The best way to prepare for the MBLEx licensing exam is to complete a massage therapy program at a vocational school. Not only is this one of the requirements for licensing, but it is also a great way to learn about massage. In addition to learning the theory and practices behind massage techniques, you will work with real patients under strict supervision to further your understanding of massage. For those that need to do it, rather than read about it, real world experience is a great way to prepare for the MBLEx licensing exam.

Study Groups

During your massage therapy program, you will learn alongside like-minded classmates that are also preparing to take the MBLEx licensing exam. It is easy to break out into study groups and test each other on the fundamentals of massage. It is always easier to study when you have a group of people that are all counting on one another for help to prepare.

Ask Your Instructor Questions

The best part about attending a massage therapy program is that you will have an industry experience instructor that can answer any questions you have. Massage therapy is more than theory and sometimes you need to visually see how massage works and the difference between the many massage techniques as taught by an instructor.

Make Flashcards

When studying for a test it is not only important to read the flash cards but also to use your other senses through writing and speaking. Using more than one sense will help you better remember the information on the exam.

Final Thoughts

Ready to start a massage therapy program and meet the requirements for taking the MBLEx licensing exam? By preparing for the exam and gaining knowledge about massage therapy in the vocational program, you will not only be confident when it comes time to take the exam, but you will also be ready to start working on day one. In addition to preparing for the MBLEx licensing exam, you will participate in lab work and externships that will give you hands-on experience when you are ready to get a job in massage. An investment in your career is the best investment you can make.

Do you still need to graduate from a massage therapy program so you can take the MBLEx licensing exam? Want to learn more about our massage therapy program? Broadview University developed the Massage Therapy certificate program with your future in mind. The certificate program is designed to emphasize skills and knowledge for entry-level employment as a massage therapist. The Massage Therapy program at Broadview University prepares you to take the MBLEx licensing exam offered by the Federation of State Massage Therapy Board (FSMTB). Upon completion of the program, you will be eligible for professional membership in such associations as the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) and the Association of Bodywork and Massage Professionals (ABMP).

Contact us today to learn more about becoming a massage therapist.

What are Advanced Energy Healing Massage Techniques?

Therapist providing a client with energy healing massage techniques

Are you interested in energy healing massage techniques? Many massage therapy techniques are considered holistic like aromatherapy, acupressure, polarity massage, Reiki and chakra balancing. Polarity massage, Reiki and chakra balancing help supplement many other massage techniques in an effort to improve the effectiveness of a client’s massage.

What is Holistic?

Holistic philosophy acknowledges that a person’s body is interconnected. Holistic healing practices find that how a person feels mentally can have a positive or negative effect on how their body functions. There are social, mental and emotional factors that can alter a person’s physical health and diminish their capabilities. Starting from this philosophy, those who practice any kind of holistic treatment, whether it be massage, Reiki, acupressure or any other service, attempt to approach the entirety of the mind and body rather than the individual ailment alone. Holistic massage is simply an approach to health that considers the entire person: mind, body and spirit.

What is the Difference Between Holistic and Traditional Massage?

Most massage therapy is focused on physical relief of stress, pain and sore muscles.  While holistic massage helps with these physical ailments, it also improves the mental and emotional aspects of the client’s mind. Holistic massage is an approach that takes into consideration the connection between the mind and body. How each affects one another. Holistic massage focuses on balancing that connection, helping massage clients improve physical as well as mental wellbeing. Some of the more popular holistic massage techniques focus on the body’s natural energy, helping the body and mind heal through balance. These energy healing massage techniques include polarity massage, Reiki, and chakra balancing.

What is Polarity Massage?

Polarity massage is influenced by traditional Chinese medicine and works to balance the flow of energy in the body. It is designed to balance the body’s electromagnetic energy through touch, diet and counseling. Polarity massage is used in conjunction with traditional massage and stretching to improve the wellbeing of a client’s mind and body. The body’s stress or trauma can cause the body’s energy flow to become unbalanced. The massage therapist works to identify the symptoms that the client is feeling, like pain and muscle tension, and restores the currents of energy in the body.

What is Reiki?

Reiki is a hands-on holistic healing practice, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. In Japanese, the word “rei” means universal and “ki” is the vital life force energy that flows through the body. Reiki helps a client’s mind and body balance physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. The massage therapist uses multiple hand positions to balance the body’s energy. Unlike massage, Reiki holds a position without pressure or manipulation.

What is Chakra Balancing?

Chakra balancing is based on an ancient Indian belief that there are seven chakras, that represent the body’s energy centers. The seven chakras are located at the root, sacral, solar plexus, heart, throat, third eye, and crown. These chakras emit energy that manifests in different parts of our mind and body. Chakra balancing helps channel the energy into the body’s seven chakras. Balancing the chakras is believed to promote the general health by balancing the flow of the life energy throughout the body. A massage therapist practicing chakra balancing will identify blockages and allow the energy to flow properly through the body, mind and spirit.

What are the Benefits of Energy Healing Massage Techniques?

There are many benefits to energy healing massage techniques. The mind, body and spirit benefit from the healing powers of massage. Whether it is reduces stress or general wellness, energy healing massage can benefit your client’s mind and body.

Deeper Self-Awareness

Knowing more about one’s connection between their mind and body can help them improve their balance. There are a lot of things that a person will notice about their emotions that affect their physical body. Mental stress can manifest itself into body aches and pain. Physical pain can cause anxiety and depression. Whether it is massage, diet, exercise or meditation, taking the time to have a healthy body and mind will help balance a person’s energy.

Improvement of Mood

Balanced mental health can help someone become more attuned to their body and aware of changes in their mood that are significant. Everyday stress can bog down many people. The hustle and bustle of the work week, dealing with daily stressors and managing finances can all take a toll on a person’s mood. Energy healing massage can help relieve the stress and pain caused by these stressors, helping to restore balance and improve mood.

Stress Relief

Instead of waiting until your client gets a cold or feels run down, energy healing massage can help them destress. We all suffer from stress in our daily lives, and the relaxation that comes with massage helps us cope with the stressors in our lives and balance our minds.

Supplement to General Wellness

It is important for your clients to have good general health and continue to manage the body’s stress even when they are healthy. Preventative medicine is as important as medicine to treat sickness, so performing energy healing massage can keep your client general wellbeing both physically and mentally.

Final Thoughts

Ready to help others with the powerful benefits of energy healing massage? Holistic massage is only part of what you will learn during a massage therapy program. Whether it is traditional Swedish massage, deep tissue massage, or holistic massage, you will have a complete arsenal of techniques to help your clients with any stress and pain they may be suffering from. Start a massage therapy program and help others feel the positive affects of massage.

Did learning about energy healing massage techniques interest you? Want to learn more about a massage therapy program? Broadview University developed the Massage Therapy certificate program with your future in mind. The certificate program is designed to emphasize skills and knowledge for entry-level employment as a massage therapist. The Massage Therapy program at Broadview University prepares students to take the MBLEx licensing exam offered by the Federation of State Massage Therapy Board (FSMTB). Upon completion of the program, students will be eligible for professional membership in such associations as the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) and the Association of Bodywork and Massage Professionals (ABMP).

Contact us today to learn more about becoming a massage therapist.

How Do You Become a Certified Massage Therapist?

certified massage therapist sitting on a massage table

Interested in becoming a certified massage therapist? A certified massage therapist treats and manipulates the client’s muscles and other soft tissues through touch. Massage helps reduce pain, bolster wellness, relieve stress, heal injuries, foster relaxation, and improve circulation. The demand for massage therapy creates a need for high-quality, extensively trained massage therapists who have earned their certification. The most important step in becoming a certified massage therapist is finding the right school.

Finding the Right School

Finding the right vocational school can be an arduous undertaking and the most crucial decision to make in your career as a certified massage therapist. It’s hard to decipher which school gives you the most benefit for your money, with so many to consider. To help decide which vocational school is worth every penny, here are some factors to look into when selecting a massage therapy school:

Accredited Massage Therapy Program

An accredited school helps students achieve a standard education level and adequately sets them up to practice as a certified massage therapist. Schools request evaluations and have their programs assessed by an independent accrediting agency. Some institutions carry multiple accreditations to cover all the programs they offer.

School Faculty and Staff

Take time to find out about the experience and credentials of the faculty. Skilled and competent mentors will help you build a secure and robust foundation for your clinical knowledge and professional practice preparation. The instructors should not just teach the program but make the material exciting and foster an immersive, hands-on learning environment. When visiting campuses, to get a good idea of the instructor’s ability to teach students, ask to attend a classroom and practical training session.

