What is Massage?


Let’s Start with Touch

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary nails it.  It defines massage as the “manipulation of tissues (as by rubbing, kneading, or tapping) with the hand or an instrument for relaxation or therapeutic purposes.”  In other words, using touch to make someone feel better – and that someone could even be yourself.  If you’ve ever rubbed your own sore neck or your own tired feet, you’re a masseuse or masseur, but not a professional massage therapist.

It takes more than a little rubbing someone the right way to become a massage therapist, at least in Texas, as well as in most other states.  Here, a licence is required to operate professionally as a massage therapist.  Generally, the licencing classes cover the following subjects:

  • Anatomy and physiology – basic information about the body and its parts
  • Pathology – the causes and effects of disease
  • Theory of massage – the basic ideas behind massage
  • Health values of massage – the things massage can do and should be used for
  • Contraindications and limitations – the things massage can’t do and shouldn’t be used for
  • Hygiene – how to meet basic sanitary requirements
  • Professional ethics – the moral issues of massage
  • Business and license procedure – how to run a business and get a licence
  • Self-care – how to keep the massager massaging

That’s a lot of information, but there’s one thing they can’t teach in massage school and that’s touch.  You either have it or you don’t.  You don’t even have to have it to get a licence.  Plenty of people decide to pursue a career in massage without having the gift of touch.  With enough practice someone without the gift of touch can even you a pretty good massage, but the person with the gift, with or without a licence, will always be able to give you a better one.

The Gift of Touch

The gift of touch has two hallmarks.  There is, first of all, an ability to seek out and find the source of pain.  A massage therapist will usually begin your treatment by asking where you hurt.  They are taught to do that in school, because the act of someone hearing your complaint is actually part of the relief process, especially when you have reason to believe the person has an ability to fix your problem.

This practice also acts as a cover for those who don’t have the gift of touch, directing them to their area of focus.  In massage school therapist are taught a series of techniques that can relieve pain in certain areas and for most patients, when those techniques are applied, they’ll feel better, for awhile.

A therapist with the gift of touch will listen to the description of your pain, but they can’t wait to get their hands on you, because that’s how they find out what is really going on.  As they run their fingers across your skin, they can feel the stress of your complaint area and follow the stress and restrictions to the true source of the problem, which to the layman’s eye might seem totally unrelated.

The second part of the gift of touch is related to the actual application of pressure and manipulation.  Massage school can teach you to apply various amounts of pressure and suggest which level is appropriate for various complaints, but someone with the gift of touch knows this innately.  They don’t actually think about the process, because it is something that comes naturally.  Their touch actually knows better what to do than they would be able to explain to you.

Dwight Lee Tinney Has the Gift of Touch 

Though Dwight has a wall of certificates he can show you, attesting to his knowledge of wellness, in general, and massage, specifically, he’d be the first to tell you those pieces of paper weren’t the most important contribution to his success as a massage therapist.  His healing touch is his gift to his patients and it is something which was a part of his life long before he decided to pursue massage as a career.

Another proof of his gift is the testimony of his patients.  Unfortunately, most patients don’t come to Dwight at the first sign of pain.  Usually, they try living with it to see if it will go away and then try a number of various treatments, including several massage therapists, using a wide variety of massage methodologies.  Perhaps the patient even seeks a medical remedy, like medication or surgery.

For the great majority of people who do find Dwight, their pain is relieved, because he can find the root of the problem and has the right touch in his therapy.  Of course, he can’t guarantee success, because the body is a complex instrument, but the patient who comes to Dwight and can’t be helped is rare indeed.

If you are suffering, please call us now at 903-456-5712.  Dwight’s gift of touch might be all you need to get on the road to a pain-free life.

Jane Sadek, the author of this post, developed this website and will be a regular contributor to the site and blog.  She has experienced Dwight’s special gift of touch and is amazed at the testimonies of his patients.  She is a freelance writer, published poet, web developer and marketing guru.


One Comment on “What is Massage?

  1. Pingback: What is Medical Massage • DFW Medical Massage

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