Injury Prevention

Pre-& Post-Surgical Rehabilitation





Phone: (804) 815-1291






David Bartholomew


Orthopedic Massage Specialist






Gloucester, Virginia


Est. 1994




Glossary - Words and Terms


Techniques & Modalities







Arthrossage: a trademark of Artizens Touch LLC.  


     ARTIZENS TOUCH massage therapy was founded in 2007 by two Massage Therapists, Adrian and Leona Carr, with a vision of bringing healing to body, mind and spirit through the Art of Massage. 

Adrian and Leona offer a one day (8 hour) continuing education class,

and a two-day (12 hour) certification class.



Active Isolated Stretching… the Original Mattes Method

The Active Isolated Stretching (AIS) method of muscle lengthening and fascial release is a type of athletic stretching technique that provides effective, dynamic, facilitated stretching of major muscle groups, but more importantly, AIS provides functional and physiological restoration of superficial and deep fascial planes. 

Mr. Aaron L. Mattes developed this method of stretching over the past 35 years:

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"Custom”, or “Customized” Massage Session – Believe it or not, there are businesses and therapists charging the massage consumer for words like “Custom, or Customized Session”!!  Why?

     The fact is… every session any professional therapist provides should be “customized” to the client/patient’s health condition and goals. 




Deep Tissue –The term “DEEP TISSUE” was once used to identify a technique that identified deep, slow work into the muscles and connective tissue to release chronic aches and pains.  It was a technique provided by certified Rolfers, Hellerworkers and Structural Integration practitioners, not “everyone”!


     Today, the term “DEEP TISSUE” is OFTEN abused / misused / twisted / skewed by multi-therapist businesses & practitioners (often with weak skills) to identify a session/sessions they offer.  

     Since the clear majority of massage therapists have forgotten the basics of the massage therapy profession (usually within a year after leaving their basic massage school training)... the “session” the offer is often nothing more than someone pressing harder, digging deeper… giving you a mindless “deep pressure” pummeling / Swedish massage… at an excessive / disproportionate cost.



Experience or Experienced: Another misused / abused word in the massage therapy industry.   As with the terms “custom massage”, or “deep tissue” there are individuals and nationwide franchise businesses today that will charge the novice, or unsuspecting customer more to have “an experienced therapist work with them”.   

     FYI:  Since you’re being charged more, don’t you have the right to ask the attending practitioner what they mean by “experience”.  Does mean 6 months, a year, or 20+ plus years providing professional services? Is he / she a part-time worker (for extra cash), or are they full time committed professional?  

     And what about the practitioner’s qualifications?  Are they certified in clinical massage services, or just weekend trained?    Please see: “Medical Massage”.



Integrative Massage SessionThe term “integrative massage” sounds wonderful, but… should the massage consumer pay more for something each professionally committed massage therapist should be providing you already?


    A therapist’s “Integrated experience” is combination of professional commitment, academic excellence, and hands-on experience providing massage & bodywork.  It’s NOT a specific modality, or specialty.  


So, again… why should the massage consumer pay “more” for a simple word / made up title?  I guess it just boils down to “advertising” and what the consumer chooses to pay for.




“Medical Massage” is not a technique, or a modality.

     SIMPLY PUT, massage becomes "medical massage" when a therapist/practitioner performs their work per a physician’s prescription (from a licensed physician) who has diagnosed a medical condition.

Client / patient beware!

A good example of a bad example:


There is a “Medical Massage certification program” (presently in existence) that allows attendee to complete a “medical massage program” in just 5 days (actually 5 – ½ day classes… so, actually it’s 2.5 days’ total) and then walk away with the title, “Master Medical Massage Therapist”!!   To me, that’s simply scary!!!!  (NOTE: It took me a year of constant study to earn my Orthopedic Massage Certification!)