Word of Mouth

Talk to some massage therapy students to learn valuable insight about the school. Ask questions and bring up concerns about the instructors’ ability, quality of teaching materials, administrative staff’s willingness to assist students, and a typical day for a student there. It wasn’t too long ago they did all the research that went into choosing the best school for their individual needs. Remember, every student’s individual needs are different, and not every school fits every student. Also, talk to some massage therapists already practicing in the field and find out how well their school prepared them for certification, licensing exams, and employment.

Curriculum

Massage therapy school contains several different classes and covers a lot of material. In addition to the instructor’s ability to teach, you need to ensure the courses offered are all-inclusive. Meaning everything is covered to prepare you for a career in the massage field competently. A good massage therapy program will not only teach you massage technique but will give you the business savvy and communication skills needed to succeed as a certified massage therapist. What’s the speed at which the learning material gets covered? Some schools go over instruction quicker than other schools.

Financial Aid and Job Placement Services

Comparing the costs of schools gives you an idea of what fits your budget. Don’t let that dream of becoming a massage therapist slip through your fingers because the expense seems out of reach. Accredited massage therapist schools typically offer financial aid programs for those who qualify to help pay for the program. It’s worth inquiring whether prospective schools provide financial aid options such as payment plans, grants, low-interest student loans, scholarships, or work-study programs. Inquire about their job placement service that colleges and other educational institutions offer to help graduates find work. Examples of these services include assisting students with practicing interviewing with employers, finding externships to satisfy required clinical hours, vocational counseling, and leads for permanent employment.

What Does A Student Learn in Massage Therapy School?

The educational requirements for a massage therapist to obtain a certification not only include training in the practice of massage but also:

Anatomy – The biological science regarding locating, identifying, and describing the structures of the body.

Physiology – a branch of biology that focuses on understanding the body’s mechanisms at the cells, tissues, and organ systems.

Myology/Kinesiology – studies the mechanics of movement and how it impacts our health and wellbeing. Myology is the study of muscles, physical structure, specific function, and connections between each of the muscle groups.

Pathology – the study of disease causes and specific effects on biological tissues and fluids.

Hygiene – a set of practices that a person performed to preserve health that includes attention to surfaces clean and pathogen-free in the workplace.

First Aid/CPR – classes cover various ways to assist a person who is hurt, typically in an emergency, coupled with a focus on administering proper CPR to help someone experiencing cardiac arrest or stopped breathing.

Infection Control – a set of standard recommendations for reducing infectious agents’ transmission from body fluids or environmental surfaces. Infection prevention and control is vital to prevent the transmission of infectious diseases in health care settings.

What Types of Massage Do You Learn?

There are over 200 variants of techniques in massage therapy. Here are a few of techniques students learn when attending a massage therapy school:

Swedish – this technique adds flexibility to the ligaments and tendons, increases blood flow to the skin, stimulates the nervous system, and relieves stress. When placing pressure on the muscles and the skeletal system, the blood’s oxygen flow enhances, and muscle toxin removal elevates. Swedish massage also flushes out uric acid, lactic acid, and other harmful toxins from the tissue.

Shiatsu – with Shiatsu-style massage, the pressure gets applied through hand manipulation instead of needles. The vital force, chi, flows through connected channels in the body called meridians. Meridian blockages cause fatigue, pain, depression, and stress. In this massage therapy, the pressure applied to the meridians stimulates the nerves and tissues.

Reflexology – a form of massage manipulation that involves applying various amounts of pressure to the feet, hands, and ears. This type of massage releases blockages revitalizes the entire body. It restores a free flow of energy in specific areas by working on points within the hands and feet, helping blood circulation, detoxifying the blood, and proper nerve functioning.

Deep Tissue – a technique used to treat musculoskeletal problems, like strains from sports injuries, through applying sustained pressure involving deep, slow strokes targeting the muscles and the inner layers of connective tissue. During a deep tissue massage, discomfort, described as a “good hurt,” is normal and felt if there are general inconsistencies in the body tissue.

Sports – this technique, used to help athletes attain peak performance, helps diminish muscle fatigue, relieves swelling, and reduces tension. Therapeutic sports massage isn’t just for athletes anymore; it also treats soft tissue aches, and pain from injuries associated with everyday recreational activities. Sports massage incorporates other techniques to provide an in-depth and rehabilitating process. Sports massage gently works the soft tissue to prevent damage, rid the soft tissue of stress, and alleviate muscle and tendon pain.

Chair – the seated technique is a versatile yet highly effective massage technique, focusing on the back, shoulders, neck, arms, and head. On average, this massage lasts 15 minutes while the client is fully clothed and seated upright in a position that resembles sitting backward. This massage, ideal for instant stress relief when time and resources are limited, is designed to relax the muscles, improve flexibility, and ease movement.

Hot Stone – helps foster relaxation, melt away muscle pain, and relieve tension. Similar to Swedish massage, but with this technique a certified massage therapist uses heated stones combined with hand manipulations. Hot stone massage helps ease muscle tension, improves blood flow, alleviates pain, promotes relaxation, and relieves stress. During a hot stone massage, heated stones get placed on various areas around the body.

Aromatherapy – adds an emotional healing component to a massage session through the sense of smell, combining relaxing, gentle pressure with essential oils. During a session lasting 60 to 90 minutes, the client receives a full-body massage during which they inhale essential oils through a diffuser and the skin. Sometimes aromatherapy techniques will only focus on the back, shoulders, and head.

Trigger Point – benefits people who experience chronic pain, injuries, or a specific issue. These tight areas in the muscle tissues, known as trigger points, cause pain in various other body locations by focusing on applying pressure to particular trigger points. Trigger point utilizes broad, flowing, gentle strokes combined with more robust, deeper pressure.

Final Thoughts

Getting certified is the first step in your massage therapy career. You can start working for a massage salon or with a little experience you can go out on your own and begin a massage business. Once you become a certified massage therapist, the sky is the limit.

Did learning about how to become a certified massage therapist interest you? Want to learn more about a massage therapy program? Broadview University developed the Massage Therapy certificate program with your future in mind. The certificate program is designed to emphasize skills and knowledge for entry-level employment as a massage therapist. The Massage Therapy program at Broadview University prepares students to take the MBLEx licensing exam offered by the Federation of State Massage Therapy Board (FSMTB). Upon completion of the program, students will be eligible for professional membership in such associations as the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) and the Association of Bodywork and Massage Professionals (ABMP).

Contact us today to learn more about becoming a massage therapist.

What is Corrective Isometric Exercise?

Two women practicing corrective isometric exercise

Are you curious about corrective isometric exercises? During a massage therapy program at a vocational school, you will learn the benefits of corrective isometric exercise, in addition to all the massage techniques like Swedish massage and deep tissue massage. For those clients that see you because they experience pain or have a hard time moving through a full range of motion, isometric exercise can help them reduce pain and strengthen muscles. Isometric exercise can be a good supplement to massage therapy, and something the client can do anywhere, whether at work or home. Anywhere they can stand and hold a position is a great place to exercise using isometrics. So, what is isometric exercise?

What Is Isometric Exercise?

For those people that may have an injury or weak muscles and aren’t able to strength train through weightlifting, isometric exercise is a good alternative. There is no need for heavy lifting, with isometric exercise, the client uses their own body weight to strengthen their muscles. During isometric exercise, they maintain a particular position for an extended period of time without experiencing pain or stress on the muscle or joints. This can be a great way to strengthen muscles after an injury and if you they arthritis, to supplement massage therapy.

Isometric exercise is a form of activity in which muscles are contracted without showing any signs of movement where the joints reach an angle. When a person is using isometrics, the angle of the joints and the muscles don’t change. However, the amount of strength in the muscles can vary during a workout. The three types of isometric exercises are holds presses and pulls.

Holds – are a way to engage an entire portion of the body. They can help a client work on their core stability while strengthening their core.

Presses – an isometric press is an excellent way to build strength in muscle groups or to aid in recovery from an injury. The muscle groups that benefit from isometric shoulder presses are anterior deltoids, medial deltoids, triceps, and upper trapezius.

Pulls – isometric pulls are a form of calisthenic exercise that incorporates the use of a chin-up bar to pull yourself upward. Isometric pulls are used mainly to target the lateral muscles in the arms.

What is the Purpose of Isometric Exercise?

The purpose of isometric exercise is to maintain strength in the muscles. Isometric exercise differs because the exercise is done in a single position without moving. Since isometric exercise is designed to improve muscle strength in one place, several exercises must be done to strengthen the muscles of the arms or legs to improve the strength along the entire range of motion.

What Is Corrective Isometric Exercise?

Corrective isometric exercises are a type of movement that can uncover the root causes of faulty, imbalanced movement patterns that contribute to problems with the body’s balance, posture, and total body coordination.

