Anatomy terminology

Anatomy – The study of the structure of the body and the relationships between the structures.

Physiology – Study of the function of the body parts

Pathology – Structural and functional changes associated with diseases.

  • Etiology – Etio =cause. Study of the cause of disease
  • Sign – Objective evidence of disease that can be observed or measured.
  • Symptom – Subjective change in body function not apparent to an observer and can’t be measured.
  • Treatment – the management and care of a patient or client

Levels of Structural Organization

    1. Atoms: ex.Carbon, hydrogen, oxygen
    2. Chemicals: ex. – proteins, carbohydrates, fats and vitamins
    3. Cellular – basic structural and functional units of an organism

-cell membrane – 2 layers of lipid molecules with proteins and carbohydrates that regulates what can enter and leave the cell
– Cytoplasm – fills the cell and holds the organelles
-Nucleus – control center with specific genetic material
– Nucleolus – little nucleus, manufactures proteins and replicates genetic material.
– Mitochondria – makes ATP energy from glucose
– Gogi Body – carbohydrate and lipid synthesis
– Ribosome – manufactures proteins

  1. Tissue – A group of similar cells that together with their intercellular material have similar origin in the embryo and perform a specific function.
    – Epithelial – form glands, covers body, lines cavities, secretes fluids
    – Connective – supports and forms framework of the body, hard is cartilage/bone, soft – adipose, liquid – blood, lymph
    – Muscular – contracts and produces movement
    – Nervous – conducts nerve impulses
  2. Organs – structures that are composed of two or more different tissues and have specific functions and usually have a recognizable shape like the heart, liver, spleen
  3. System – related organs that have a common function like the digestive system that is comprised of the mouth, esophagus, stomach etc
  4. (Skeletal, Muscular, Nervous, Cardiovascular, Digestive, Respiratory, Endocrine, Integumentary, Urinary, Reproductive)
  5. Organism – One whole living being

Anatomical Position – erect, palms forward, feet flat on the floor, arms at the side.

Prone – lying horizontal, face down
Supine- lying horizontal, face up
Superior- above or in a higher position
Inferior- below or lower position
Anterior – ventral – front
Posterior – dorsal – back
Cranial – near the head
Caudal – near the sacral region of spinal column
Medial – toward midline of the body
Lateral – away from the midline towards the side
Proximal – nearest the origin of a structure
Distal – farthest away from a region
Superficial – towards surface
Deep – Internal

Planes of the body

Midsagittal – Vertical Plane that divides the body or organ into right and left sides. A Midsaggital plane passes through the midline.
Frontal – (coronal) divides the body or organ into anterior and posterior (front and back)
Horizontal or Transverse – divides the body or organ into superiour and inferior
Oblique – divides the body or organ at an angle

Swedish Massage Glossary

Swedish Massage Glossary of Terms

Active assisted movement– Movement
in a joint in which both the client and therapist produce the motion together.

Active free movement–  Movement
of a joint freely through its range of motion, unassisted: done by client

Acute-signs and symptoms happen
quickly, last a short amount of time and then disappear.

Adhesion– Abnormal adherence of
collagen fibers  within connective tissue to surrounding structures
following trauma or stress; as a result of surgery.  restrict the
normal elasticity of these structures as well as the transfer of electrolytes
and other fluids.

Autonomic Nervous System
The body system that regulates involuntary body functions such as action
of glands, smooth muscles and the heart.  It consists of the sympathetic
and parasympathetic nervous system.

Atrophy– Wasting away or decrease
in size of  something, due to disease or other factors such as nutrition
or lack of use.

Beating – a form of heavy tapotement
usually using the fist.

Chronic– disease or condition that
develops slowly and lasts for a long time.

Compression– Massage petrissage
stroke, applied with fist, palm, heel of hand or fingertips; used to spread
tissue against underlying structures; can vary in pace and depth.

Connective tissue– The most abundant
type of tissue in the body, providing support, structure, framework, space,
stabilization and scar formation; binds structures together.

