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Massage therapists, like athletes, rely on their bodies to produce results and perform at optimal levels. Sustaining a high level of performance requires training, conditioning and body awareness, allowing for recovery time, proper nutrition and regular maintenance.
A solid understanding of body mechanics—or biomechanics—gives massage therapists the tools to provide effective massage therapy with efficiency, reducing the impact to their body while delivering therapeutic care.
Efficient body mechanics help massage therapists apply pressure evenly without muscle strain or compromising the joints, and with sufficient breath to ensure career longevity by decreasing the risk of injury. For peak performance, massage therapists should work smart rather than hard to avoid career-ending injuries.
Free Self-Care for Massage Therapists
This course and Self-Care for Massage Therapists: Injury Prevention are free to all massage therapists. Learn more about this self-care program »
The study of body mechanics helps massage therapists deliver both effective and efficient massage therapy, while helping reduce the impact on their body while delivering therapeutic care. Learn body position guidelines to help deliver massage strokes efficiently and minimize bodily stress. After completing this course, you will be able to:
- Define the role of body mechanics in massage therapy.
- Describe how the delivery of force in massage therapy is affected by gravity.
- Describe how to effectively bend via a squat bend.
- Describe how the position of your feet and the orientation of your trunk affect the force of a massage stroke.
- Explain stacking joints and how it affects the delivery of a massage stroke.
- Describe how the use of larger muscles and a larger contact area improves the delivery of massage therapy or skin care service.
- Explain why regular maintenance of your own body is important for massage therapists.
About the author(s)
Sandra Anderson has certifications in massage therapy, shiatsu, and Thai massage. For 12 years she instructed at the Desert Institute of the Healing Arts in Tucson, AZ. For five years she served as chair of the Examination Committee for NCBTMB. She has authored five textbooks.
Based on original content by Joseph Muscolino, DC
Joe Muscolino is a licensed chiropractic physician and has been an instructor of musculoskeletal and visceral anatomy, physiology, kinesiology and pathology courses for more than 20 years. He is an NCBTMB-approved provider.
Please note that you must complete each AMTA online learning course and pass the exam one year from the date of purchase. If you do not complete the course and pass the exam within one year, you will be required to re-purchase the course.
Online courses expire one year from the date of purchase. When a course expires, you will no longer have access to the course materials and will be required to re-purchase the course.
Course approval codes
MS #218; LCEU0002272
This course contains information that is proprietary. None of the material contained within this course may be used without the express written permission of AMTA unless otherwise indicated in the course.
You are responsible for ensuring that any new modalities, techniques, or products you use comply with your state's defined scope of practice for massage therapy. (See amtamassage.org/regulation.) While AMTA makes every attempt to present information that is beneficial to you and your massage therapy practice, the courses provided by AMTA are for educational purposes only and are not intended to cover every situation that you may encounter. Information presented here does not replace your independent judgment and that of your company and/or employer. AMTA does not endorse or approve, and AMTA assumes no responsibility for, the content, suitability, accuracy, or completeness of the information presented.
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