Isometric holds are beneficial in calisthenics and weight training but not for a sport like downhill skiing. Although skiers must maintain a crouched position for a specific period, there’s also forward movement involved, which can alter the amount of crouching movement as the skier is propelled forward. In weight training, the athlete must squat, so the base of the spine is the lowest point to the floor. Isometric holds strengthen the muscle, which enables the athlete to hold the weight in a fixed position.

How a Massage Therapist Can Help?

For a massage therapist to help clients, they must have a knowledge of biomechanics, kinesiology, and anatomy to address the issues their clients are dealing with. This is part of the curriculum during a vocational program.

As a massage therapist, you can help you clients by teaching them the proper ways of compensating for pain with different movements that are less challenging. With your assistance, clients learn new ways to move during workouts and everyday activities. You will first assess patterns of movement and the cause of the imbalance to determine the most effective exercises to correct the problem.

Corrective isometric exercise is one of the most effective ways of correcting adverse body movements that contribute to pain. A lot of these issues come about from sitting incorrectly while working at a desk during work hours. As a massage therapist with knowledge of corrective isometric exercise, you can teach a client about the impact of poor posture or body movements that cause pain. Some of the ways in which you can help a client is by teaching trigger point release and exercise techniques, including foam rolling and stretching.

One of the best reasons to learn corrective isometric exercise is that the movements can be done anywhere, even at work or home. There’s no need to go to a gym or fitness center. Anyone can attain a more substantial upper body, core, improve their posture, and experience less pain by learning the proper way to do isometric exercises. By training for a brief time each day, your client can experience less pain and easier movement.

What Are the Benefits of Corrective Isometric Exercise?

A massage therapist that is trained on corrective isometric exercise can offer an alternative method of treating injuries that helps clients to move easier and with less pain. The treatments are beneficial in helping athletes and clients who work out as part of their daily routine to recover faster. Working one-on-one with a client allows you to create a more in-depth program geared toward the individual.

Benefit #1: Helps with Painful Movement

Corrective isometric exercise can be helpful for anyone suffering from an injury that makes movement painful. One example is a person with an injury to the rotator cuff. A physical therapist or doctor could recommend isometric exercises to stabilize muscles that involve the shoulder to keep it from getting injured during the recovery process.

Benefit #2: Arthritis Patients

Corrective isometric exercise can be beneficial for arthritis patients. Arthritis symptoms, including pain, can be aggravated by using the muscles to move a joint through a full range of motion. When people who suffer from arthritis incorporate a regimen of isometric exercises into their routine, their strength improves. When the pain isn’t as severe, patients can use different forms of exercise to further alleviate pain.

Strength training is one of the most effective ways to deal with arthritic pain and improve muscle and joint function. This type of exercise is an excellent alternative for patients who don’t want to rely on pain medications that may cause adverse side effects.

Benefit #3: Reduces Blood Pressure

Another benefit of isometric exercise is that it can reduce blood pressure. If your client suffers from high blood pressure, they should always consult their doctor before beginning any exercise plan. Clients with hypertension should exercise at a slower rate than many people to avoid any problems. An exercise plan to lower blood pressure can be beneficial. However, the client should never do strength training or any form of exercise that can cause a rapid elevation in their blood pressure.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know more about the benefits of corrective isometric exercise, are you ready to get into the classroom and become a massage therapist. Not only can you help your clients with massage, but you will learn how a client can use corrective isometric exercise to supplement massage and help reduce chronic pain. When you graduate from a massage therapy program, you have all the tools you need to help your clients stay happy and healthy.

Want to learn more about a massage therapy program? Broadview University developed the Massage Therapy certificate program with your future in mind. The certificate program is designed to emphasize skills and knowledge for entry-level employment as a massage therapist. The Massage Therapy program at Broadview University prepares students to take the MBLEx licensing exam offered by the Federation of State Massage Therapy Board (FSMTB). Upon completion of the program, students will be eligible for professional membership in such associations as the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) and the Association of Bodywork and Massage Professionals (ABMP).

Contact us today to learn more about becoming a massage therapist.

What is the Best Massage Therapy School in Salt Lake City?

Graduate of a massage therapy school

Not just looking for any old massage therapy school, but want to attend the best massage therapy school in Salt Lake City? You deserve the best, so take the time to research your options and understand more about the vocational schools that offer massage therapy programs. You may weigh some attributes over others like cost, program length, flexibility or any of the other important factors that you must consider. We know that after you are done researching, that Broadview University will be at the top of your list. So, what makes a massage therapy school the best?

What Makes a Massage Therapy School the Best?

There are many aspects about a massage therapy school that make it good, but what makes it the best in Salt Lake City? Consider the length of the program, the depth of the education, the flexibility of the schedule, whether you get hands-on experience, whether the school is accredited, instructor experience and whether they offer financial aid to those that qualify. With the right attributes, you can find the best massage therapy school in Salt Lake City.

Length of Program

Most vocational schools offer programs that can be completed in less than a year with full-time attendance. Since massage therapists are licensed, they need to attend a certain number of hours during a massage therapy program, both in class and hands-on. This is why it takes a year to complete. If they advertise less than a year, make sure they are, “teaching to the test.” This means, they are teaching you everything you need to know to pass a test that determines whether you get licensed to work as a massage therapist.

Depth of Program

The best vocational school will teach you everything you need to know about massage to help you in your new career. The massage therapy school should teach you Anatomy and Physiology so you know how the body works and how a massage will help a client. You should learn Kinesiology to understand how the body works and how massage therapy can correct any issues. The best vocational schools will teach pathology, this class includes diseases and disorders that massage may treat. The program should cover business to prepare you for your own massage practice or to run a massage therapy business. The best vocational school will also teach proper sanitation, and universal precaution to safeguard you and your client.

The most important part of any massage therapy program is the massage techniques. These techniques include Swedish massage, basic chair massage, deep tissue massage, sports massage, active release therapy, myofascial release, trigger point therapy, hot stone massage, and pre-and post-natal massage.

Swedish Massage – massage technique that helps relax the body through rubbing and gliding strokes. Swedish massage involves five basic strokes, effleurage, petrissage, friction, tapotement and vibration. When performing Swedish massage, you will use a combination of kneading, flowing strokes, deep circular motions, vibration, tapping and passive joint movement techniques.

Basic Chair Massage – this massage mirrors Swedish massage and is used on the neck, back, shoulders, arms and hands. A massage client sits in a massage chair while you massage their back and neck to relieve stress, tension and stiffness. This massage can be performed in most places like offices, malls, and casinos.

Deep Tissue Massage – similar to Swedish massage but uses more pressure to manage chronic muscle pain, soreness, and injuries. You use your fingers to massage the deepest layers of the client’s muscles and connective tissue.

Sports Massage – helps athletes warm up before and cool down after exercise. Sports massage also helps restore blood flow to muscles and release toxins built up after competition. This type of massage is also used when an athlete is injured, and they are rehabilitating. Sports massage is used in conjunction with isometric exercise to strengthen the recovering muscles.

Active Release Therapy (ART) – treats the client’s soft tissue through manipulation and movement. You identify, isolate and target the affected areas of the client’s body and attempt to break up scar tissue. Active release therapy promotes blood flow and waste removal to heal injuries faster.

Myofascial Release Massage – eases the tension in a client’s myofascial tissue, the tissue that surrounds and supports the muscles in the body. Myofascial release massage helps reduce pain and ease tension. You will learn how to monitor and identify stiff and tight areas in the client’s muscles system during the massage therapy program. You will then massage and stretch the affected areas with light manual pressure.

Trigger Point Massage – different trigger points on the body coincide with areas of the body that may be in pain. You will work on the entire body and focus on specific areas of tightness in the muscle tissue of your clients. Trigger point massage will remove knots and reduce the pain associated with them.

Hot Stone Massage – hot salt stone massage helps with muscle pain and tension. You use heated salt stones to relieve pain and may hold a stone in your hands to help with massage. During the hot salt stone massage, the heated stones are placed on different areas of the client’s body. This type of massage helps ease muscle tension, improve blood flow to the muscles, alleviate pain, and relieve stress.

Pre & Post-Natal Massage – Pregnancy can cause stress and pain on a pregnant women’s muscles. Pre-natal massage helps relieve that pain prior to childbirth. Post-natal massage helps relieve depression, stress and pain a mother may feel after giving birth. Both pre- and post-natal massage help reduce body aches, stress and muscle tension.

Flexibility

The best vocational schools will understand that not everyone can attend during the day, full-time. Although it may take longer to graduate, many vocational schools offer evening classes for students that have other responsibilities that don’t allow them to attend vocational school during regular hours. Some vocational schools also offer a hybrid program. This is a program that offers lectures you can watch at home and then come to the school for hands-on experience.