Contraindications– factors that
indicate that the treatment is not advised, unless further evaluation by
a physician can recommend a treatment plan.

Desquamation– The shedding of epethelial
tissue; mainly the skin  as in exfoliation.

Effleurage– gliding stroke; does
not access the muscle layer; following the fiber direction of the underlying

Friction– circular or transverse
technique that focuses on the underlying tissue.

Gate Theory– A hypothetical mechanism
that diminishes pain.  There is a gate through which pain impulses
travel.  Pain signals travel to the Central nervous system on unmyelinated
nerve pathways, which are a slower route to the brain.  Pressure,
touch, vibration, and temperature signals travel on the faster myelinated
nerve pathways.  These signals will arrive first and block out the
sensation of pain.

Golgi Tendon Receptors– receptors
in the tendons that sense tension; found mostly near the junction of tendons
and muscles.  It will trigger a central nervous system response which
will inhibit muscular contraction when the tendon is in danger of tearing
due to excessive tension.

Hyperemia– an excess of blood in
an area or body part; usually indicated by red, flushed color or heat in
the area.

Hyperesthesia– Unusual sensitivity
to sensory stimulus, hyper irritalbility, or increased muscular sensitivity
to pain.

Hypertonicity–  Excess muscle

Hypertrophy– An increased size in
muscle or thickening of muscle tissue in response to increases stress.

Inflammation– characterized by pain,
heat, redness, swelling; usually as a result of an injury or infection.

Ischemia–  Local and temporary
decrease in blood flow to an area.

Kneading– Petrissage; rhythmical
lifting of tissue; rolling or squeezing; pulling away from underlying tissue.

Mechanical Effect– based on structural
changes in the tissue; primary effects created manually; as a direct result
of the application of the technique.

Myofascial– affecting the connective
tissue of the body

Muscle spasm– a non-voluntary contraction
of the motor unit of a muscle; usually causing a contraction without shortening
the muscle; can be a result of mental, physical, emotional, chemical stress.

Peristalsis– Successive muscular
contractions along the wall of a hollow muscular structure such as the
movement of food through the intestine and colon.

Petrissage– kneading; rhythmic rolling,
lifting, squeezing, wringing of sort tissue.

Proprioceptor– a receptor located
in muscles, tendons or joints that provides information about body movement
an position.

Reflexive effect– secondary effects
that occur as a result of the massage technique but we do not cause directly
or manually.

Scar tissue–  tissue that results
from healing of wounds; It is composed of collagenous fibers which will
restrict normal elasticity of tissue involved.

Stroke- a technique of therapeutic
massage; applying to the surface or deeper structures of the body.

Tapotement– percussive movement
that are applied to the body, rhythmically.

Vibration– fine, coarse tremulus
movement that creates reflexive responses

Glossary of Massage Terms (H, I , J, K)

Hemarthrosis – Bleeding into a joint, usually from severe trauma

Hemoglobin – The iron containing pigment that enables red blood cells to carry oxygen from the lungs to the tissues

Hyperemia -An excess of blood in an area or part of the body

Hyperesthesia – Unusual sensitivity to sensory stimulus, hyper irritability or increased muscular sensitivity to pain.

Hypertonicity– The condition of excess muscle ton.  The tension of a resting muscle is unnecessarily high.

Hypertrophy– An increase in the size of a muscle, or increase or thickening of connective tissue structures, in response to increased stresses.

Hyperventilation – An excessive increase in the rate of breathing, which causes a decrease in the amount of carbon dioxide in the blood.  The result can be giddiness, cramps, convulsions, lowered blood pressure and anxiety.

Incomplete Protein – Protein that lacks one or more of the essential amino acids.  Examples are grains and vegetables.

Inter/Intra Event Massage – Administered between athletic events such as races.  It has elements of both pre and post event massage techniques

Intermittent Work – Activities or exercise periods performed with rest periods in between.

Intrinsic Muscle Spasm – the prolonged spasms of a muscle in response to the local circulatory and metabolic changes that occur when a muscle spasm becomes self-perpetuating, regardless of whether the primary lesion that caused the initial guarding is still irritable.

