MASSAGE THERAPY is a profession in which the practitioner applies manual techniques, and may apply adjunctive therapies, with the intention of positively affecting the health and well-being of the client.
MASSAGE is manual soft tissue manipulation, and includes holding, causing movement, and/or applying pressure to the body.
THERAPY is a series of actions aimed at achieving or increasing health and wellness.
MANUAL means by use of hand or body.
Massage Therapy is well known for reducing stress and promoting relaxation. And, a growing body of research also shows that massage therapy is effective for relieving and managing chronic and acute pain, a significant national health problem. According to the National Institute for Health, more than one-third of all Americans will suffer from chronic pain at some point in their lives, and approximately 14 percent of all employees take time off from work due to pain. Increasingly, massage therapists are being incorporated into pain management programs of hospitals and health care organizations. The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations has suggested massage therapy as one means to manage pain without use of pharmaceuticals.
According to a recent American Hospital Association survey about their use of CAM (complementary and alternative medicine) therapies, among the 1,007 hospitals responding, nearly 82 percent of the hospitals offering CAM therapies included massage therapy among their health care offerings -- with more than 70 percent utilizing massage therapy for pain management and relief. In a recent consumer survey commissioned by AMTA, 91 percent of respondents agreed that massage therapy can be effective in reducing pain, and nearly half of those polled (47 percent) have had a massage specifically for the purpose of relieving pain.
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