Hands-On Experience

The best vocational schools will focus most of the program on real world experience. Lecture and theory are important, but nothing replaces getting hands-on experience and working on real clients. The best vocational schools offer a student run salon where students can hone their skills with real clients, so they are prepared on that first day of work. This hands-on experience will also give you confidence when you start working, knowing that you already have experience even before you help your first new client.

Accreditation

The best vocational schools will be properly accredited. Accreditation means that a school meets the standards for licensing in the state. A vocational school should teach and prepare a student for the licensing exam.

Broadview University is nationally accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) to award certificates, diplomas, associate of applied science degrees, bachelor of fine arts degrees, bachelor of science degrees and master’s degrees. This includes the diploma for massage therapy.

Instructor Experience

The best vocational schools will employ industry experience instructors who are or were massage therapists working in the community and still have some ties to that community. Experienced instructors will not only help you network after you graduate but they will work with the community to create curriculum that prepares you for those jobs. These instructors are fully licensed to be massage therapist and have been in the industry for many years and know what you will encounter when you enter the workforce.

Financial Aid

Vocational schools offer financial aid assistant to those that qualify. Make sure that the vocational school you attend is properly accredited so you can apply for federal financial aid. Only those schools that are properly accredited can offer federal financial aid options to their students. Broadview University will help you fill out the necessary paperwork, like the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and talk with you about your financial aid options. You can apply for grants, military discounts and employee tuition reimbursement benefits. The financial aid office should remind you about important deadlines and all the scholarships offered to students that qualify.

Final Thoughts

One of the best massage therapy schools in Salt Lake City is Broadview University. Broadview University has been around since 1977, preparing graduates with a career-ready future as a massage therapist. We have instructors with years of experience, and we have connections in the Salt Lake community. We are nationally accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS). If you are ready for a fast-track to your future, Broadview University is your best bet.

Now that you know more about what makes the best massage therapy schools in Salt Lake City, want to learn more about our massage therapy program? Broadview University developed the Massage Therapy certificate program with your future in mind. The certificate program is designed to emphasize skills and knowledge for entry-level employment as a massage therapist. The Massage Therapy program at Broadview University prepares students to take the MBLEx licensing exam offered by the Federation of State Massage Therapy Board (FSMTB). Upon completion of the program, students will be eligible for professional membership in such associations as the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) and the Association of Bodywork and Massage Professionals (ABMP).

Contact us today to learn more about becoming a massage therapist.

What is the Difference Between Shiatsu and Thai Massage?

Woman having Shiatsu massage at home

A career as a massage therapist is an effective and meaningful way to help people who are dealing with chronic pain, stress, or recovering from an injury. However, in addition to helping people, many massage therapists choose this profession because of the flexibility the field offers. Massage therapists enjoy the independence that a practice provides. Most practitioners learn a wide array of massage techniques like Swedish, deep tissue, trigger point, Shiatsu and Thai massage. Another advantage is the wide range of work environments, including:

  • Home or Offices
  • Clinics and Hospitals
  • Hotels and Resorts
  • Fitness Centers and Spas
  • Sports Events and Teams
  • Cruise Lines

Some massage therapists provide treatments at on-site locations like public events, office settings, and airports. Although some massage therapists work in settings with co-workers, many massage therapists own their own practice. They may provide treatments for all their clients or hire other practitioners to work for them.

Why Do Clients Get Shiatsu and Thai Massage?

When the muscle and tissue of the body are massaged, the pressure on the area slows and calms the nervous system, and the heart rate and blood pressure are lowered. When there is less tension, and the body is relaxed, stress and pain are decreased. During Shiatsu and Thai massage, the calming or parasympathetic response in the body increases, causing less anxiety. Here are some of the benefits of massage therapy, including Shiatsu and Thai massage:

Benefit #1: More Relaxing Sleep

Sleep patterns are related to the activity in the nervous system. When a lot of stress builds up or if your client suffers from pain or achy joints, there’s more activity in the nervous system. When they aren’t relaxed sufficiently at night, the result can be insomnia. More relaxing sleep reduces the number of neurotransmitters that cause pain.

Benefit #2: Improve Focus

If your client is having problems staying focused at work or relaxing at night before they retire, a Shiatsu or Thai massage can be beneficial. To stay focused, the heart rate must be at a normal level. When the nervous system is slowed to a level where they can relax, the heart rate slows, which allows better concentration.

Benefit #3: Lessen Fatigue

There are various reasons that people experience fatigue and low energy. One of the most effective ways to combat fatigue is with Shiatsu and Thai massage. Patients that have massage treatments each week may experience less fatigue and have more energy. Chronic fatigue may be the result of high-stress levels that interfere with a good night’s sleep. Regular massage treatments can alleviate tension and allow your client to sleep peacefully.

Benefit #4: Improve Autoimmune System

The two different immune responses in the human body are TH1 and TH2. For the immune system to work as it should, both of these immune responses must be in balance. If one of the systems works excessively and the other isn’t responding as it should, autoimmune problems may be the result. A massage treatment can ensure the immune system is in balance by slowing down the production of stress hormones in the body. Fewer stress hormones mean that the body is able to manage autoimmune disorders, including:

  • Dermatitis
  • Type 1 Diabetes
  • Asthma

What is the Difference Between Shiatsu and Thai Massage?

There are many different massage techniques, two of which are Shiatsu and Thai massage. You may have wondered what the difference of these two massage techniques include. First let’s look at what is Shiatsu and Thai massage.

What is Shiatsu?

Shiatsu is a form of massage therapy that was originally practiced in Japan. The treatment is based on traditional medicine from Asia Pacific, combined with some Western medicine therapies. As a Shiatsu therapist, you will use the palms of your hands, fingers, and thumbs to apply pressure to various areas of the body to aid in correcting imbalances and relieving multiple painful conditions.

With Shiatsu, you apply pressure to increase the flow of energy throughout the client’s body and alleviate imbalances that cause pain and tension. In addition to relieving pain, anxiety, and stress, the treatments promote a feeling of relaxation and wellbeing. Shiatsu treatments can help to regulate the nervous system and improve the systems that control hormones, the lymphatic and circulatory systems. Among the conditions that Shiatsu is beneficial for are:

  • Bronchitis
  • Arthritis
  • Chronic Neck and Back Pain
  • Sciatica
  • Joint Pain
  • Sprains
  • Sinus Problems
  • Issues with Posture

Millions of people who have massage treatments state that they discussed massage therapy with their doctor. The majority of healthcare providers recommended the treatments to complement traditional medical care. Shiatsu can increase the natural painkillers in the body called endorphins. The treatments can reduce the heart rate and blood pressure to manageable levels.

Shiatsu is similar to physiotherapy, lymphatic drainage, and osteopathy. However, Shiatsu considers health problems as blockages in energy and imbalances in the body rather than a diagnosis of traditional health providers. Combined with acupressure and stretching exercises, Shiatsu can improve the bone structure and muscle tone.

What is Thai Massage?

Thai Massage is one of the oldest alternative health therapies and dates back to the time of Buddha. The technique is said to have been created by Buddha’s personal physician. Thai massage provides a feeling of relaxation. The treatment can relieve tension and pain in the muscles and joints and relieve stress. Thai Massage is helpful after a long trip to relieve sore muscles.

Thai Massage is usually administered with the client wearing a loose shirt and pants. The loose clothing offers a much more relaxing experience than clothes that restrict movement. You may use your hands, thumbs, knees, or elbows to apply pressure to various parts of the body. Rather than lying on a table, the client lies on the floor and is a more active participant in the treatment.

The Main Difference Between Shiatsu and Thai Massage

A Shiatsu treatment primarily consists of applying pressure and manipulating the pressure points. Shiatsu uses palm and finger pressure on the meridians to balance the body, mind, and spirit.

However, Thai massage is similar in some way to yoga. You mobilize, stretch, and pull the client’s body to relieve tension and stress. Thai Massage is designed to make the energy points of the body accessible and combines acupressure, yoga movements, and stretches to balance the body.

What Do You Need to Know to Help a Massage Client?

It’s a benefit to the client for you to be cross-trained or to learn multiple massage techniques. Being trained in more than one discipline can help you tailor your treatments to suit the needs of your client. As an excellent massage therapist, you get to know your clients not by just understanding what hurts at the time of their appointment but how they are physically and mentally. The more you know about the client, the more proficient you will be in helping them to attain their goals. To provide the most effective treatment, you must know about:

Injuries and Accidents

Shiatsu and Thai massage are excellent methods of promoting healing from an injury and can be beneficial in the rehabilitation and recovery process. When an injury is involved, it’s in the best interest of the client to provide as many details as possible. The more you understand about the injury, the more effectively it can be treated. You should be informed about previous injuries to prevent aggravating any area that may still be painful.