Isokeinetic Exercise – Contraction of a muscle during which the force exerted while the muscle shortens is maximal.

Isometric Exercise – A contraction of a muscle when no joint movement or muscle position change occurs. The contraction can be in any position as long as there is no change in the position.

Isotonic Contraction – A concentric or eccentric contraction of a muscle.  A muscle contraction performed with movement.

Isotonic Exercise -Contraction of a muscle during which the force of resistance to the movement remains constant throughout the range of motion.

Joint Dysfunction – Mechanical loss of normal joint play in synovial joints.  Commonly causes loss of function and pain.  Precipitating factors may be joint trauma, immobilization, disuse, aging or serious pathological condition.

Kneading (Pettrissage)- Rhythmic lifting rolling or squeezing, pulling muscle away from underlying or adjacent muscle,commonly applied with hand, thumbs, thumb and finger or forearm.

Lactacid oxygen debt – the oxygen necessary after strenuous exercise to remove lactic acid from the blood.

Lactic Acid– Formed in exercising muscles by the breakdown of glycogen (glycolosis).

latent Trigger point– A focus of hyper irritability in a muscle or its fascia that is not actively painful. The tissue in this area often feels dense and fibrous. The sensation the client reports feeling is usually numbness.  After deep tissue massage or triggerpoint therapy, the area will usually be tender to pressure and may refer pain.

lesion – A circumscribed area of pathologically altered tissue.


Glossary of Massage Terms (E,F,G)

Eccentric Muscle Contraction– On overall lengthening of the muscles while it is contracting or resisting a work load.

Electrolytes– Ionized salts in blood, tissue fluids and cells

Empty Calories – Calories obtained from foods such as sugar and candy, which are virtually devoid of dietary essentials like amino acids or vitamins.

End-feel–  The quality of feel the practitioner experiences when passively applying pressure at the end point of the available range of motion.

Endurance – The ability of a muscle to perform repeated contractions over a prolonged period of time before fatigue failure begins.

Energy – The capacity for doing work.

Engaging Tissue– When a sufficient amount of pressure (and no more) is applied during palpation or treatment in order to move or to compress the structure, then the tissue is engaged and assessment or treatment will be efficacious.

Enzymes – complex proteins that are capable of speeding up chemical changes in other substances, without being changed themselves. Enzymes are present in digestive juices, where they cause food to break down into simpler compounds.

Ergogenic Aids – Stimulants and other substances that, when take orally or by injection, increase the potential for exercise performance. Most are illegal in any quantity.

Ergomenter – A stationary bicycle used for training or for laboratory tests to measure work performed.

Excursion – In friction, it refers to the distance of movement or glide available from the starting point in a pattern of oscillation or alternating movements with a return to the starting point.

Fast twitch muscle fiber – These have a contraction speed 2-3 times greater than slow twitch muscle fibers.  They produce more power than slow-twitch fibers.

Fat – As part of the body, fat produces a concentrated source of fuel, storage of energy, and certain vitamins, insulation, and support and protection of organs.  Fat stores are metabolized when blood sugar is below normal.  As part of the diet, fat supplies about 9 calories per gram (relate that to the 4 calories per gram for carbohydrates.

Flaccid – relaxed, flabby or soft muscle. lacking muscle tone

Flexibility – The ability of a muscle or soft tissue to relax and deform to a stretch force.

Ganglia – A ballooning of the wall of a joint capsule or tendon sheath.  Ganglia may arise following trauma.  They sometimes also appear with rheumatoid arthritis.

Gate Theory – Pain signals travel to the Central Nervous System (CNS) on unmyelinated nerve pathways. These signals travel slower to the brain. Pressure, touch, vibration and temperature signals travel on the more numerous myelinated nerve pathways, which are faster to the CNS (the gate).  These signals will inundate the brain with the pressure, touch, vibration and temperature stimuli which tends to outnumber the pain signals and remove them from the foreground.

