Massage Therapists in Maryland by County:
We service the
following counties in Maryland:
Anne Arundel County, Maryland
Baltimore County, Maryland
Carroll County, Maryland
Frederick County, Maryland
Howard County, Maryland
Ashton Sandy Spring
massage therapy Aspen Hill
massage therapy Bethesda
massage therapy Brookmont
massage therapy Brookville
massage therapy Burtonsville
massage therapy Cabin John
massage therapy Calverton
massage therapy Chevy Chase
massage therapy Clarksburg
massage therapy Cloverly Colesville
massage therapy Darnestown
massage therapy Fairland
massage therapy Forest Glen
massage therapy Gaithersburg
massage therapy Germantown
massage therapy Glen Echo
massage therapy Hillandale
massage therapy Kemp Mill
massage therapy Kensington
massage therapy Montgomery-Village Olney
massage therapy Potomac
massage therapy Redland
massage therapy Rockville
massage therapy Silver Spring
massage therapy Somerset
massage therapy Takoma Park
massage therapy Travilah
massage therapy Washington-Grove
massage therapy Wheaton-Glenmont
Howard County, Maryland
massage therapy Clarksville
massage therapy Columbia
massage therapy Cooksville
massage therapy Daniels
massage therapy Dayton
massage therapy Elkridge
massage therapy Ellicott City
massage therapy Florence
massage therapy Font Hill Manor Fulton
massage therapy Glenelg
massage therapy Glenwood
massage therapy Guilford
massage therapy Harwood Park
massage therapy Highland
massage therapy Ilchester
massage therapy Jessup
massage therapy Laurel
massage therapy Lisbon
massage therapy Marriottsville
massage therapy Oella
massage therapy Poplar Springs
massage therapy Savage
massage therapy Scaggsville
massage therapy Simpsonville
massage therapy West Friendship
massage therapy College Park
massage therapy Woodstock
Carroll County, Maryland
massage therapy Eldersburg
massage therapy Hampstead
massage therapy Manchester
massage therapy Mount Airy
massage therapy New Windsor
massage therapy Sykesville
massage therapy Taneytown
massage therapy Union Bridge
massage therapy Westminster
massage therapy Annapolis
massage therapy Arden
massage therapy Arnold
massage therapy Cape St. Claire
massage therapy Crofton
massage therapy Crownsville
massage therapy Deale
massage therapy Davidsonville
massage therapy Fair Haven
massage therapy Fort Meade
massage therapy Friendship
massage therapy Gambrills
massage therapy Glen Burnie
massage therapy Herald Harbor
massage therapy Millersville
massage therapy Odenton
massage therapy Pasadena
massage therapy Riva
massage therapy Severn
massage therapy Severna Park
Frederick County, Maryland
massage therapy Brunswick
massage therapy Burkittsville
massage therapy Emmitsburg
massage therapy Frederick
massage therapy Jefferson
massage therapy Middletown
massage therapy Mount Airy
massage therapy Myersville
massage therapy New Market
massage therapy Point of Rocks
massage therapy Thurmont
massage therapy Urbana
massage therapy Walkersville
massage therapy Woodsboro
massage therapy Arbutus
massage therapy Baltimore
massage therapy Canton
massage therapy Carney
massage therapy Carroll
massage therapy Dundalk
massage therapy Essex
massage therapy Elkridge
massage therapy Garrison
massage therapy Kenwood
massage therapy Overlea
massage therapy Owings Mills
massage therapy Parkville
massage therapy Pikesville
massage therapy Randallstown
massage therapy Reisterstown
massage therapy Rosedale
massage therapy Timonium
massage therapy Towson
massage therapy Villa Nova
massage therapy White Marsh
All About Massage Therapy****
What Is Massage
Massage therapy is recognized as one of the oldest methods of healing, with
references in medical texts nearly 4,000 years old. In fact, Hippocrates,
known as the "father of medicine," referenced massage when he wrote, in the
4th century B.C.: "The physician must be acquainted with many things, and
assuredly with rubbing."
