The theory of massage therapy
First, a student must learn the theory of massage, because knowledge of mere rubbing is not good enough. He must learn the structures of the body and the effects of their movements. For example, a movement that is best for skin and superficial fascia is useless for muscles. The thing is to know when to apply varieties of movements. In the Weir- Mitchell treatment massage takes the place of exercise. It is simple and straightforward and the knowledge on anatomy is not called for. But, in other cases such as fractures and synovitis, theory is important. Deep breathing should be included in the massage. 'Massage' is derived from a Greek word signifying to knead, and an Arabic meaning to press. It is the scientific manipulation of the soft tissues of the body.
The result of stroking, kneading, squeezing the skin and muscle are: better skin function, quickened flow of blood and lymph, attraction of blood to the surface from internal parts, stimulating and soothing of nerves, getting rid of effete matter, breaking down of adhesion of soft parts, reducing of tissue swelling and thickening and increased nutrition.When giving a massage, at operators' house, a bed must be 2 feet wide, about 26 inches high and the room kept at proper temperature. If visiting, a patient's benefit and comfort comes first, but the masseuse must be comfortable as well, if going to be able to do her best work. A patient must be kept warm and covered, except for the parts that are being manipulated. In heart cases hot-water tins are used.
When manipulating the lower limbs wrap them up and fold the bedclothes back to the hips. When massaging the arms, one sleeve is taken off at a time, and replaced. After finishing with the arms, the patient is turned and with the back massage, the massage is finished. Of course, this order need not always be followed.
As a rule, the masseuse faces the patient and should be at a comfortable distance, but not cramped or strained. Usually, the elbows are close to the sides, fingers held close together and straight, and unnecessary stooping must be avoided. Also, there must be no jerking. It is desirable that the masseuse glides from one movement to another.
This is much more complicated than it sounds and only but constant practice and paying attention to details can a pupil overcome these difficulties. The eye and hand must instantly notice everything about the skin, muscle, etc. of the patient and make a mental note which may be useful. If the body temperature of the patient is too high, the massage should be suspended.
The masseuse should answer all questions cheerfully and be ready to give any information she can. Masseuse should take good care of their hands. Also, because many are right-handed, you should train your left one.
Lubricants are not necessary except under special circumstances. If needed, use olive- oil, cocoa butter or lanoline cream. No medical oil or ointment should ever be used, unless a doctor directs it, and patients are thankful if they know that the masseuse uses neither oil nor powder.