Client’s Medical History

Massage treatments are based on the concept of the body’s ability to heal itself. Although massages aren’t invasive like some treatments, the treatment can address a number of medical conditions including:

  • Fatigue from illness
  • Sleep disorders
  • Stress-related problems
  • Spinal injuries
  • Pain in the lower back
  • Autoimmune system issues
  • Eating disorders
  • Diabetes
  • Depression
  • High blood pressure

The client should always discuss their medical history with you so the treatment can be customized to suit their needs. Before beginning any treatment, you should discuss with the client all past and present medical issues.

Prescription Medications

The client should also provide information about any prescription medications they are currently taking. When massage treatments are incorporated to relieve stress and tension, the client may not think it’s essential to let you know about prescription and over-the-counter medications that they are using. What a lot of people don’t understand is how powerful massage treatments are in healing the mind and body. The treatments work on the cellular level and could hinder the purpose of any medications currently in use.

Where Will You Learn Shiatsu and Thai Massage?

For a career in massage therapy, you must enroll in an accredited, vocational school program. Vocational training prepares you to work as a massage therapist by teaching you the skills you need. Training to work as a practitioner can be completed in less than a year. After passing the licensing exam, you are prepared for entry-level positions as a massage therapist. You will learn how to determine the most effective treatment plan for each client.

Final Thoughts

A lot of the course involves clinical lab work so you will gain the skills you need to heal clients naturally by correcting imbalances in the body. Adding Shiatsu and Thai massage to your knowledge of massage therapy will help you give a well-rounded treatment to your clients and help them with any issues they have.

Did learning about Shiatsu and Thai massage interest you? Want to learn more about a massage therapy program? Broadview University developed the Massage Therapy certificate program with your future in mind. The certificate program is designed to emphasize skills and knowledge for entry-level employment as a massage therapist. The Massage Therapy program at Broadview University prepares students to take the MBLEx licensing exam offered by the Federation of State Massage Therapy Board (FSMTB). Upon completion of the program, students will be eligible for professional membership in such associations as the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) and the Association of Bodywork and Massage Professionals (ABMP).

Contact us today to learn more about becoming a massage therapist.

What Type of Degree Do You Need to be a Massage Therapist?

Students in class training to become a massage therapist

Interested in becoming a massage therapist but want to know what education you need to become licensed? You should know that you don’t have to attend a 4-year college to become a licensed massage therapist. All you need to do is complete a certification program at your local vocational school and pass the MBLEx licensing exam. This will allow you to apply for licensing from the city, county or state, depending on your community licensing practices. The massage therapy certification program will prepare you for the MBLEx licensing exam and get you started on your path to a new and exciting career.

The Steps to Becoming A Massage Therapist

As the demand grows for massage therapy, so does the need for high-quality, comprehensively educated and trained massage therapists who’ve earned a certification. However, achieving your massage therapy diploma takes dedication and work. There are four necessary steps to becoming a massage therapist.

Step #1: Complete an Accredited Massage Therapy Program

A prospective massage therapist needs to complete a certificate, degree, or diploma program at an accredited state-approved school. Accreditation of a program ensures the education provided meets the required quality training level. Also, most states require a minimum time of training. During a massage therapy program, you will study:

Kinesiology – Studies the mechanics of movement and how it impacts the body’s health and overall well-being.

Business preparation – Learn business strategies to run and market your massage therapy practice.

Physiology – Refers to the in-depth knowledge regarding the body’s systems’ inner workings to develop treatment strategies that are safe and effective.

Anatomy – Studying biological science regarding locating, identifying, and describing the body structures.

Medical terminology – Medical terminology is the language used to describe the human body’s components and processes, medical procedures, diseases, disorders, and pharmacology. In simpler terms, it means the vocabulary that medical professionals use to refer to the body, what the body does, and the medical treatments prescribed in their particular field.

Step #2: Complete All Practical Requirements

Practical training means the opportunity to adapt and practice what you learn and develop skills professionally. Practical training in massage therapy aims to help you develop the massage skills that support professional studies, prepare you to receive a certification, pass the city, county or state exam, and, eventually, obtain employment. Each state has a required number of hands-on experience hours students must satisfy before getting their license. Practical training must be well-planned and adequately supervised through an externship or working at the school’s in-house massage clinic.

Step #3: Passing the State Licensing Examination

After completing the massage therapy education program, students need to pass a licensing exam. Massage school graduates take a specialized exam created by the state known as Massage and Bodywork Licensing Examination or MBLEx. The MBLEx is a 100-question test requires completion in just under two hours. Areas covered by this exam include kinesiology, ethics, client assessments, and massage’s physiological effects.

Step #4: Apply for State Licensure

Requirements to obtain a massage therapist license vary from state to state. Prospective massage therapists must put in an application and prove that they satisfied the licensure requirements. Those who want to pursue a massage therapy career find information regarding each state’s licensing guidelines on the American Massage Therapy Association’s website, otherwise known as the AMTA.

Types of Massage Techniques

A little-known fact, there are many different variants of techniques in massage therapy, with new ones in development all the time. Here are some techniques you’ll learn when attending a massage therapy program:

Swedish Massage

This technique adds flexibility to the ligaments and tendons, increases blood flow to the skin, stimulates the nervous system, and relieves physical stress. By placing pressure on the muscles and the skeletal system, you enhance the client’s blood oxygen flow and elevate the muscles’ toxin removal. The Swedish massage further helps flush out uric acid, lactic acid, and other harmful toxins from the body tissue.

Shiatsu

Shiatsu massage is a combination of Chinese medicines and acupressure. The pressure gets applied through hand manipulation instead of the use of needles. The vital force, termed as chi, flows through connected channels in the body called meridians. Blockages within those channels cause fatigue, pain, depression, and stress, the root cause of diseases. In this massage therapy, step by step pressure, applied to the meridians’ pressure points, stimulates the nerves and tissues, and enhances chi’s flow in those meridians.

Reflexology

During reflexology therapy, blockages get released, healing and revitalizing the entire body. Free flow of energy gets restored in specific areas by working on points within the hands and feet. The free-flowing energy helps blood circulation, detoxification of the blood, and proper nerve functioning.

Deep Tissue Massage

Deep tissue is a technique used to treat musculoskeletal problems, like strains from sports injuries, through applying sustained pressure involving deep, slow strokes targeting the muscles and the inner layers of connective tissue. During a deep tissue massage, discomfort, described as a “good hurt,” is normal and felt if there are general inconsistencies in the body tissue.

Sports Massage

This technique, used to help athletes attain peak performance, helps diminish muscle fatigue, relieves swelling, and reduces tension. However, therapeutic sports massage isn’t just for athletes anymore; it also treats soft tissue aches and pain from injuries associated with everyday recreational activities. Sports massage incorporates other massage techniques to provide an in-depth and rehabilitating process that manipulates the soft tissue to prevent damage, rid the soft tissue of stress, and alleviate muscle and tendon pain.

Chair Massage

Chair massage is a versatile yet highly effective massage technique, focusing on the back, shoulders, neck, arms, and head. On average, this massage lasts for 15 minutes while the client is fully clothed and seated upright in a position that resembles sitting backward. This massage is ideal for instant stress relief when time and resources are limited. Chair massage is designed to relax the muscles, improve flexibility, and ease movement.

Hot Stone Massage

Hot stone massage helps bolster relaxation, relieve muscle pain, and release tension. This technique is a type of therapeutic massage similar to a Swedish massage, but you will use heated stones combined with hand manipulations. Hot stone massage eases muscle tension, improves blood flow, alleviates pain, promotes relaxation, and relieves stress. During a hot stone massage, heated stones are placed on various areas of the body. You will also hold a stone as you massage different parts of the body utilizing the Swedish techniques.

Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy adds an emotional healing component to the massage through the sense of smell, combining relaxing, gentle pressure with essential oils. During a session lasting 60 to 90 minutes, the client receives a full-body massage during which they inhale essential oils through a diffuser and the skin. Various essential oils are available for aromatherapy and typically depend upon the client’s issue or preference.

Trigger Point Massage

Trigger point benefits people who experience chronic pain, injuries, or a specific issue. Sometimes areas of tightness in the muscle tissues, known as trigger points, cause pain in various other body locations by focusing on applying pressure to specific trigger points. Trigger point massage utilizes broad, flowing, gentle strokes combined with more robust, deeper pressure. The technique includes the entire body or focuses on specific areas of your client’s body that need to be released depending on the purpose of the client’s visit.