Now days, in addition to "rubbing," massage therapy, often referred to as
bodywork or somatic therapy, refers to the application of various techniques
to the muscular structure and soft tissues of the body that include applying
fixed or movable pressure, holding, vibration, rocking, friction, kneading
and compression using primarily the hands, although massage therapists do
use other areas of the body, such as the forearms, elbows or feet. All of
the techniques are used for the benefit of the musculoskeletal,
circulatory-lymphatic, nervous, and other systems of the body. In fact,
massage therapy positively influences the overall health and well-being of
relaxes the whole body
loosens tight muscles
relieves tired and aching muscles
increases flexibility and range of motion
diminishes chronic pain
calms the nervous system
lowers blood pressure
lowers heart rate
enhances skin tone
assists in recovery from injuries and illness
strengthens the immune system
reduces tension headaches
reduces mental stress
promotes restful sleep
aids in mental relaxation
Currently, there are well over 100,000 massage therapists practicing in the
United States alone. Training requirements vary from state to state,
although an increasing number of schools and states recommend massage
therapy programs of at least 500 hours training. As of March 2004, 33 states
and the District of Columbia have official massage licensing regulations,
and other states are pending.
Learn more about specific massage techniques and related terms by clicking
on the links below (Note: New techniques and terms are added on a continuing
Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy
Bonnie Prudden Myotherapy
Connective Tissue Massage
Deep Tissue Massage
Lymph Drainage Therapy
Manual Lymph Drainage
Rolfing (Structural Integration)
Soft Tissue Massage
Traditional Chinese Medicine
Trigger Point Therapy
Acupressure is an ancient form of healing believed by some to be even older
than acupuncture. It involves the use of the fingers (and in some cases, the
toes) to press key points on the surface of the skin to stimulate the body's
natural ability to heal itself. Pressing on these points relieves muscle
tension, which promotes the circulation of blood and qi (pronounced "chee")
-- the vital energy or "life force" -- to aid in the healing process.
Acupressure and acupuncture are somewhat similar. Acupressure is sometimes
referred to as "needle less acupuncture," because both forms of healing use
the same points to achieve the desired results. The main difference is that
an acupuncturist stimulates points by inserting needles, whereas an
acupressure stimulates the same points using finger pressure.
Stimulating specific points on the body can trigger the release of
endorphins (chemicals produced by the body that relieve pain). When
endorphins are released, pain is blocked, and the flow of blood and oxygen
to the affected area is increased. This causes the muscles to relax and
promotes healing. In acupressure, as with most traditional Chinese medicine
concepts, local symptoms are considered an expression of the whole body's
When performed correctly, acupressure increases circulation, reduces tension
and enables the body to relax. Reducing tension, in turn, strengthens the
immune system and promotes wellness. However, applying acupressure too
abruptly, or using too much force during treatment, can lead to bruising and
discomfort. Great care should be used when applying pressure to points on or
near the abdomen, groin, armpits or throat. Special care should be when
treating pregnant women or those with recently-formed scars, burns,
infections or skin lesions.
Acupuncture is one of the oldest, most commonly used systems of healing in
the world. Originating in China some 3,500 years ago, only in the last three
decades has it become popular in the United States.
Traditional Chinese medicine asserts that there are as many as 2,000
acupuncture points on the human body, which are connected by 20 pathways (12
main, 8 secondary) called meridians. These meridians conduct energy, or qi
(pronounced "chee"), between the surface of the body and its internal
organs. Each point has a different effect on the qi that passes through it.
Qi is believed to help regulate balance in the body. It is influenced by the
opposing forces of yin and yang, which represent positive and negative
energy and forces in the universe and human body. Acupuncture is believed to
keep the balance between yin and yang, thus allowing for the normal flow of
qi throughout the body and restoring health to the mind and body.
Several theories have been presented as to exactly how acupuncture works.