Gliding/sliding Strokes – Gliding smooth, even strokes parallel to the muscle fiber over the skin.  Commonly applied with the palms, the ball of the thumb or fingertip pads, knuckles or forearm.

Glucose – Blood sugar.  The most important carbohydrate in body metabolism.  In the tissue, it may be converted to glycogen, used to form fat, or oxidized to carbon dioxide and water.  Nervous tissue is especially dependent upon glucose as its source of energy, the brain being able to oxidize glucose directly.

Glycogen – The form in which carbohydrate is stored in the body.  When needed, it is converted by the tissues into glucose.  It is used by muscles and with their contraction, breaks down into lactic acid.  Oxygen is then needed to convert lactic acid back into glycogen, at which time some of the lactic acid is burned.  Sugar from the blood takes the place of the lactic acid consumed.

Glycolysis – The enzymatic breakdown of glucose to produce ATP

Golgi Tendon Apparatus – A proprioceptor that senses changes in the muscle and tendon tension, found chiefly near the junction of tendons and muscles.  It triggers a CNS response which inhibits muscular contraction thereby preventing a tear at the musculotendenous junction.


Mastering Medical Terminology

Root                    Meaning                    Example

Acou, Acu         hearing                     Acoustics

Acro, Acro        extremity                Acromium

Aden, Adeno     gland                        Adenoma – tumor with a gland like structure

Adip                      fat                               Adipose tissue

Alg, Algia            pain                           Neuralgia -pain along a nerve

Angi(o)               vessel                       Angiocardiography – x-ray of the blood vessels and heart

Ater (i)               Arteries                    Ateriosclerosis – hardening of the arteries

Artgrm Arthro      Joint                   arthropathy – disease of joint

Aut, Auto         Self                             Autolysis- destruction of cells of the body

Bio                      life, living                 Biopsy – examination of tissue removed from a living body

Blast                   germ, bud                Blastocyte – an embryonic or undiferrentiated cell

Brachi               arm                            Biceps Bracii – the biceps located on the arm

Blephar            eyelid                       Biepharitis – inflammation of the eyelids

Bronch             trachea, windpipe     Bronchoscopy – direct visual examination of the bronchii

bucc                 cheek                            Buccocrvical – pertaining to the cheek and neck

Capit                head

carcin             cancer                          carcinogenic – causing cancer

caud, caudal     tail                            away from the head, inferior

cephal                 head                       hydrocephalus – enlargement of the head

cerbro               brain                       cerebrospinal fluid – fluid in the cranium and spinal canal

cheil                    lip                            Cheilosis – dry scaling of the lip

Chir                     hand                        Chiropractic – system of healthcare based on manual manipulation of the spine

Chole                 bile, gall                 Cholecystogram – x-ray of the gall bladder

Chrondr, chondri, chondrio       cartilage                 chondrocyte – cartilage cell

Chrom, chromat, chromato    color         hyperchromic – highly colored

colo                     colon

corp, corpor       the body

cortic                     outer layer

cost                          rib                                   costal cartilage

crani                 skull                                   craniotomy – surgical opening of the  skull

cry, cryo             cold                                cryotherapy – using cold for therapy

cut                      skin                                   subcutaneous – under the skin

cysti, cysto       sac/bladder                cystoscope – instrument to look at the interior of the bladder

cyt, cyto, cyte        cell                             cytology – the study of cells

dactyl, dactylo      digits of fingers        polydactylia – above normal number of fingers or toes

dent                          teeth                             dentist

derma, dermato   skin                        dermatosis – skin disease

digit                          finger/toe

entero                   intestine                    enteritis – inflammation of the intestine

erythr                   red                              erythrocyte – red blood cell

fasci                       a band

febr                       fever

fil                            thread

gangli                   swelling, plexus

gastr                     stomach                  gastrointestinal – pertaining to the stomach and intestines

gloss, glosso      tongue                     hypoglossal – located under the tongue

gyn (ec)             female

hem, hemat      blood                        hematoma – blood beneath the skin

hepat, hepato     liver                      hepatitis – inflammation of the liver