A Day in The Life of a Massage Therapist

A typical day for a massage therapist is anything but ordinary. In addition to massage, you help assess the range of motion and muscle strength of a client or propose client therapy plans. Other tasks include:

  • Confer with clients regarding medical history and health problems.
  • Determine what course of treatment that will benefit the client.
  • Maintain treatment records.
  • Possibility of traveling to clients’ office or home.
  • Provide clients with guidance and information about postural improvement techniques.
  • Recommend home routines for stretching, strengthening, relaxation, and rehabilitation exercises.
  • Perform other adjunctive therapies or treatment techniques.

Various Work Settings

While massage therapists work in various work environments, sole practitioners account for the biggest group of practicing massage therapists. Of this group, most work part of their time in a client’s home, business, or corporate facility, while a few work in a health care setting, in a spa setting, or out of their home. Other places therapists work:

  • Hospitals
  • Wellness centers
  • Nursing homes
  • Hospice
  • Chiropractic offices
  • On-site seated massage (airports, malls, public events)
  • Health clubs
  • Fitness centers
  • Sports teams
  • Hotels
  • Spas
  • Salons
  • Cruise ships
  • Resorts

Why Become a Massage Therapist?

Massage therapy is projected to grow 21 percent from 2019 to 2029, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. More and more healthcare providers understand the benefits, increasing the demand for these services to become part of a patient’s holistic treatment plan.

Final Thoughts

When you graduate from an accredited program, receive your certification, diploma or degree, pass your MBLEx exam and gain a license, you become a licensed professional in one of the country’s most in-demand careers. This career offers job availability in multiple related specialty areas, like sports massage, prenatal and infant massage therapy, and Swedish massage to name a few. Being a massage therapist is a lucrative, flexible, and rewarding career path. Once you are licensed, the sky’s the limit.

Now that you know you can become a licensed massage therapist with a certification, diploma or degree, want to learn more about a massage therapy program? Broadview University developed the Massage Therapy certificate program with your future in mind. The certificate program is designed to emphasize skills and knowledge for entry-level employment as a massage therapist. The Massage Therapy program at Broadview University prepares students to take the MBLEx licensing exam offered by the Federation of State Massage Therapy Board (FSMTB). Upon completion of the program, students will be eligible for professional membership in such associations as the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) and the Association of Bodywork and Massage Professionals (ABMP).

Contact us today to learn more about becoming a massage therapist.

What Does Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Include?

Man practicing Traditional Chinese Medicine

Interested in learning about massage therapy and the influence of traditional Chinese medicine? Massage therapists learn different techniques that help them curate massage routines and relieve the stress and pain of their clients. Some of the more common massage techniques that massage therapist learn include Swedish massage, deep tissue massage, and trigger point therapy. One technique that influences a massage therapist’s training and services is Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).

What Does Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Include?

Traditional Chinese medicine helps to prevent, diagnose and treat diseases. TCM is based on the Qi, the body’s vital energy, that flows along meridians in the body to keep a person’s spiritual, emotional, mental and physical health in balance, according to the National Cancer Institute. The body is balanced by two opposing forces, the Yin and Yang. Half of a body’s organs are considered Yin and the other half Yang. When the Yin/Yang is out of balance it causes a blockage of Qi. These imbalances can be caused by stress, pollution, poor diet, emotion and infection.

Traditional Chinese medicine proposes that every organ in the body is made up of five elements, fire, earth, metal, water and wood. Made up of these elements, the body represents the larger surrounding universe and is interconnected with nature. It is the elements of nature that will help balance the body, relieve pain and reduce stress.

The Different Treatments to Regain Balance in TCM

Traditional Chinese medicine includes acupuncture, diet, herbal therapy, meditation, physical exercise, cupping and massage (Tunia).

Acupuncture – involves the insertion of very thin needles in strategic points on the body. It is used to treat pain, improve overall wellness and manage stress. By inserting the needles into specific points of the body’s meridians, the client’s energy flow will re-balance.

TCM Diet – foods are thought to have warming and cooling properties, that in turn have specific healing properties. Traditional Chinese medicine embraces eating locally and growing foods organically to align with the tastes, temperatures, colors and seasons. This diet encourages balance, clean burning digestion, and a functioning body full of energy.

Herbal Therapy – a TCM practitioner will create a formula of herbs that can change, depending on a patient’s needs. The combination of herbs includes astragauls, cinnamon, ginkgo biloba, ginger, and ginseng, to name a few.

Meditation – technique that encourages a heightened state of awareness and focused attention. Meditation can help with stress, relieve headaches, reduce the symptoms of anxiety and depression, and improve self-awareness.

Physical Exercise – traditional Chinese medicine focuses on movement and concentration exercises like Tai Chi. Tai Chi cultivates the life energy within and flows smoothly and powerfully throughout the body. Described as meditation in motion, Tai Chi is a low impact exercise that utilizes the natural weight of the body to exercise the muscles.

Cupping – the use of warmed glass jars to create suction on certain points of the body. Cupping can help with pain reduction, reduced inflammation, increased blood flow, relaxation and increased well-being.

Tuina – a type of bodywork that combines massage and acupressure. Helps certain health problems like chronic fatigue syndrome, migraines, insomnia, and other disorders that cause the imbalance of the body that result in increased pain.

What is Tuina?

During a massage therapy program at a vocational school, students learn the art of traditional Chinese medicine and how it overlaps with massage. Tuina is a bodywork that combines massage and acupressure. Tuina helps stimulate the flow of energy or Chi throughout the body. This bodywork technique helps remove blockages and restore the body’s balance to improve the body’s health.

Why is Tuina Used?

This form of bodywork helps treat many disorders and diseases of the body. These body conditions that cause pain, stress, high blood pressure and poor mood include:

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – numbness, tingling or weakness of the hand caused by a pinched nerve in the lower arm. This disorder can lead to slower nerve impulses, less feeling in the fingers and poor coordination of the hand.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome – extreme fatigue that can’t be explained by an underlying medical condition. Symptoms include poor sleep, difficulties with memory, focus and concentration and dizziness when lying down or standing too fast.

Fibromyalgia – a disorder that causes widespread pain, fatigue, sleep problems and memory and mood issues.

Insomnia – trouble falling or staying asleep. This disorder can be caused by stress, noise, light, temperature, and changes to a sleep schedule. It can also be caused by mental health, medication, diet, and other triggers.

Headache and Migraine – from pain in the head to severe throbbing causing nausea, vomiting and extreme sensitivity to light and sound.

Muscle Spasms – a slight twitch or painful cramp in a part of the body. The muscle spasm may last from a few seconds to several minutes.

Sciatica – a shooting pain down the sciatic nerve from the lower back through the hips and buttocks down the leg.

What are the Health Benefits of Traditional Chinese Medicine?

There are many different health benefits for traditional Chinese medicine that can address specific diseases and disorders. These benefits include:

Reduced Stress – those with increased stress have headaches, stiff muscles, muscle pain and overall discomfort. Stress can also increase blood pressure, cause poor mood and increased weight gain.

Lower Blood Pressure – the reduction of stress and increased relaxation can cause blood pressure to improve.

Reduced Pain – many disorders like arthritis, Fibromyalgia and Sciatica can cause pain. The use of traditional Chinese medicine can supplement traditional medicine in the reduction of pain in the body. While traditional medicine mutes the pain receptors in the body, traditional Chinese medicine works to relieve stress, improve mood, and remove toxins in an effort to re-balance the body, thus reducing pain.

Improved Mood – the release of endorphins induced by massage, acupressure and acupuncture can help improve mood. Disorders like depression and insomnia can be resolved with the help of traditional Chinese medicine.

Clearer Skin – the use of herbs, the reduction of toxins and improvements in diet will improve skin health and help patients achieve clearer skin.

Weight Management – traditional Chinese medicine embraces eating locally and growing organically that align with the tastes, temperatures, colors and seasons. This diet helps manage obesity, while the massage and acupressure relieve pain that allows the patient to perform physical exercises like Tai Chi.

Final Thoughts

Every technique whether traditional, herbal, supplemental or holistic is worth using for clients that are suffering from stress, pain and discomfort. Learn the art of massage with the help of traditional Chinese medicine and start a career as a massage therapist. You will be trained to help your clients both physically and mentally.

Did learning about how massage therapy uses traditional Chinese medicine interest you? Want to learn more about a massage therapy program? Broadview University developed the Massage Therapy certificate program with your future in mind. The certificate program is designed to emphasize skills and knowledge for entry-level employment as a massage therapist. The Massage Therapy program at Broadview University prepares students to take the MBLEx licensing exam offered by the Federation of State Massage Therapy Board (FSMTB). Upon completion of the program, students will be eligible for professional membership in such associations as the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) and the Association of Bodywork and Massage Professionals (ABMP).

