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Macrobiotic Nutritional Counseling, Magnetic Therapy, Mandala, Mantrum, Mantra, Manual Lymph Drainage, MLD, Mariel, Martial Arts, Massage, Massotherapy, Medical Intuitive, Meditation, Mesmerism, MET, Metaphysics, Mud Bath, Muscle Energy Technique, Muscle Testing, Myofascial Release, Myotherapy,


Top of Definitions

Definitions of  Massage, Bodywork, Energy, Alternative Medicine & Healing Modalities

No statements in the definitions below should be considered to be medical advice or taken as advice against seeking medical treatment, but are provided purely for their educational value. In the case of  serious acute, chronic or degenerative conditions immediately seek competent medical advice from your primary health care provider.
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Macrobiotic Nutritional Counseling - 'macrobiotic' literally means long life or large life.  Determining what food you eat, by what foods grow in the area, what season it is, what condition your body is in, your age, sex and level of physical activity.  Used to balance our internal energies, yin and yang, using organic whole  grains, beans,  vegetables and fruit.  Our teeth show us that we are basically vegetarians, most of our teeth grind grains or pulverize vegetables.  This is confirmed by the length of our intestines  and the pH  of our digestive juice.

Magnetic Therapy - Also known as magnetic field therapy, it involves the use of magnets and electromagnetic devices to generate controlled magnetic fields useful in medical diagnosis (Magetic Resonance Imaging - MRI) and treatment. There are two types of magnets used in  therapy: polarized or static like the small ceramic "button" magnets sold in wrist bands and mattresses and the oscillating or pulsed magnetic devices found in clinics. Most of the scientific research has been done using oscillating or pulsed magnetic devices in clinical settings.   Based on the scientific principle that the cells of the body are electrically charged. The  activity of these cells may be increased or inhibited with magnetic therapy. Varying the pulse rate may either cause vasoconstriction or vasodilatation of blood vessels, enhanced bone fracture healing, pain reduction through inhibition of nerve pain impulse transmission and stimulation of soft tissue healing. ( See also Electromagnetism )

Mandala - Mandala is the sanskrit word for sacred circle.  The circle is a symbol of wholeness and harmony, a connection to the source of all life  which  is held sacred in many cultures and faith traditions.  Mandalas offer a path to healing and transformative  powers through art, light and sound.  Mandalas move beyond limitation into the world of  possibility, awakening the inner realm of peace, discovering  your creative potential,  illuminating your soul intuition and sense of self  to experience the love of uncovering your inner radiance.

Mantrum ( also Mantra )- A devotional phrase that is repeated over and over to reach higher mental and spiritual states.  Every mantrum has a physical, audible sound, creating sound waves of a specific nature.  The higher vibrational, inaudible sounds in the mantrum create mental and spiritual energy waves.  When supplemented with a sincere belief and spiritual attitude, mantrums are effectively used for healing.  The word, with the breath and the consciousness, form a vital combination of energies that amplify the results.

Manual Lymph Massage or Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) - is a descendant of Swedish massage.  The strokes applied are intended to stimulate the  movement of the lymphatic fluids in order to assist the body in cleansing.  The most widely taught and generally accepted form of this technique was created by Dr. Emil Vodder.  This is  a very specific technique which requires advanced training and precise  movements.

Mariel Energy work. Laying on of hands.( See also Psychic Healing)

Martial Arts - The martial arts (Chinese and Japannes) are perhaps best known as a means of self-defense, but they are also used to improve physical fitness and promote mental and spiritual development.  The highly disciplined movements and forms are thought to unite body and mind thereby bringing balance to the individual's life.  "External" methods (such as karate and judo) stress endurance and muscular strength, while "internal" methods (such as Tai Chi and Aikido) stress relaxation and control.

Massage, Full Body in therapeutic massage this usually means that the licensed massage therapist will work head, neck, back, shoulders, hips, legs front & back, feet, arms front & back, hands and possibly upper chest or abdomen at the client's request.  This is a non-sexual relaxation or therapeutic massage.  Apparently, some non-licensed individuals have used this term as a euphemism for sexual services.