hist, histio          tissue                    histology – study of tissues

homeo, homo     unchanging/steady – homeostasis – achievement of a steady state

hydro                  water                      hydrotherapy – water therapy

hyster                 uterus                    hysterectomy – surgical removal of the uterus

ileo, ileum        part of the intestine          ileocecal valve – folds at the opening between ileum and cecum

ilio, ilium         flaring part of hip bone     iliosacral – pertaining to the ilium and sacrum

labi                    lip

lachry, lacri       tears                     nasolacrimal – pertainint to the nose and lachrymal apparatus

laryngo               windpipe

leuco, leuko       white                    leukocyte – white blood cell

lingu                     tongue

lip,lipo                fat                            lipoma – fatty tumor

Mamm                breast                    mammography

Mast                    breast                    mastitis

melan                black

men                     month

meningo            membrane         meningitis – inflammation of the membranes of the spinal cord and brain

metro               uterus                     endometrium – lining of the utereus

morpho          form/shape           morphology – study of form and structure of things

myhelo            marrow, spinal cord          poliomyeitis – inflammation of the gray matter of the spinal cord

myo                 muscle                     myocardium – heart muscle

narc                numbness/stupor     narcotic

cecr, cecro      pertaining to death            necrotic tissue

nephro            kidney                        nephrosis – degeneration of kidney tissue

neuro               nerve                     neuroblastoma – malignant tumor of the nervous system

nutri                nutrition

oculo               eye                           binocular – pertaining to the two eyes

odont              tooth                     orthodontic – proper positioning of the teeth

oo                      egg                         oocyte

ophthalm        eye                       ophthalmology – science of the eye and it’s diseases

or                        mouth                  orifice

orb                    circle

oss,osseo, osteo          bone          ostema – bone tumor

oto                    ear                          otosclerosis – formation of bone in the labyrinth of the ear

patho               disease                   Pathology – study of disease

pec, pek          solidify                   pectose

pept, pepto   digestion

phag, phago      to eat                 phagocytosis – a cell that eats migroorganisme, other cells

pharyng              throat

philic,philo       to like/have affinity for      hemophilic – have an affinity to bleeding

phob, phobia       fear                 massageshoolphobia – fear of massage school

phot                      light

phren                   mind/diaphragm

pleur(o)             the lining of the chest cavity             Pleuritis – inflammation

pneumo              lung                         pneumothorax – air in the thoracic cavity

pod                      foot                          podiatry – study of foot disorders

procto                anus/rectum        proctoscopy

pseud, pseudo     false                     pseudoangina – false angina

psycho                soul/mind            psychology, psychiatry

pulmo                  lung

pyel                       pelvis

pyo                      pus                         pyuria – pus in urine

pyloro              opening between stomach and duodenum

reno, ren        kidney

rhin, rhino        nose

sarc                  flesh

scler, sclero     hard                     scleroderma – hardening of the skin

sep, septic       poison/toxic      septicemia – presence of bacterial toxins in blood (blood poisoning)

ser                   watery substance

soma, somato       body               somatic – of the body

splen(o)             spleen

spondylo          relationship to the spine

statis, stat         stand still           homeostasis – achievement of a steady state

tars                     ankle                   tarsals

therm                heat                    thermometer

thorac            chest

tom, tomo       section/layer

tox                    poison

ur(o), uret, ureth   urine, urinary

viscer           organ




Hydrotherapy Glossary

Ablution- Washing of the body by hand, usually using a towel or mitt

Affusion- Pouring on of water

Analgesic– Decreases pain

Anesthetic– Reduces local pain, diminished or loss of sensation

Antipyretic- Reduction in fever

Antispasmodic- Reducing  muscle spasms

Astringent– Agent which causes local vasoconstiction and closing of pores

Balneology- The science of baths and bathing

Colonics- A washing out of the colon 10-20 times over 45-60 minutes

Conduction – Heat is transferred by direct contact of one heated object to another.

