Table of Contents
MBLEx Category Breakdown
OVERVIEW OF MASSAGE & BODYWORK HISTORY/CULTURE/ MODALITIES (5%)
A. History of massage & bodywork
B. Overview of the different skill sets used in contemporary massage/bodywork environments
C. Overview of massage/bodywork modalities
The Basic History of Massage
Massage Around the World
- “Anmo” means “massage” in Mandarin.
- Records show massage was utilized by the Chinese 3000 B.C.
- It is common for blind individuals to be trained as massage practitioners in China and other foreign countries.
- Anma is a traditional Japanese massage.
- “Shiatsu” means “finger pressure” in Japanese.
- A tsubo is a shiatsu pressure point.
Greeks and Romans
- The Greek root masso means “to touch or knead”.
- The Latin root massa means “dough”. Massa also means “to touch or knead” in Arabic.
- The first Western civilization known to use therapeutic massage was the Greeks.
- Aesculapius was the Greek and Roman god of medicine.
- Ayurveda is the traditional Indian medical system.
- The term ayurveda means “art of life” or “life knowledge”.
Notable Figures and Events
(in chronological order)
- Hippocrates (400 BC), a Greek physician, is referred to as the “Father of Medicine”.
- He used the word “anatripsis”, which means the art of rubbing (upward).
- Galenus, a Greek physician, wrote about early manual medicine.
Aulus Cornelius Celsus
- Celsus was a Roman that wrote De Medicina in the first century.
- Pare used massage to aid in post surgical recovery and for joint stiffness in 1500s.
Cong-Fu of the Toa-Tse
- This ancient Chinese medical text was translated into French by a Jesuit, P.M. Cibot, in 1779.
Pehr Henrik Ling
- In the 1700s, this Swedish physiologist introduced a health care regimen that consisted of gymnastics, movement therapy and massage. This regimen became known as the Swedish Movement Cure.
- Ling is often referred to as the “Father” of Swedish Massage or Physical Therapy.
Charles Fayette and George Taylor
- In the mid-1800s, they introduced Ling’s work to the U.S.
- LeRon brought Ling’s Swedish Movement Cure to Russia in 1837.
Dr. Johann Mezger
- In the late 1800s, this Dutch physician brought massage to the scientific community.
- He was of the first to use the French terms effleurage, petrissage, and tapotement.
Dr. Douglas O. Graham
- This MD is believed to be one of the first to use the term “massage” in the U.S.
- Mills, a neurologist, criticized the uneven quality of the practice of massage in late 1800s.
Albert J Hoffa
- Hoffa, a German physician, wrote Technik Der Massage.
John Harvey Kellogg
- Kellogg was American physician and hydrotherapy advocate that served as medical director at the Battle Creek Sanitarium.
- In 1929, he wrote Art of Massage: A Practical Manual for the Nurse, the Student and the Practitioner.
- Ohio became the first state to license massage therapists in 1916.
Drs. Emil and Estrid Vodder
- The Vodders were a Danish couple credited with developing Lymph Drainage Massage around the 1920s.
Dr. Stanley Leif and Dr. Boris Chaitow
- These cousins are credited with developing neuromuscular therapy(NMT) in the 1930s.
- This German woman developed a form of connective tissue massage, or bindegewebsmassage, around 1929.
Rene Maurice Gattefosse
- Gattefosse was a French chemist thought to be the first to use the term “aromatherapy” around 1943.
Margaret Knott and Dorthy Voss
- These two PTs wrote Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation in 1956.
Florida State Massage Therapy Association (FSMTA)
- The FSMTA was founded in 1939.
American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA)
- The AMTA was founded in 1943.
- AMTA History
- Feldenkrais was an Israeli physicist and the founder of the Feldenkrais Method.
- He published Awareness Through Movement in 1967.
- In 1977, he wrote the textbook for Orthopedic Medicine, Vol. 11.
- He also is credited with developing the deep transverse (cross fiber) massage technique.
Gertrude Beard and Frances Tappan
- In the 1950s these two physical therapists wrote important educational materials on massage, including: Beard’s Massage and Healing Massage Techniques.
1984 Olympics in Los Angeles
- Massage was used for the first time on Olympic athletes in 1984.
- David Palmer introduced Chair, or on-site, massage in the 1980s.
- She was a medical doctor and researcher.
- She pioneered research on trigger points and referred pain.
- She wrote Travell & Simons’ Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: The Trigger Point Manual
- He developed, Hellerwork, a structural integration technique based of the principles of Rolfing.
- He is a physical therapist credited with formalizing a myofascial massage.
- Dr. Rolf developed, Rolfing©, a brand of structural integration.
- Rolf Institute® of Structural Integration
- Upledger is an osteopath that developed craniosacral therapy.
