Massage Facts
Hands On Healing Massage Therapy
The Practice of Massage Therapy
    Massage therapists work in a variety of settings, including private offices, hospitals, nursing homes,
    studios, and sport and fitness facilities. Some also travel to patients' homes or workplaces. They usually
    try to provide a calm, soothing environment.
    Therapists usually ask new patients about symptoms, medical history, and desired results. They may
    also perform an evaluation through touch, to locate painful or tense areas and determine how much
    pressure to apply.

    Typically, the patient lies on a table, either in loose-fitting clothing or undressed (covered with a sheet,
    except for the area being massaged). The therapist may use oil or lotion to reduce friction on the skin.
    Sometimes, people receive massage therapy while sitting in a chair. A massage session may be fairly
    brief, but may also last an hour or even longer.

    Massage therapy appears to have few serious risks—if it is performed by a properly trained therapist and
    if appropriate cautions are followed. The number of serious injuries reported is very small. Side effects of
    massage therapy may include temporary pain or discomfort, bruising, swelling, and a sensitivity or allergy
    to massage oils.
  • Cautions about massage therapy include the following:
  • Vigorous massage should be avoided by people with bleeding disorders or low blood
    platelet counts, and by people taking blood-thinning medications such as warfarin.
  • Massage should not be done in any area of the body with blood clots, fractures, open or
    healing wounds, skin infections, or weakened bones (such as from osteoporosis or
    cancer), or where there has been a recent surgery.
  • Although massage therapy appears to be generally safe for cancer patients, they should
    consult their oncologist before having a massage that involves deep or intense pressure.
    Any direct pressure over a tumor usually is discouraged. Cancer patients should discuss
    any concerns about massage therapy with their oncologist.

 Training, Licensing, and Certification
    There are approximately 1,500 massage therapy schools and training programs in the United States. In
    addition to hands-on practice of massage techniques, students generally learn about the body and how it
    works, business practices, and ethics. Massage training programs generally are approved by a state
    board. Some may also be accredited by an independent agency, such as the Commission on Massage
    Therapy Accreditation (COMTA).

    As of 2007, 38 states and the District of Columbia had laws regulating massage therapy. In some states,
    regulation is by town ordinance.

    The National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) certifies practitioners
    who pass a national examination. Increasingly, states that license massage therapists require them to
    have a minimum of 500 hours of training at an accredited institution, pass the NCBTMB exam, meet
    specific continuing education requirements, and carry malpractice insurance.

    In addition to massage therapists, health care providers such as chiropractors and physical therapists
    may have training in massage.

 Licenses and Certifications
    Some common licenses or certifications for massage therapists include:
  • LMT
    Licensed Massage Therapist
  • LMP
    Licensed Massage Practitioner
  • CMT
    Certified Massage Therapist
    Has met the credentialing requirements (including passing an exam) of the National Certification
    Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork, for practicing therapeutic massage and bodywork
  • NCTM
    Has met the credentialing requirements (including passing an exam) of the National Certification
    Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork, for practicing therapeutic massage
Carla S. Miller, L.M.T.

(419) 205-1226
Carla S. Miller, L.M.T.

(419) 205-1226