One theory suggests that pain impulses are blocked from reaching the spinal
cord or brain at various "gates" to these areas. Since a majority of
acupuncture points are either connected to (or are located near) neural
structures, this suggests that acupuncture stimulates the nervous system.
Another theory suggests that acupuncture stimulates the body to produce
narcotic-like substances called endorphins, which reduce pain. Other studies
have found that other pain-relieving substances called opiods may be
released into the body during acupuncture treatment.
Unlike hypodermic needles, acupuncture needles are solid and hair-thin, and
they are not designed to cut the skin. They are also inserted to much more
shallow levels than hypodermic needles, generally no more than a half-inch
to an inch depending on the type of treatment being delivered. While each
person experiences acupuncture differently, most people feel only a minimal
amount of pain as the needles are inserted. Some people reportedly feel a
sensation of excitement, while others feel relaxed. If you experience
significant pain from the needles, it may be a sign that the procedure is
being done improperly.
According to Alexander Technique International, the Alexander Technique "is
a means of consciously attending to how one performs any given activity,
consciously inhibiting one's habitual way of doing that activity, and then
consciously directing oneself in a more coordinated way."*
Developed by Australian performer F.M. Alexander in the late 19th Century,
the Alexander Technique is unlike massage or bodywork that is used to treat
specific conditions, illnesses or ailments; rather, it is a form of
education designed to improve one's self-observation in relation to
Instructors of the Alexander Technique, use noninvasive hands-on methods to
assess movement, then educate students on how to become more aware of their
movement and enact specific changes in order to reduce physical stress on
the body and/or improve performance.
Like humans, animals are susceptible to injury, debilitating disease and
stress, and can benefit from massage. Massage therapists have built entire
practices around horses (Equine massage), dogs and cats; some practitioners
even work with birds and domesticated reptiles.
In addition to making house calls, therapists that work with animals work in
veterinary offices, and with police departments, animal shelters and
breeders. Working animals -- such as horses, and police and show dogs -- can
benefit from massage on a regular basis; however, massage is also beneficial
for house pets, and can ease arthritis and muscle pain, and increase
flexibility and range of motion. Other benefits include detoxification,
increased mobility, improved performance and decreased anxiety.
Many essential oils that are derived from plants, herbs, flowers, and roots
have beneficial therapeutic qualities. Aromatherapy involves the "burning"
of essential oils to elicit a desired effect; for example, lavender is known
to induce calmness and relaxation. When combined with bodywork, aromatherapy
can enrich the massage experience immensely. A few drops of essential oil
can be added to massage cream or oil and applied to the skin. Professionally
trained aroma therapists also blend oils to treat specific conditions. Only
experienced professionals and/or those knowledgeable in the properties of
aromatherapy should attempt to blend oils or utilize them in practice, as
some oil combinations can be toxic, while others can burn the skin.
For more detailed information about aromatherapy, visit the Aromatherapy
Center at www.massagetoday.com/topics/aromatherapy.php.
Oriental Bar Therapy™
Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy was developed in 1995 by massage therapist
Ruthie Hardee. Ashiatsu comes from the Japanese words ashi (foot) and atsu
(pressure), and is an ancient form of bodywork associated with traditional
shiatsu and some dynamics of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM).
There are distinct differences between Ashiatsu and Ashiatsu Oriental Bar
Therapy. Clients lie on massage tables, while practitioners perform Swedish
massage with their feet by utilizing two overhead stationary bars to
maintain balance and control.
Because therapists can also perform deep-tissue work using Ashiatsu Oriental
Bar Therapy, this technique can help extend a therapist's career by
alleviating hand and extremity pain associated with performing more
demanding forms of bodywork.
Deep-tissue massage utilizes slow strokes, direct pressure or friction
applied across the grain of the muscles with the fingers, thumbs or elbows.
Deep-tissue massage works deeply into the muscles and connective tissue to
release chronic aches and pains; its purpose is to reach the fascia beneath
the surface muscles.