- William G. Sutherland, also an osteopath, is credited with a close relative to CST, cranial osteopathy
- Upledger Institute
The National Certification Board of Therapy Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB)
- The NCBTMB administered the former NCETM, NCETMB and NESL exams.
- The organization was established in 1990 and funded by the AMTA.
- Today, they administer the voluntary BCETMB (Board Certification Exam for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork).
- About the NCBTMB
Dr. Tiffany Field
- Field founded the Touch Research Institute in early 1990s at the University of Miami.
Massage Therapy Foundation
- The MTF was created by AMTA in 1990.
- They support scientific research, education and community service within the massage field through donations.
Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB)
- The FSMTB administers the MBLEx (Massage Bodywork Licensing Exam).
- They held their first meeting in 2005.
- About the FSMTB
Modalities and Systems
- A modality is bodywork technique. Here is a list of common modalities and a short description of each.
- Acupressure is an ancient healing art that uses finger pressure on key points on the surface of the skin to stimulate the body’s natural healing abilities. These points release muscular tension and promote the circulation of blood and the body’s life force (qi or chi) to promote healing.
- The use of essential oils is known as aromatherapy. Essential oils are volatile oils (unlike base, fixed or carrier oils) and must be diluted in a carrier before being applied to the skin.
- “Ashi-” means “foot” and “-atsu” means “pressure”. This modality utilizes the practitioner’s feet to deliver the massage. THe client is on a western massage table is and overhead bars are used for balance. Chavutti Thirumal is another barefoot massage technique that originated in the Keralite area of India. A suspended rope is used for balance and the client lies on the floor.
- David Palmer is regarded as the “father” of chair massage. In the early 1980s he helped design one of the first contemporary massage chairs.
- Craniosacral therapy is a gentle, noninvasive method of manipulating the craniosacral system. An osteopath, John E. Upledger, is credited with developing this technique.
- Esalen is characterized by long, flowing and relaxing strokes. It was developed in Big Sur, California.
Lomi Lomi or Lomilomi
- Lomi Lomi is a Hawaiian form of massage that acknowledges a higher power. The practitioner may apply long, two-handed/forearm strokes over a broad area.
- The key person to remember is Kahuna (Hawaiian healer), Aunty Margaret Machado.
Lymph Drainage Therapy
- Lymph drainage therapy helps promote proper flow of lymph fluids. It is credited to a Danish doctors, Emil and Estrid Vodder.
Mobile Massage – Outcall
- Mobile massage professionals go to their client’s location. Outcall massage comes with the most safety risks to the massage professional.
- Polarity was founded by Randolph Stone. It emphasizes love, energy flow and the balance of positive and negative energies that flow through the body.
- Pressure is applied to specific points on the hands, feet or ears during a typical reflexology session. Reflexology may also be called “zone therapy”. Pioneers in reflexology include: Dr. William H. Fitzgerald, Dr. Shelby Riley and Eunice Ingham (a physical therapist).
- Reiki is a energy modality founded by Dr. Mikao Usui.
- Developed in Japan, shiatsu is a finger-pressure technique utilizing traditional acupuncture points. It is similar to acupressure.
- Brisk and Up-tempo
- Prepares the athlete for activity
- Not to be longer than 30 minutes
- No deep tissue techniques
- Soothing and restorative
- Within a couple hours after an event
- Reduces muscle tension and soreness and promotes relaxation and healing
- Structural Integration focuses on the fascia and connective tissues instead of muscle tissues. Rolfing is a brand of structural integration. Rolfing is often performed in 10 sessions, which is referred to as “the recipe” or Ten Series.
- Swedish massage is most classic form of Western massage.
- Thai massage is traditionally practiced on a floor mat. The client remains fully clothed during the massage session as the practitioner applies massage techniques and assisted stretches.
- Thalassotherapy treatment uses the therapeutic benefits of seawater products and hydrotherapy.
Touch for Health
- Touch for Health is similar to Applied Kinesiology. It was developed by chiropractor, John Thie.
- “Tui Na” is a modern term for massage in China. “Tui Na” means “push-pull”.
- The MBLEx does not test one’s knowledge of Eastern theories (such as meridians). However, you should be familiar with a few basic terms.
- “Chi” (Chinese), “Ki” or “Qi” (Japanese) all loosely translate to “Vital Life Force”.
- In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Chi/Qi flows along the meridians. There are twelve meridians. These are are divided into Yin and Yang groups.
- “Prana” or “Kundalini” in Ayurvedic medicine are the equivalent of “chi” or “vital life force”.
- In Ayurveda (the Indian medical system), the chakras are the seven centers of the Prana.
- Three doshas (body chemical patterns) are Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. The three combine to form the five elements (fire, water, earth, air and ether).
- Yin and Yang mean “Dynamic Balance”. This is a concept of opposing forces throughout the universe. One cannot exist without the other.