     So yes, five ½ day classes… with no academic testing… no peer tested review of clinical skills, or case study reviews… nor is there even a final written & graded exam!  But, if the “student” succeeds in showing up for 5 - “1/2 day classes”, (and, of course pays their tuition) … the program provider “bestows” upon the attendee the title of “Master Medical Massage Therapist”!

     And yes, there are practitioners then “subtly” promote themselves or lead you to believe they have a “Masters” (degree) in Medical Massage!  Sounds impressive, right?



Myofascial Release / Therapy – “Myo” means muscle and “fascia” is the elastic connective tissue wrapped around muscles and other parts of the body. During myofascial release, restrictions (stuck areas) are located and a gentle pressure is applied in the direction of the restriction to stretch the tissues. The stretching of tissues and the heat imparted by the practitioner's hands produce a softer consistency of fascial tissues.2



Neuromuscular Re-education (NMR):  A term usually used for insurance company reimbursement when techniques are applied by Physical Therapists, Physicians and Chiropractors.



Orthopedic Massage is not a technique, but a comprehensive approach system that is both researched-based and outcome driven; a proven, cutting-edge approach to treating pain, injury and other conditions with massage.

     The Orthopedic Massage Certified Practitioner is a knowledgeable, skilled critical thinker... having an advanced understanding of soft tissue (meaning: muscle, tendon & ligament) pain & injury conditions and in the use of a variety of massage treatment techniques. This combination of expertise provides for the most effective treatment of soft tissue pain and injury conditions using massage therapy.5

Four Primary Components of Orthopedic Massage

1)    Orthopedic Functional Assessment / Evaluation

2)    Matching the Physiology of the Injury with the Physiological Effects of Treatment

3)    Treatment Adaptability

4)    Understanding the Rehabilitation Protocol


NOTE: To receive Orthopedic Massage certification, the “practitioner student” is required to complete over 100 hours of academic & clinical training, including case study reviews in soft tissue pain & injury conditions.  Only after the practitioner student completes the 100 hours (minimum) of studies can the individual sit for the graded exam.



Pregnancy Massage - addresses the special needs of pregnant women (prenatal), and her unique needs after childbirth (post-partum)

     NOTE: A Pregnancy Massage certification program (i.e. will require the practitioner to invest a minimum of 34 continuing education hours specifically in Pregnancy

Massage techniques (to include classroom & clinical training and a written, graded exam). 


Think safety.

No matter who you choose to provide prenatal massage services

(be it a male or female therapist) … ensure your chosen practitioner possesses documented, advanced specialty certification in Pregnancy Massage. 

     Please don’t just accept someone who “knows what to do” because they received basic classes, or a weekend training class, or who has had training in their basic massage schooling.



Swedish Massage “Swedish massage” is a system of manipulations on muscles and connective tissues of the body for the purpose of relaxation and/or health maintenance.3   Your therapist’s will use hand pressure that is usually considered to be light, moderate.  Please see “deep tissue massage” definition above for clarification of the term “deep tissue”.

In the United States, Swedish massage it is most often associated with relaxation and provided within day spa, resorts, and cruise ships. 



Sports Massage – identifies an approach designed for those who engage in athletics.



Therapeutic – simply defined as: beneficial, salutary (helpful), healing.  All forms of massage - when provided with proper intent - can be considered therapeutic (be it provided by a family member, a friend, or the professional practitioner).

The term therapeutic massage does not - to my knowledge – and never has identified a specific technique, modality or style of work.  To me, any massage provided with safe, proper intent, is “therapeutic”.









1. Knaster, Mirka. Discovering the Body's Wisdom. Bantam 1996

2. Tappan, Frances. Tappan's Handbook of Healing Massage Techniques. Appleton and Lange. 1998

3. Stillerman, Elaine. The Encyclopedia of Bodywork from Acupressure to Zone Therapy. Facts on File. 1996.

4. Article, by Vivian Madison-Mahoney, LMT   


5. Lowe, Whitney: Orthopedic Massage /





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