Massage & Bodywork

May/June 2012

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TELL ME … Are you a masseuse, masseur, or massage therapist? ABMP Social Media Coordinator | abram@abmp.com The word massage was originally a French term meaning "friction of kneading." It is believed to be derived from the Arabic massa, meaning "to touch, feel, handle." Another possibility is that it comes from the Portuguese verb amassar, meaning "knead," based on the Latin massa, It's a hot issue, with good arguments from both sides, but what's the "correct" term for what you do? Massage Therapist The term massage therapist has only come into common use in more recent decades, and is primarily used in the United States. It follows a trend in the American vernacular toward replacing gender-specific terms, such as waiter or stewardess, with more gender- neutral terms like server and flight attendant. The majority of those who practice massage in the United States choose to go by the title of massage therapist, often because it's considered to be a more legitimate term for those who practice therapeutic massage. "This chart [Massage Titles, right] is interesting "mass, dough." www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=massage people don't know the difference and don't mean any disrespect," says massage therapist Linda Thompson Frazier. "We have come a long way and have gained respect for our hard work, and most people respect what we do." in that it shows the term massage therapist came into popular usage around 1980," says Rick Rosen, founder of the Alliance for Massage Therapy Education. "In a way, this could be considered the beginning of the modern era of massage therapy. The terms masseur and masseuse are antiquated, as they refer to the much smaller field that existed before the widespread availability of formal massage education programs," he says. "Masseuse is uneducated, and truthfully most Did You Know? A LICENSED MASSAGE THERAPIST, OR LMT, IS SOMEONE WHO HAS BEEN LICENSED BY A STATE GOVERNING BODY AS PART OF A MANDATORY PRACTICE ACT. A CERTIFIED MASSAGE THERAPIST, OR CMT, IS SOMEONE WHO HOLDS A VOLUNTARY CERTIFICATION FROM A WIDELY RECOGNIZED REGULATORY BODY (E.G., NCBTMB), ALTHOUGH THE TERM IS ALSO USED BY MANY PRACTITIONERS IN UNREGULATED STATES AFTER HAVING GRADUATED FROM MASSAGE SCHOOL. REGISTERED MASSAGE THERAPIST, OR RMT, IS THE TERM USED IN ABMP'S HOME STATE OF COLORADO, BUT IN PRACTICAL APPLICATION, IT IS ESSENTIALLY NO DIFFERENT THAN AN LMT. 18 massage & bodywork may/june 2012 By Abram Herman

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