Dana R. Braet, LMT, NMT
Nationally Certified in Sports Massage, Certified in Neuromuscular Therapy, 24 Years Experience
MO License #2001014084
There are many types of massage and sometimes massage techniques become fashionable. Though some consumers may know a specific massage modality or technique they want, it is generally best to ask your massage therapist what massage modality will give you the results you want. Most massage therapists use a variety of massage modalities or types in a massage session to best achieve desired results.
The four most common types of massage are:
- Swedish: The most common type of massage, to relax and energize you.
- Deep tissue: For muscle damage from an injury, such as whiplash or back strain.
- Sports: To help prevent athletic injury, keep the body flexible and heal the body should injury occur.
- Chair: Massage of the upper body, while fully clothed and seated in a special portable chair.
In order to confirm your prospective massage therapist’s qualifications and ensure that your massage therapy will benefit your health needs, consider asking him or her the following questions:
1. Are you licensed to practice massage in this state?
Thirty-seven states regulate the massage therapy profession. Depending on the state, this regulation comes in the form of a license, registration or certification. Also, some local governments may have some form of regulation.
2. Are you a member of the American Massage Therapy Association?
Professional members of AMTA have demonstrated their competency through successful completion of the AMTA national exam or graduation from an accredited program. Members must also pursue continuing education standards in order to retain membership.
3. Are you certified by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB)?
The NCBTMB offers a nationally recognized certification for massage therapists. Massage professionals earn the NCBTMB designation by demonstrating mastery of core massage techniques, passing a standardized exam, and abiding by the NCBTMB Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics. Requirements must be reestablished every four years to maintain certification.
4. Where did you receive your massage therapy training and did you graduate from a program accredited by the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation (COMTA)?
To ensure that your therapist has had proper training, AMTA recommends you find a graduate of a COMTA-accredited program. COMTA confirms that massage schools offer rigorous training and possess qualified faculty and proper equipment.
5. How many hours of initial training did you have?
AMTA suggests that your massage therapist has completed at least 500 hours of training, which is also the standard for most states that regulate the massage therapy industry.
6. Are you trained in any specific massage modalities?
The various types of massage are termed “massage modalities.” Each massage and bodywork modality requires specialized training. While some massage therapists use just one or two types of massage, most employ a variety of techniques in their practice. Look at the Glossary for explanations of different massage modalities.