Practitioners must have a thorough understanding of the human body and have
been trained to administer deep-tissue massage, as injury can occur if the
technique is not performed properly. This technique is useful in treating
chronic pain, inflammation and injury.
NMT is massage applied to specific muscles, often used to increase blood
flow, release knots of muscle tension, or release pain/pressure on nerves.
This therapy is also known as trigger-point therapy in that concentrated
finger pressure is applied to "trigger points" to alleviate muscular pain.
Prenatal, or pregnancy, massage uses gentle techniques to help alleviate
some of the ailments associated with pregnancy, including lower back, neck
and shoulder pain; fatigue; joint tenderness; and stretch marks. Prenatal
massage can help improve circulation, promote stress reduction and
relaxation, and much more. Practitioners should be well-trained in prenatal
massage in order to deliver safe and effective care, and patients should
check with their doctors prior to receiving treatment.
This technique is based on a system of points on the hands, feet and ears
that correspond, or "reflex," to other areas of the body. Similar in theory
to acupressure, reflexologists believe that applying appropriate pressure to
these points stimulates the flow of energy, thus helping to relieve pain or
blockages throughout the entire body. A very pleasurable form of bodywork,
reflexology is also used to ease stress and promote relaxation.
While not strictly under the auspices of massage, Reiki (pronounced
"ray-key") is often practiced in conjunction with bodywork. The word Reiki
comes from two Japanese words - rei, meaning higher power or universal
force, and ki, meaning life energy. Loosely translated, Reiki means
universal or spiritually-guided life-force energy.
Practiced for thousands of years throughout Japan, China, Tibet and other
Asian nations, Reiki was "rediscovered" in the late 19th century by Dr.
Mikao Usui, a Buddhist monk and educator, who used the therapy to heal the
sick. Today, Reiki is used as a method of healing illness and reducing
stress through light touch or, more commonly, by placing the hands near or
above the body in specific positions or patterns. Through these positions, a
Reiki practitioner can correct energetic imbalances in the body by removing
toxic energy, improving health and restoring a person's energy levels.
As of late, Reiki has received more public attention by way of research
studies. Check out the article, "Federally funded Reiki Study Underway in
Washington," in the February 2004 issue of Massage Today at
Shiatsu is a Japanese form of massage therapy similar to acupressure; in
fact, the word shiatsu literally means "finger pressure." As with
acupressure, the concepts of shiatsu hold that it can promote health and
facilitate healing by correcting energy imbalances in the body. These
imbalances are corrected by applying pressure to specific points along
channels in the body known as meridians. While there is no exact date as to
when shiatsu originated, the technique is believed to be hundreds, if not
thousands, of years old.
Shiatsu is usually delivered with the thumbs. However, some practitioners
will use their fingers, palms, elbows -- and even feet -- to achieve the
desired effect. Typically, a shiatsu practitioner will apply pressure not
just to a few points on the body. The goal here is twofold: to release
energy (qi in Chinese, ki in Japanese - pronounced "chee") in areas where it
may be blocked or stagnating, and to bring energy back to areas that are
In addition to applying pressure, shiatsu practitioners may manipulate the
soft tissue over and around meridians, and perform passive and active
stretching exercises as part of treatment. Scientifically speaking, shiatsu
is an excellent form of pain relief. Research has shown that applying
extensive pressure initiates the release of endorphins, natural pain-killing
substances produced by the body. Shiatsu may also lower the levels of
adrenaline and other stress hormones, producing a relaxing effect.
Soft-tissue massage is a generic term for any modality that is used to treat
the soft tissues in the body, including muscle, fascia, and scar tissue.
Common modalities used include Swedish, myofascial release, deep-tissue
massage, trigger-point therapy, connective tissue massage.
Sports massage therapies are both preventative and therapeutic, and used for
athletes during warm ups, training and competition to treat and/or aid in
the prevention of injuries; help improve flexibility, range of motion, and
performance; and aid in mental clarity. Virtually every professional sports
team employs professional sports massage therapists, and are often privately
employed by professional athletes.
