Joseph E. Samuels, Doctor of Oriental Medicine

Chinese records date the practice of massage therapy as far back as 3000 BC showing it to be one of the oldest medical therapies. Massage therapy was also practiced in Japan (known as Shiatsu) and spread to Persia, Egypt and India. The athletes of Greece used massage therapy as part of their health regime. The Greek physician Herodicus of the fifth century BC prolonged the lives of his patients by having them massaged with beneficial herbs and oils. Hippocrates, a pupil of Herodicus, later became known as the father of medicine. Hippocrates wrote papers recommending the use of rubbing and friction for joint and circulatory problems.

Today, massage therapy has evolved and is an essential part of the medical community. Massage therapy is extremely beneficial for many health conditions such as arthritic pain, back and muscled pain, joint flexibility and the relief of headaches. Massage therapy also increases oxygen and nutrients and improves circulation to promote healing. Massage therapy helps athletes prepare and recover from sporting events and assists expectant mothers by providing relief of back and hip pain. Massage therapy also aids in the reduction of depression, anxiety and insomnia.

Massage therapy is the manipulation of superficial and deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue. There are many different styles of massage therapy. Provided on this site are some of the most popular and effective massage therapies available.

Massage therapy in the state of Florida is performed by a licensed massage therapist. In order for a massage therapist to become licensed, they must complete 500 hours of education and pass the required board exam. Massage therapists are required to complete hours of course work in anatomy and physiology. Even though many massage therapists work in medical settings, they are prohibited to make any type of diagnosis or make adjustments to the skeletal structure. In addition to the standard educational requirements, continuing education is required in order to renew their license.

A massage is usually performed on a massage table where the client is covered by a sheet and the only area of the body that is exposed is the area being worked on. Prior to the massage, the therapist will have the client complete an intake form with general information as well as any pertinent medical information. The massage therapist will ask the client about their medical history and discuss the type of massage that would be the most beneficial for their required needs. If the client has been referred to a massage therapist by their physician and their insurance plan covers the treatment by a licensed massage therapist, the office administrator can assist the client with submitting the required paperwork to the insurance provider.

During your massage, it is always important to keep good communication with your therapist by letting them know if the pressure is too light or to painful. If you are uncomfortable or if any other issues arise, make sure you convey this to your therapist. Follow up visits are always recommended especially if you are being seen due to an injury. Frequent massage is extremely beneficial and will provide an overall improvement to one’s health and well being.