Massage is the practice of soft tissue manipulation with
physical, functional, and in some cases psychological purposes and goals.
The word comes from the French massage "friction of kneading,"
or from Arabic massa meaning "to touch, feel or handle" or from Latin
massa meaning "mass, dough".
Massage involves acting on and manipulating the body with
pressure –- structured, unstructured, stationary, or moving –- tension,
motion, or vibration, done manually or with mechanical aids. Target tissues
may include muscles, tendons, ligaments, skin, joints, as well as lymphatic
vessels, or organs of the gastrointestinal system. Massage can be applied
with the hands, fingers, elbows, forearm, and feet. There are over eighty
different recognized massage techniques.
In professional settings massage involves the client being
treated while lying on a massage table, or lying on a mat on the floor. The
massage subject may be fully or partly unclothed. Parts of the body may be
covered with towels or sheets.
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