Advanced massage techniques are types of massage therapy that require
training and studies beyond the traditional 6-12 hour coursework. Some
advanced techniques even require many years of training in order to
Advanced training and studies in specialized therapies also make a massage therapist more marketable.
This is becoming more evident in the massage therapy industry as more therapists enter the workforce after massage school.
If a therapist is in private practice, advanced training gives
him/her a more favorable reputation with physicians and other heath care
personnel who may be referring their patients.
Why you might look for a therapist familiar with advanced therapies:
You have a specific pain syndromes, medical condition or health issue. There are lots of massage therapy benefits for so many medical problems, and we are just now learning through studies and research how beneficial massage can truly can be for some of them.
Your massage therapist uses her/his elbows. We are now seeing great benefits of using shaped massage stones in advanced stone massage. These are not only more comfortable for the client, but also easier on the therapists hands.
Traditional medical treatments have failed or not
helped as much as they could have. Not saying that massage is a
"cure-all" or that it can help more than medicine, but sometimes, with a
more relaxed atmosphere, we can "allow" healing to begin.
You have a treatment that you loved in a foreign country. Some Ayervedic therapies, or Chinese / Japanese techniques
can only be found when you return home by searching for therapists who
have advanced studies, perhaps even learning from the original master of
You have heard about a technique from a friend or
family member. Many times, this is how therapists grow their practice
of advanced techniques, through word of mouth.
For instance, a massage therapist who practices cupping
therapy for breast cancer patients with lymphedema, will likely develop a
specialized practice working primarily with breast cancer patients
after the word is passed about the success of the treatments.
These are some of the advanced massage techniques that therapists study:
Advanced Face Massage
teaches facial massage using stones (both hot and cold), Chinese facial
massage, Ayurvedic facial massage, and Facial Reflexology.
Neuromuscular Therapy teaches trigger point release techniques to release constriction and create normal blood flow.
Elder massage - teaches how to massage older people in a hospital, assisted living, home, or hospice setting
Orthopedic Massage teaches advanced massage techniques
that integrate orthopedic assessments, (passive, active, resistive and
special tests) along with myofascial release to facilitate an overall
balance of the body resulting in pain free movement and greater
If a massage therapist works at a hospital, spa, clinic, or wellness
center, they are more desirable as an employee if they have
specialized, advanced training, as the employer is able to market to a
whole different clientele by adding their services.
Another advantage of having a therapist who has studied these advanced massage techniques, is their knowledge...they've gone a step beyond learning the technique, by actually developing skills that allow them to effectively communicate the benefits of the therapy.