Any activities that includes working and activating on the different parts of the body by adding or providing pressure, which be classified as moving, structured, unstructured or stationary, is called as massage, and aside from adding pressure, they can also add motion, vibration, or tension. Massage can be applied or done to an individual manually, such as through the use of the knees, elbows, fingers, feet, forearms, and hands, or it can also be done through the use of mechanical aids, such as equipment, devices or tools that are designed particularly to a certain kind of massage therapy. The different types and methods of massage include the ashiatsu, acupressure, active release technique, aquatic bodywork, watsu, tui na, trigger point therapy, tradition Chinese massage or TCM, thai massage, Swedish massage, structural integration, shiatsu, myofascial release, medical massage, lymphatic drainage, lomilomi and indigenous massage of Oceania, foot massage, craniosacral therapy, ayurvedic massage, and biodynamic massage. The different equipment, supplies and facilities designed for massage that are commonly used by the massage therapists to their clients include massage chairs, massage tables, cremes, gels, oils, lotions, vichy showers, warm-water therapy pools, dry-water massage tables, and massage tools, like the body rock, bamboo and rosewood tools, and needles. The various effects and health benefits that a person may obtain from massage include pain relief, reduce state and trait anxiety, reduce heart rate, reduce and lower blood pressure, and reduce subclinical depression.
A person who specializes in providing and practicing various types and methods of therapeutic massages can be called as athletic trainers, practitioners of TCM or traditional Chinese medicine, physical therapists, and massage therapists. A massage therapist can also be called as medical massage therapist, registered massage therapist, bodywork therapist, and licensed massage therapist, and they may specialize in various techniques and modalities. The various ways and requirements in order to become a successful massage therapist include passing a specified number of work hours, passing a written exam or test, background check, disease screening, earning a degree from an accredited school, earning a certificate of CPR and first aid, and undergoing a massage therapy training program. The various responsibilities and duties of each and every massage therapists include maintaining their office, recording the notes and information about their client, giving massages, making or setting up an appointment with their clients, and promoting their practice. Most of the massage therapists can be found working in day spas, while some are working in massage centers or massage spas, and the people who wants to find and locate the best massage therapist in their local area can do so, through the use of the internet, or through the word of mouth and recommendations of families and colleagues.