Read Massage Today's sports massage columnist Michael McGillicuddy's column
Generally regarded as the most common form of massage, Swedish massage
involves a combination of five basic strokes and concentrates on the muscles
and connective tissues of the body for improved circulation, relaxation,
pain relief, and overall health maintenance and well-being. Swedish massage
is also one of the less demanding techniques for massage therapists to
practice as it usually does not involve deep-tissue work.
Practiced in Thailand for over 2,000 years, Thai massage -- also known as
yoga massage, Thai yoga massage and ancient massage -- works to clear energy
blockages and restore balance and harmony to the body. The practice combines
typical Westernized massage therapy practices, including myofascial release
and trigger point therapy, with light stretching similar to that of yoga. It
has even earned the name "lazy man's yoga." Like yoga, Thai massage helps to
strengthen the body and increase flexibility, while allowing the client to
benefit from the relaxation and healing properties of massage.
Rather than using a massage table, Thai massage is administered to fully
clothed clients on floor mats. Practitioners use their own body weight to
position clients into yoga-like forms while instructing clients on proper
breathing for maximum results.
For more information, read the article, "Relax the Thai Way," at
This hydrotherapy treatment is often used in day spas and wellness clinics.
It utilizes seawater and sea water products for their minerals and healing
properties. Thalassotherapy treatments can involve body wraps, or, more
commonly, heated seawater baths. Benefits include relaxation, increased
circulation, and treatment of pain and injury.
Therapeutic Touch is a form of bodywork practiced primarily in the nursing
profession. Using light touch, practitioners work with a clients energy to
help restore balance, emotional clarity, and promote relaxation and healing.
Chinese Medicine (TCM)
Traditional Chinese medicine is one of the oldest continuous systems of
medicine in history, with recorded instances dating as far back as two
thousand years before the birth of Christ. This is in sharp contrast to
American or Western forms of health care, which have been in existence for a
much shorter time span.
Traditional Chinese medicine is based, at least in part, on the Daoist
belief that we live in a universe in which everything is interconnected.
What happens to one part of the body affects every other part of the body.
The mind and body are not viewed separately, but as part of an energetic
system. Similarly, organs and organ systems are viewed as interconnected
structures that work together to keep the body functioning.
Many of the concepts emphasized in traditional Chinese medicine have no true
counterpart in Western medicine. One of these concepts is qi (pronounced "chee"),
which is considered a vital force or energy responsible for controlling the
workings of the human mind and body. Qi flows through the body via channels,
or pathways, which are called meridians. There are a total of 20 meridians:
12 primary meridians, which correspond to specific organs, organ systems or
functions, and eight secondary meridians. Imbalances in the flow of qi cause
illness; correction of this flow restores the body to balance.
Traditional Chinese medicine encompasses several methods designed to help
patients achieve and maintain health. Along with acupuncture, TCM
incorporates adjunctive techniques such as acupressure, tuina, herbal
medicine, diet and lifestyle, meditation, and other practices.
For more information on TCM, visit www.acupuncturetoday.com/abc/
The Trager Approach relies on gentle, rhythmic rocking and stretching
techniques to promote easy and free movement and sensation throughout the
body. Clients wear loose-fitting clothing and lay on a table in a warm
treatment room. Sessions can last from either one hour to an hour and a
Following the session, practitioners provide clients with information on "Mentastics,"
or mental gymnastics, and "recall". Mentastics and recall help the client
recreate the experiences they felt during the actual Trager session to help
induce the positive feelings and states of relaxation associated with the
session. The effects of the Trager Approach are cumulative and improve over
time; hence, clients are encouraged to engage in several sessions to reap
its full benefits.
Trigger points are areas of soft tissue in the body characterized by local
pain, tightness, and tenderness. Often trigger points develop because of
referred pain, or pain from another source that has manifested itself in a
trigger point. Trigger points rarely refer pain to other areas.
