The relaxing and soothing benefits of professional massage are well documented. But the mastery of technique and the understanding of anatomy, physiology and kinesiology that go into a great bodywork session usually remain behind the scenes.
These are the elements of massage therapy education that make the qualitative difference in therapists: solid training in techniques backed by the education to understand how the body will respond to each therapeutic approach.
Supporting the delivery of a great massage are months of daily hands-on practice, study of the science of bodywork, testing, successful graduation and licensing.
Located in Frederick, the Central Maryland School of Massage (CMSM) is dedicated to excellence. CMSM massage programs offer extensive hours of classroom study, practical application and real-life experience guided by expert instructors in an environment that honors scientific and intuitive approaches to healing.
The Diversity of Massage Techniques
Within the discipline of massage, the choices of therapeutic approach are diverse. Each method has a particular focus and intent founded on documentable evidence of efficacy. Here is a sampling of a few of the modalities in which CMSM students are trained:
1. Swedish Massage: The most well known type of massage. What most receivers don’t know is that Swedish massage is intended to increase oxygen in the blood and remove toxins from the muscles. This is accomplished through a variety of techniques that apply pressure to surface muscles with movements that follow the direction of blood flow to the heart. To accomplish this, the therapist uses a combination of long strokes and gentle kneading. The result is improved circulation, reduced stress, relaxed muscles, greater flexibility and improved overall health and wellness.
2. Aromatherapy Massage: A centuries-old practice of adding essential oils to massage oil or cream to heighten the healing effect of bodywork. The therapeutic properties of essential oils combined with the benefits of massage ‘stack the deck for success’ toward a particular healing outcome including pain relief, reduction of inflammation, encouraging blood flow and reducing overall stress.
3. Neuromuscular Therapy (NMT): A specialized form of deep tissue massage in which pressure and friction are used to release specific areas of strain in the muscle. These areas of discomfort are called trigger points and are a primary cause of muscular pain. NMT is often integrated with other massage modalities to offer specified attention and relief to muscles that are overly tight.
4. Shiatsu: A deeply relaxing and revitalizing Eastern healing practice that originated in Japan. This therapy is traditionally offered on a comfortable, cushioned mat positioned on the floor. Students learn a variety of Shiatsu techniques which apply specific pressure to key areas on the body, releasing tight muscles, stored tension, and promoting the free flow of energy through the channels or meridians of the body.
Become a Professional Massage Therapist
The massage programs at CMSM in Frederick include these and many more. Study encompasses a wide variety of techniques, giving students versatility and a competitive edge in the employment market. Training ranges from foundations of common practice to more unique approaches, providing the graduate with portable skills marketable within any aspect of the massage industry.
If reading through those descriptions piques your interest, you may want to become more involved than simply receiving bodywork. Imagine yourself in professional practice as a massage therapist with the skills necessary to build a satisfying career.