Massage, Geriatric (See Geriatric Massage)

Massage, Hot Stone (see Hot Stone Massage)

Massage, Infant Taught to new parents by trained instructors, infant massage practices are designed to enhance the bonding between parent and baby.  As preventive therapy, infant massage can help strengthen and regulate a baby's respiratory, circulatory, and gastrointestinal functions, often relieving gas and colic while relaxing both parents and child.

Massage, Newborn ( See Massage, Infant )

Massage, On-site is one name for a short (15-20 minute) massage of a client sitting in a special, portable massage chair. The client  remains fully clothed and no oils are used while  their shoulders, neck, upper back, head and arms are massaged. On-Site massage is popular at some offices as an employee benefit and for conferences, workshops and certain social events.

Massage, Out Call is one name for massage performed at a client's home or a location other than the therapist's office or principle place of business.  The  therapist usually  brings a table, chair, or mat plus any sheets, towels, or oils required for the session. Chair massage done at a client's place of business, conference hall, or other public venue is  usually  referred to as On-Site Massage.

Massage, Pregnancy (pregnancy, prenatal & postpartum massage) Practitioners use a variety of bodywork techniques.  It is a great way to  relieve the stresses that result from the rapid and profound physical as well as mental-emotional changes that occur during pregnancy.  Pregnancy massage is designed to relieve aches in the  back, neck, hips, legs and weight bearing joints. It will also provide support for Moms-to-be.  Postpartum massage helps restore the body to pre-pregnancy conditions and helps nurture the new Mom.

Massage, Relaxation is any combination of light noninvasive strokes, kneading, or energy work which produce a profound state of physical and emotional relaxation in the client.

 Massage, Sports. Sports massage is a form of massage which   utilizes specific strokes and stretches to help obtain maximum  performance and physical conditioning with less chance of injury or pain. It helps to obtain maximum conditioning by  increasing power, endurance and  flexibility both before and after an event or work out. Performance INCREASES OF 20% ARE COMMON as a result of massage sessions.(See also article by Don Gillmore, "What is Sports Massage?")

Massage, Swedish While the healing power of touch is a very ancient concept, this common technique is named for Swedish massage pioneer Peter Ling (1776-1839).  The father of massage therapy in the United States was Cornelius E. De Puy, MD,  who published his first journal on the subject in 1817.  The term Swedish massage refers to a collection of techniques designed primarily to relax muscles by applying pressure to them against deeper muscles and bones, and rubbing in the same direction as the flow of blood returning to the heart. The lymph system and veins (which carry blood back to the heart) both rely on muscle action, rather than heart pump pressure, to operate. Many believe it is safe to apply light pressure in the opposite direction.  Swedish massage uses five main strokes to stimulate the circulation of blood through the body; petrissage (kneading), effleurage (stroking) ,  friction, tapotement (tapping), and vibration.

Friction is reduced by oil, or lacking that baby powder. Some practitioners claim benefits  from vegetable oil  (which actually penetrates and carries vitamins & minerals to the living skin cells below the keratinous surface) rather than mineral oil while others disagree. Swedish massage can relax  muscles,  increase circulation, remove  metabolic waste products, help the recipient obtain a feeling of connectedness, a better awareness of their body and the way they use and  position it.

The strokes and manipulations  of Swedish Massage are each  conceived as having a specific therapeutic benefit. One of the primary goals of Swedish Massage is to speed  venous return from the extremities. Swedish Massage shortens recovery time  from muscular strain by flushing the  tissue of lactic acid, uric acid and other metabolic wastes. It  improves circulation without increasing heart load. It stretches the ligaments and tendons, keeping them supple.  Swedish Massage also stimulates the skin  and nervous system while at  the same time relaxing the nerves themselves. As it can help reduce emotional and physical stress it is often recommended as part of a regular  program for stress management. It also  has  specific clinical uses in a medical or remedial therapy.

