Obviously, if you're here you want to learn massage therapy online, but to what extent and how much will vary by the individual. This is the reason a fair amount of both written and visual information is on the site. Please be safe. Have fun and be respectful of those you massage. Please acquaint yourself with the massage contraindications and massage endangerments. Learn massage therapy online, but do so safely.
It would be good to premise where I came from on a few things prior to your reading anymore. This is probably going to be more beneficial to skeptics, but hopefully after reading, you too will feel confident that you too can learn massage. If the guy writing this can do it...believe me you can too.
Effleurage, Petrissage, Friction, Vibration, Tapotement, Back Massage, Hip Massage, Front Leg Massage, Foot Massage, Back Leg Massage, Arm Massage, Abdomen Massage, Neck Massage, Face Massage, Full Body Massage, Chair Massage
For most of my career I have never been an “energy” or touchy feely kind of guy as some might presume. In fact, to this day, I am still not an expert at giving a Swedish massage or relaxation massage -- but I am probably my worst critic. I am more a fast paced sports massage guy. So, I say with a fair bit of confidence that you too can become decent at massage. The massage therapist that many see today is totally unrecognizable to the one that first started out. Definitely the slow student in massage school except when it came to clinical applications. So it is from this background that it's hoped to help even the most timid and least confident of people choosing to help their friends and family out. Have fun with all of it and ask for constructive critique of the people you massage. Take it all in short bites and practice. That is probably the best way to learn massage therapy online.
Let's get started
There's nothing more frustrating that attempting to do something and making it twice as hard on yourself. For this reason, massage tips are the very first thing I'd like to start out with. Additional massage tips will be on various pages, so keep an eye out. The goal is to inform you a few tricks of the trade before starting out with actual hands on. It might also help you gain a better understanding of any further written material or what is seen in the massage videos as you continue to learn massage online.
Massage tips. It's about limiting frustrations.
History of massage therapy
It's commonplace for massage schools in the west to teach the historical contributions of Per Ling for what most of us perceive massage to be and what we usually call Swedish Massage. Massage therapy has a deeper unwritten history that goes far beyond that and is often displayed in the pictures of ancient's. You and I surely have no less intuitive desire to massage and be massaged than that of the primitive cultures that came before us. I personally enjoyed this video from fellow massage professionals and their perspectives on the history of massage and hope you do to. Not an essential topic in order to learn massage online, it's merely included for those that might have an interest.
By knowing the tools of the trade that are your palms, finger tips, elbows etc. it'll be easier as you learn massage therapy online to get better results with less effort. In the massage videos you'll see clear examples of how those tools are used, but first one must know what tools are available.
Massage tools gives a further description of these tools.
To learn Swedish Massage involves learning five basic categories of strokes. Effleurage, Petrissage, Friction, Tapotement, and Vibration. Having a better understanding of each stroke will yield better results by knowing what those strokes are doing physiologically to the person we're massaging. It's sort of like prescriptions. Before a doctor can prescribe a medication, they must first know what physiological effects a drug will have on the patients body. Massage is no different, except what we do is far less complicated.
Effleurage is a gliding massage stroke. An entire massage can be done using just this one stroke. You'll find it to be you're bread and butter stroke. The effects that effleurage has on the body makes it the best stroke available in the tool box in my opinion. In the beginning stages as you learn massage online it's not uncommon for a persons hands to become confused. I have a saying, "When in doubt with what to do with your hands ....always, always go back to effleurage. This is the foundation stroke for a massage. Your path to learn massage therapy online starts here.
Can I learn massage therapy online to become licensed?
Generally no, however in some parts of the world licensing requirements may be different or there be no licensing requirements at all. If you have a desire to become licensed check out the laws where you live for specific information as it relates to your situation.
Petrissage is typically a kneading massage stroke. The main purpose is to lift tissues. It also increases the amount of fluid exchange, especially in areas of the body that gets very little movement. It's highly effective for adhesions (where one part of a the body will stick to another, thus restricting movement). Petrissage is a major player in both long and short termed optimal health. While a person can learn much about massage therapy online through written text, this is a massage stroke where I think one must really see it demonstrated on video. Discover more about Petrissage
Friction massage is a compressive massage stroke. Up until now we've mainly dealt with superficial structures. With friction we begin to get into the muscle bellies. We're using increased pressure than we've used in the previous two strokes. We're not using a friction stroke without warming the tissues with effleurage and petrissage strokes first. Trust me you'll get better results and the person your massaging will be happier if you do. Remember as you learn massage therapy online, your doing so without the benefit of an instructors critique as you would in a formal massage school. So be very cautious and always communicate with who you are massaging. Start out very conservative and always try and learn from constructive feedback of those you massage. Even bad feedback is good feedback because there is an opportunity to learn from it.
Tapotement is a percussive massage stroke such as hacking, beating, or pounding. You may have seen this done on television. In a relaxing Swedish Massage it's use may be limited. I have found this stroke really to be a personal preference stroke depending on who it is I am massaging. In my own experience I only use it for pure intended purposes and concentrate more on the other strokes unless it's something somebody really likes. Still, take a look at tapotement as it may be something that is helpful for you or the person you're massaging.
Vibration massage can be a soothing or stimulating massage stroke depending on how you use it. Many people like it and there are strokes that fall under vibration massage that you may be unaware of that can improve the massage that you give.
Review Massage Basics
Basic massage strokes along with massage tips have been introduced as we begin to learn massage therapy online. Now we're going to start bringing things together. Some final pointers on how to massage using all this information with an emphasis on developing personal style. Massage is a personal and creative type of art. You are an artist free to paint anything you wish so long as it's safe. Stay on the canvas.
Transitioning massage strokes
This is just the beginning. To assist you with what you have learned proceed to the massage videos for transitioning massage strokes.
Additional information on how to learn massage therapy online with more massage videos and text information.
Struggling with anatomy and physiology? No worries. Review it online. Ever wanted to attend a Human Anatomy Dissection class, but couldn't for whatever reason ... guess what, it's on here too, online anatomy and physiology for massage students. I know you'll want to thank me for this little gem, so I'll just say it now ... you're welcome.