Contact us today to learn more about becoming a massage therapist.

What is Active Release Therapy (ART)?

Massage therapist helping a client by using active release therapy

Are you interested in learning more about the advanced techniques of massage? One of the advanced techniques is the art of active release therapy. This technique can help your clients reduce pain and inflammation while breaking up scar tissue and restoring blood circulation to the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and fascia. Active release therapy (ART) is taught during massage therapy programs at Broadview University. With these skills you can help those in pain and reduce suffering one massage at a time.

What is Active Release Therapy (ART)? 

Active release therapy is a massage therapy technique that works to correct soft tissue restrictions, reduced range of motion and pain. This technique breaks down scar tissue and adhesions to improve body mobility. This technique focuses on the body’s muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves and fascia. The difference between active release therapy and other forms of massage is that the client will move in a sliding motion in tandem while you, the massage therapist, apply pressure to the tender or injured area. You will work with the client to perform active release therapy.

Muscles

Muscles are soft tissue and classified as cardiac, smooth and skeletal. According to the Library of Congress, cardiac muscles make up the wall of the heart. Smooth muscles make up the walls in many bodily organs like the intestine, blood vessels and eyes. Skeletal muscles are attached to the body’s bones. Skeletal muscles can come in pairs and allow us to raise our arms or walk. One muscle contracts while the other extends. As the arm or leg moves back, the opposite muscle movement occurs. As we walk, our leg muscles are in a constant flow of contraction and extension.

Tendons

Tendons are made up of fibrous connective tissue that attach muscles to bone. The job of a tendon is to move the bone or body structure (like an eye for example). A tendon can become injured as the result of many tiny tears that happen over time, usually diagnosed as tendonitis.

Ligaments

Ligaments are a fibrous connective collagen that attaches bone to bone. They hold body structures together and prevent them from bending, twisting and tearing. Ligaments also maintain the body’s stability.

Nerves

The nervous system transmits signals from the brain to parts of the body to coordinate action. There are two types of nerves, sensory and motor. Sensory nerves carry impulses from sensory receptors to the brain. Conversely, motor nerves carry impulses away from the brain to different body parts. There are two places in the body that nerves converge, the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system. The central nervous, in the brand and spinal cord, are central. Whereas peripheral nerves are stored in the limbs outside of the skull and vertebral canal of the spine.

Fascia

Fascia is the thin casing of connective tissue that surrounds the body’s organs, blood vessels, nerves, and muscles to hold them in place. Active release therapy can help with fascia restrictions caused by poor posture, muscle overuse, inflammation, sedentary habits, poor stretching, and stress. ART can help lengthen restricted fascia and restore properly blood flow to reduce inflammation.

How Does Active Release Therapy Work?

The massage element of active release therapy involves precise pressure that helps to break up dense collections of scar tissue or adhesions that form on injured muscles and fascia. As a massage therapist, you will apply deep tension to the tender area allowing the client to stretch and elongate their muscles. You will work with the client in a sliding motion to help elongate the soft tissue, nerves, ligaments and muscle beneath the tender point.

What are the Conditions Treated with Active Release Therapy?

There are many different conditions that can be treated with active release therapy. The following conditions are:

General Pain in the Upper Body – whether acute or chronic, active release therapy can reduce pain by breaking up scar tissue and removing adhesions from the affected area. The back, shoulder and neck are common locations that are subject to pain. Active release therapy can target the tenderness with pressure to reduce inflammation and restore blood flow.

Bursitis – the inflammation of small, fluid-filled sacs that cushion the bones, tendons and muscles. This disorder is characterized as pain in the shoulders, elbow, hips, knee, heel and base of the big toe. Bursitis usually occurs from repetitive motion near the body’s joints, when the motion or body position puts pressure on the bursae (small, fluid-filled sacs). This disorder can afflict those that lean on their elbows, kneel for long periods of time or lift items above their head repeatedly. Active release therapy helps to elongate muscles and tendons that have constricted, allowing the bursae to heal properly.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – can cause pain, numbness and weakness in the wrist and hand. After repetitive work like typing, the nerve in the wrist gets compressed. A massage therapist will use active release therapy to massage the forearm, relieving stress and removing scar tissue that has built up over time.

Frozen Shoulder – this isa disorder characterized by stiffness and pain in the shoulder joint. Active release therapy allows the shoulder to stretch and regain full range of motion.

Plantar Fasciitis – a repetitive strain injury in the ligament on the bottom of the foot. This injury is caused by excessive running, poor footwear or heavy landing from a jump. Plantar fasciitis is characterized by a stabbing pain in the heel of the foot.

Runner’s Knee – also known as patellofemoral pain syndrome, a chronic pain in the knee occurs due to overuse, a blow to the knee, weak thigh muscles, tight hamstrings, bone misalignment, poor posture or balance and a breakdown of cartilage under the kneecap. It is characterized as a dull pain in the front of the knee where the knee connects with the thighbone. There might even be a rubbing, grinding or clicking sound in the kneecap.

Sciatica – a pain along the sciatic nerve that runs down the leg from the rear and lower back. The pain is caused by a slipped disk or bone spur on the spine that is pressing a nerve. This condition causes inflammation, pain and some numbness. The combination of active release therapy, proper posture and managing the body while standing for long periods of time is what will reduce the pain that travels down the sciatic nerve.

Shin Splints – microtears in the muscle and bone tissue caused by overuse from running and dancing. This disorder is characterized by a pain along the shin bone and mild swelling in the lower leg.

Swimmer’s Shoulder – a common disorder for athletes that perform repetitive movements with their shoulder, similar to the butterfly in swimming. This disorder is characterized by shoulder soreness, difficulty reaching or extending the arm overhead. Other symptoms include pain or inflammation in the shoulder, pain that worsens during rest, and reduced range of motion. Active release therapy helps the athlete regain full range of motion through simultaneous stretch and pressure applied to the tender part of the shoulder.

Tendinitis – an inflammation of the tendon that attaches muscle to bone. This disorder is characterized by dull ache, mild swelling and tenderness just outside a joint. Some specific body parts that have specialized names for tendonitis include tennis elbow, pitcher’s or swimmer’s shoulder, and jumper’s knee. Tendinitis is typically caused by repetitive movement. Active release therapy can help remove scar tissue, improve blood circulation and allow the tendons to reduce inflammation.

Tennis Elbow – often associated with tennis as a player swings a racket with a repetitive motion of the wrist and arm, tennis elbow can cause pain in the tendons around the elbow. As with tendinitis, active release therapy helps reduce inflammation through the breakdown of scar tissue and increased blood flow.

What are the Benefits of Active Release Therapy?

There are many different benefits of active release therapy. Whether it is increased range of motion or improved circulation, the main benefit from active release therapy is reduced inflammation. Inflammation is what causes most range of motion issues, impaired mobility, increased scar tissue, and poor circulation. Reduce inflammation and the body can return to its previous status, with a little bit of exercise, stretching and strength training to supplement recovery.

Benefit #1: Flexibility

Active release therapy allows muscles and joints to return to a full range of motion. Stiffness and a lack of stretching before exercise can cause injury.

Benefit #2: Improved Mobility

Restricted mobility is a common complaint with inflammation. The swelling and pain inhibit a person’s ability to move their muscles through a full range of motion. With the help of active release therapy and strength training, clients can improve mobility and return to full range of motion.

Benefit #3: Increased Strength

After active release therapy, the client is able to do exercise to strengthen the shortened and contracted muscles. If strength training is continued without active release therapy and removal of the adhesions, more restriction will occur to the soft tissue and only perpetuate the injury.

Benefit #4: Reduction of Scar Tissue

Scar tissue can cause inflammation and works to connect injured tissue. When a muscle has scar tissue, it is shorter and weaker. Active release therapy massages and breaks up scar tissue allowing the muscles to regain its original length. This also helps reduce inflammation and pain.

Benefit #5: Improved Circulation

Exercise, overuse and inflammation can cause muscles, tendons, and fascia to restrict which in turn reduces blood flow. After strenuous exercise the body’s muscles are contracted and can stay in that state if they are inflamed. Active release therapy helps elongate muscles and unbind fascia to improve circulation and increase blood flow.

Benefit #6: Reduced Inflammation

Ultimately, it is inflammation that causes much of the restriction to the client. Whether it is scar tissue, reduced blood flow or contracted muscles, inflammation can cause swelling, pain and mobility issues. Using active release therapy to breakdown scar tissue, remove adhesions and reduce inflammation, helps your client improve blood flow and allows them to engage in exercise and strength training without further harm to their muscles, joints, tendons, ligaments and fascia.