Massage Therapy.  ( also referred to as Therapeutic Massage ) This is a  general term for a range of therapeutic approaches  with roots in both Eastern and Western cultures.  It involves the practice of kneading or otherwise manipulating a person's muscles and other soft tissue  with the intent of improving a person's well-being or  health.  Stroking and kneading of the body parts has been used for centuries to relieve pain and suffering of the human race.  Used more in Europe as  a medical therapy, the US medical community is beginning to accept massage. Most state licensing and/or regulating bodies require massage therapists to be proficient in Swedish massage as a basis for licensing.   The term 'Therapeutic massage' is often used to distinguish it from sexual services provided by some non-licensed individuals.  Massage therapists are licensed (LMT) or registered (RMT) in several states. Many massage therapists have also been "certified" (CMT) by specific school, bodywork organization, or national regulating body ( such as the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork). (See State Licensing page)  Licensed Massage Therapists (LMTs) in New Mexico are regulated by a state  board,  which will review complaints, stemming from misrepresentation, fraud, sexual harassment, or sexual misconduct with a client.  Doctors, Nurses, and Physical Therapists do not need additional licensing to perform massage therapy in New Mexico.

Massotherapy is another term meaning therapeutic (muscle) massage.

Medical Intuitive ( See Intuitive, Medical)

Meditation - Techniques that focus the mind and promote a state of calmness so that one's mind (higher conciousness) and God (Cosmic Consciousness, Universal Life Force Energy, Creator, or Great Spirit) can be brought into greater harmony to facilitate health and healing.  A state of thoughtless awareness, where everyday activity of the mind ceases, yet  one remains peaceful and  aware. All this happens in a quiet relaxed manner without any strain or effort. Specific techniques may include, but are not limited to; prayer, chanting,  breathing, listening to musical sequences, colored and/or  flashing light, and energy circulation.

Mesmerism - See Hypnotherapy

MET - ( See Muscle Energy Technique )

Metaphysics - The study of the ultimate reality.  Includes phenomena such as astral travel, out-of-body experiences, spirit communication, astrolgy, UFOs,  telekinesis (ability to move objects), ESP ( clairaudience, clairvoyance, and clairsentience ), spiritual healing,  and all forms of precognition.

Mud Baths - are similar to mineral baths or seaweed baths in terms of temperature and duration, but have their own unique action  upon the body determined by the source of the mud and it's contents (usually both mineral and plant materials).  Mud baths are a full-body immersion as opposed to a body or face mask such as  a Fango.

Muscle Energy Technique (MET) - sometimes known as PNF stretching, utilizes neurophysiological muscle reflexes to improve functional mobility of the joints. MET uses active muscle contractions followed by relaxation and subsequent passive stretching to increase range of motion (ROM) of the related joints.

Muscule Testing ( also known as Applied Kinesiology ) The theory of muscle testing is that our bodies intuitively (subconsciously) know what is good or beneficial for us. To access this intuitive knowledge and by-pass the rational mind a practitioner will have a client hold, touch, or taste a 'remedy' while actively resisting pressure applied to an outstretched arm for instance.  After the practitioner has given the instruction that a positive response will be evidenced by strength in the muscle while a negative will be evidenced by a weakness in the muscle, the muscle is 'tested'. Although, dramatic changes in the client's strength seem to accompany such muscle testing experiments, many believe that conscious and subconscious 'cues' from the practitioner may influence accurate results.

Myofascial Release is used to  evaluate and treat restrictions in the body's contractile connective tissues (muscles) and non-contractile supportive  connective tissues (fascia)  by the application of gentle traction, pressures and positioning. Fascia  is a complex supportive web throughout the body affecting all components of the  musculoskeletal, nervous and visceral (organ) systems. It  surrounds groups of muscle fibers, and entire muscle groups and organs. While it  is not contractile, it can be passively  elastically deformed. That is how it retains tensions from physical and emotional traumas.  It is also involved when a person suffers chronic pain or physical dysfunction.  Chronically  tense muscles restrict blood flow and fatigue the body. Both fascia and muscle tissues can become shortened if they are  improperly used. As well, layers of fascia can stick together.

 Myofascial release  techniques are used to coax muscles in spasm to relax, and break adhesions in the fascia. Bodies respond to these therapies by  releasing tension that has been  stored in the fascia, thus allowing more functional  flexibility and mobility of the muscles, fascia and associated structures.

Myotherapy (See Trigger Point Myotherapy)

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