Trigger-point therapy seeks first to identify trigger points, then apply
steady, appropriate pressure to the point to "release" it. This is usually
followed by massage to the surrounding area to help treat the cause of the
trigger point. Clients are encouraged to drink a lot of water following a
trigger-point therapy session to flush out any toxins released when the
trigger point is released.
Tuina (pronounced "twee nah") is a form of Asian bodywork that has been used
in China for centuries. A combination of massage, acupressure and other
forms of body manipulation, tuina works by applying pressure to acupoints,
meridians and groups of muscles or nerves to remove blockages that prevent
the free flow of qi (pronounced "chee"). Removing these blockages restores
the balance of qi in the body, leading to improved health and vitality.
Tuina is best suited for alleviating chronic pain, musculoskeletal
conditions and stress-related disorders that affect the digestive and/or
respiratory systems. Among the ailments tuina treats best are neck pain,
shoulder pain, back pain, sciatica and tennis elbow. However, because tuina
is designed to improve and restore the flow of qi, treatment often ends up
causing improvements to the whole body, not just a specific area.
There is anecdotal evidence that headaches, constipation, premenstrual
symptoms and some emotional problems may also be effectively treated through
tuina. Because it tends to be more specific and intense than other types of
bodywork, tuina may not necessarily be used to sedate or relax a patient.
The type of massage delivered by a tuina practitioner can be quite vigorous;
in fact, some people may feel sore after their first session. Some patients
may also experience feelings of sleepiness or euphoria. As with all forms of
care, there are certain instances in which tuina should not be performed.
Patients with osteoporosis or conditions involving fractures, for instance,
should not receive tuina. Neither should patients with infectious diseases,
skin problems or open wounds.
Visceral Manipulation seeks to correct pain and dysfunction caused by
imbalance between the organs and structures of the body.
According to the Upledger Institute, "Visceral Manipulation (VM) is a gentle
hands-on therapy that works through the body's visceral system (the heart,
liver, intestines and other internal organs) to locate and alleviate
abnormal points of tension throughout the body. VM employs specifically
placed manual forces that work to encourage the normal mobility, tone and
motion of the viscera and their connective tissues. Trained practitioners
use the rhythmic motions of the visceral system to evaluate how abnormal
forces interplay, overlap and affect the normal body forces at work. These
gentle manipulations can potentially improve the functioning of individual
organs, the systems the organs function within, and the structural integrity
of the entire body." *
*For reference information, click here.
Watsu is a hydrotherapy treatment quickly gaining popularity all over the
world. Watsu, which combines the words water and shiatsu, is literally
shiatsu performed on clients who float in warm water. The practitioner
carefully holds the client and applies gentle stretching and shiatsu-like
massage techniques along the back, neck, shoulders, and limbs. This therapy
is useful for a number of reasons: The warm water soothes muscles and
promotes relaxation; the feeling of weightlessness promotes free movement;
and benefits include pain relief, stress reduction and deep relaxation.
Watsu also promotes self-reflection, connection and trust.
Zero Balancing is concerned with "bone energy," or the energy of the
skeletal system. The practice seeks to work with both the body's energy and
physical structure to correct imbalance, restore vitality, and aid in stress
relief and pain reduction. ZB work is performed on fully-clothed clients,
and sessions usually last about 30-45 minutes.
For more on Zero Balancing, read the article "Zero Balancing: Touching the
Spirit Through Energy and Structure," at www.massagetoday.com/archives/2004/08/15.html
Our personal trainers or massage therapists, at Every Body's Personal
Trainer, are available for in home personal training and massage therapy at
all of the above locations. Have one of Maryland's best personal trainers
or massage therapists work with you in the comfort of your own home. Our
personal trainers and massage therapists will bring the equipment necessary
to give you a great total body workout or massage in the convenience of
your home. Give us a call today to get started on your path to achieving
your goals with one of our in home personal trainers and massage
****article from massagetoday.com