Final Thoughts

If you are interested in helping those with pain then learning active release therapy during a massage therapy program may be the right choice for you. Start earning in under a year by attending a massage therapy program at your local vocational school.

Career Services at Broadview University

Broadview University’s commitment to your future doesn’t end at graduation. We provide ongoing career services both during and after your time at Broadview, so you can prepare for your future career. Our staff is dedicated to helping you work toward your career goal and will help you through every step of your career search. They’ll even offer one-on-one workshops and assistance with, resumes and cover letters, completing online applications, mock interviews, job fairs and networking. As part of your massage therapy program, you’ll take a capstone course which will help develop career-planning strategies for entering or advancing in massage therapy.

Massage Therapy Program at Broadview University

Did learning about active release therapy interest you? Want to learn more about a massage therapy program? Broadview University developed the Massage Therapy certificate program with your future in mind. The certificate program is designed to emphasize skills and knowledge for entry-level employment as a massage therapist. The Massage Therapy program at Broadview University prepares students to take the MBLEx licensing exam offered by the Federation of State Massage Therapy Board (FSMTB). Upon completion of the program, students will be eligible for professional membership in such associations as the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) and the Association of Bodywork and Massage Professionals (ABMP).

Contact us today to learn more about becoming a massage therapist.

What is Bodywork Massage Therapy?

client receiving bodywork massage therapy

Interested in learning more about bodywork massage therapy? A massage therapist is a professional that’s trained to relieve pain and stress in the body by manipulating soft tissue. The soft tissue in the body includes the ligaments, connective tissue, tendons, and muscles. After earning a certificate as a massage therapist and learning different bodywork techniques, you can advance your career by specializing in different bodywork therapies.

What Is Bodywork Therapy?

Bodywork is a generic term that refers to re-aligning and manipulating different areas of the body to reduce pain, stiffness and improve the function of the body and the mind. The supplement to traditional medicine incorporates different methods to heal clients holistically. The practitioner uses techniques that will enhance the client’s posture and the range of motion.

In massage therapy, the practitioner uses oils or lotions to reduce the amount of friction to the client’s muscles. During bodywork therapy, oils and lotions aren’t usually used. A massage therapist focuses on the fascia. The fascia is the connective tissue that covers the body’s internal organs and muscles. By stretching, warming, and relaxing the connective tissue, tension, and pain in the muscles are released.

What is the Purpose of Bodywork Massage Therapy?

The purpose of bodywork therapy is to improve how the fascia functions, decrease discomfort, make movement more manageable, and provide the client with increased energy. Another way bodywork therapy is beneficial is in healing sports injuries, to prevent further damage to the muscles. Athletes and dancers find this bodywork treatment helps in preventing injuries.

Learning how to use one’s body safely and effectively is one of the goals of bodywork. The treatment is referred to as holistic because the massage therapist may incorporate guided imagery or visualization techniques to make the client more self-aware. Teaching clients how to break old patterns of movement is one of the methods practitioners may utilize.

How Is Bodywork Therapy Performed?

Bodywork uses different techniques to release the body’s energy and relieve pain and tension. Unlike traditional massage, bodywork focuses on the mind-body connection. The massage therapist chooses the method that will benefit the client based on the initial assessment.

Bodywork may leave client feeling sore after the first few sessions, but this usually diminishes as the treatment starts to have positive effects on the muscles and deep tissue.

What Are Some of the Common Types of Bodywork?

There are a wide variety of bodywork techniques. Each with their own benefits. These bodywork techniques include:

Craniosacral Therapy

CST or Craniosacral Therapy is a therapy in which the massage practitioner manipulates the skull, the membranes that cover the spinal cord and skull, and sometimes the bones in the face. The bodywork treatment is designed to create an adequate distribution of the cerebrospinal fluid. For this type of treatment, the patient lies on a table while the massage practitioner presses on the spine or skull, using a gentle touch. When the cerebrospinal fluid isn’t flowing naturally, the massage therapist must identify where the interruption of the flow and abnormalities are. Soft manipulation with the hands and fingers can release the abnormalities and create a normal flow. CST is especially useful for migraines, problems with the sinuses, ringing in the ears, and head injuries.

Hellerwork

The purpose of Hellerwork is to release tension in the fascia. Physical stress can result in the fascia getting rigid and stiff, which can cause pain and stiffness. A massage practitioner begins a session by working with the connective tissue to release fascia stress. Once the tension begins to diminish, the practitioner educates the client about movement education with the use of videos. Clients learn new methods of movement that keep their bodies in alignment. The third portion of the bodywork treatment is a constructive dialogue between the practitioner and client to teach about how emotions can affect stress levels in their muscles.

Rolfing

Rolfing is a holistic type of bodywork therapy that manipulates soft tissue to balance the body and get the structure of the myofascial into alignment. Ida Rolf, the founder of this holistic method, studied with alternative health practitioners. She created a technique called structural integration.

Initial Rolfing treatments consist of multiple sessions. Each Rolfing session is a duration of around an hour. Practitioners usually recommend that clients have advanced sessions every few months. The massage therapist uses hands, knuckles, elbows, and fingers to make the connective tissue soft and more pliable. When the body’s deep tissue is pliable, the muscles can lengthen and will be appropriately aligned.

Shiatsu

Shiatsu has been practiced in Japan for centuries and is considered to be the oldest type of bodywork massage therapy. In Japanese, Shiatsu means finger pressure. Shiatsu is similar to acupuncture. Both are based on the concept that energy or Ki flows through the body and the meridians through which energy travels to the body’s organs. According to Asian beliefs, Shiatsu unblocks the energy and redistributes it so it goes to where it’s needed within the body. Shiatsu helps stimulate endorphins and relieve pain.

The first Shiatsu treatment involves the massage therapist conducting an assessment of the client’s health. The practitioner evaluates the client’s skin tone, condition of their hair, and posture. The massage therapist uses this information with the energy level of the client for the most effective treatment. The practitioner uses pressure with their fingers to locate the trigger points where energy collects. Pressure on these points releases the energy, so it’s distributed to parts of the body where it’s needed.

Trigger Point Therapy

Myotherapy, also referred to as Trigger Point Therapy, is a form of treatment that relieves pain in the musculoskeletal system by applying pressure to the body’s trigger points. Trigger points may be within the muscles or in other susceptible spots within the body. When the trigger points are located, the pressure helps to relieve tension and pain.

What Are the Benefits of Bodywork Therapy?

Medical experts estimate that a significant proportion of disease is the result of stress. Bodywork is a natural method of managing stress. Reduced stress levels result in more restful sleep, less fatigue, more energy, better circulation, and improved concentration. Better, overall health is a benefit of bodywork, including:

  • The lymphatic system is stimulated, which helps build immunity to disease.
  • Less pain in the lower back.
  • Joints become more flexible and less painful.
  • Scar tissue can be reduced when treatments regenerate the skin.
  • Swelling and adhesions following surgery can be reduced.
  • Muscles that suffer from overuse following strenuous activity are relaxed and pliable.
  • Endorphins that reduce pain are released.
  • Clients have fewer incidents of anxiety and depression.
  • Holistic treatments reduce the need for prescription medications.
  • More oxygen is pumped into the organs and tissue of the body and improves circulation.

What Are the Essential Bodywork Therapy Skills?

Massage therapists treat several clients each day and require a lot of stamina. Standing for long periods and kneading muscles with the hands and fingers requires a lot of dexterity. Knowledge of physiology is a must for a massage therapist. They must know how tissue, muscles, and organs function to treat clients and alleviate pain and stress. This is learned during a massage therapy program at a vocational school.

Any professional who works with the public must have excellent communication skills. It’s essential to listen closely to clients, ask questions, so the massage therapist understands what treatment will be most effective, and make sure the client understands the procedure. It would be best if the massage therapist always treated clients with compassion.

Final Thoughts

Do you have an interest in holistic medicine? Ready to help others relieve stress and reduce pain with massage therapy? Attending a massage therapy program will give you the massage skills and bodywork knowledge needed to succeed in this new career. Be a general massage practitioner or choose a specialty, the choice is yours.

Did learning about bodywork therapy interest you? Want to learn more about a massage therapy program? Broadview University developed the Massage Therapy certificate program with your future in mind. The certificate program is designed to emphasize skills and knowledge for entry-level employment as a massage therapist. The Massage Therapy program at Broadview University prepares students to take the MBLEx licensing exam offered by the Federation of State Massage Therapy Board (FSMTB). Upon completion of the program, students will be eligible for professional membership in such associations as the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) and the Association of Bodywork and Massage Professionals (ABMP).

Contact us today to learn more about becoming a massage therapist.

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