Massage, Bodywork and Somatic Therapies

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Massage, Bodywork and Somatic Therapies
Massage or massage therapy are systems of structured palpation or movement of the soft tissue of the body. For simplicity’s sake, massage or massage therapy are often used interchangeably to describe more than 250 massage, bodywork and somatic therapies or modalities. The massage system may include, but is not limited to, such techniques as, stroking, kneading, gliding, percussion, friction, vibration, compression, passive or active stretching within the normal anatomical range of movement; effleurage (either firm or light soothing, stroking movement, without dragging the skin, using either padded parts of fingertips or palms); petrissage (lifting or picking up muscles and rolling the folds of skin); or tapotement (striking with the side of the hand, usually with partly flexed fingers, rhythmic movements with fingers or short rapid movements of sides of the hand).

These techniques may be applied with or without the aid of lubricants, salt or herbal preparations, hydromassage, thermal massage or a massage device that mimics or enhances the actions possible by human hands. The purpose of the practice of massage is to enhance the general health and well-being of the recipient. Massage does not include the diagnosis of a specific pathology, the prescription of drugs or controlled substances, spinal manipulation or those acts of physical therapy that are outside the scope of massage therapy.

An outgrowth of massage and other systems is bodywork, defined as various forms of touch therapies that may use manipulation, movement and/or repatterning to affect structural changes to the body.

Somatic means of the body and is often used to denote a body/mind or whole-body approach, as distinguished from a physiology-only perspective.