Consensual reaction- A reflex reaction occurring on the opposite side of the body from the point of stimulation

Contrast Bath-  The immersion of a body part alternately in hot and cold water in one treatment

Convection – transference of heat by moving currents of heated liquids of gasses as in a sauna to increase body temperature

Conversion – Heat is generated by passing energy through the tissue or substances in heating of body tissues by ultrasound

Cryotherapy- Therapeutic use of cold; ice massageHydrotherapy Poultice

Derivative effect- Transfer of fluid from one part of the body to another; warming the feet to draw congestion from the head:  Pulling the blood or lymph out of one area of the body by increasing the amount of blood in another.

Diaphoretic- Increases sweating

Diuretic- Increases urine production

Douche- a stream of water directed at the body or into a body cavity

Ecchymosis– Discoloration of the skin due to hemmorrhage

Edema– Collection or pooling of fluids in the interstitial tissues

Effusion– Collection or pooling of fluids in the joint capsule

Eliminative- Dissolves foreign elements in the blood, colon, and interstitial spaces of the body

Emetic- Ejecting poisons from the body by drinking warm water or salt water

Erythema– Description of color of the skin indicating a red appearance

Fomentation- Local applications of moist heat to the body surface, usually made of wool and cotton to retain heat and moisture

Heating Compress- An application of a cold compress that when applied and covered causes an initial cooling followed by a warming and increase in circulation.

Heliotherapy- Using direct sunlight or other light source for therapeutic purposes; electric, ultraviolet, infrared.

Hunting reaction- sudden reddening and warming of cooled skin areas; body’s mechanism to avoid tissue damage

Hydrocollator- Steam heat packs filled with silicate gel that keeps them hot and moist; Extremely hot – water is heated to 150-160 F

Hydrostatic effect – The shifting of fluid from one part of the body to another

Hyperemia- Increase in quantity of blood flowing through the body or part of the body characterized by heat, redness: Vasodilatation

Hypothermia– Extreme reduction in body temperature

Hypoxia- Diminished oxygen supply usually due to poor circulation

Ischemia– Diminished or lack of circulation in an area

Krause Corpuscles– Cold receptors (sensory organ) in dermal layer of integumentary system

Paraffin Bath- Using melted paraffin (wax) to dip body part in to build a paraffin glove to retain heat. Operating temperature 126 degrees to 130 degrees.   Used to treat arthritis, bruises, bursitis, gout, spasms

Pelotherapy- Therapeutic use of mud, peat moss, or clay applied to the body or part of the body

Poultice- External application of warm moist substance to relieve pain, reduce and soothe inflammation, draw impurities from the body, encourages muscle relaxation

Purgative- Causing vommitting or bowel evacuation

Revulsive effect- Increasing the rate of blood flow by alternate use of heat and cold

R.I.C.E – Standard care for acute stage of healing:  Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation

Retrostasis- The drawing of blood to internal organs

Russian Bath- A body steam given with the patient reclining and head outside the steam room or cabinet.

Saline Bath-  Salt baths

Salt Glow Massage– Vigorous rubbing of sea salt over entire body

Sauna- Dry Heat which increases body temperature and increases perspiration.  May put strain on nasal passages, throat and lungs.

Sedative-  Causes central nervous system to decrease the responses of nerve stimuli for relaxation

Shampoo- Using soap and water together on one or all parts of the body

Showers- The use of water streams directed at the body to stimulate.  Examples are dousing, jet, fan, alternate hot and cold.

Sitz Bath- A partial bath covering the pelvic region

Spanish Mantle Pack- The client is showered, tubbed or sponged and then wrapped in a dry sheet and blankets while still wet.

Sponging- Using a sponge to apply water, alcohol, or witch hazel to the body, usually for a cooling affect.

Steam –Water particles dispersed through the air; good for the skin and lungs.  Hot seam increases body temperature and perspiration and releases toxins.  Cold steam as from a humidifier, moistens dry rooms in winter and can help prevent colds and sinus headaches.
Stimulant- increases nerve stimulation

Swedish Shampoo- Shampoo given on a marble slab using soap and skin brushing, usually washing and rinsing one part at a time and drying briskly.

Thalassotherapy- Bathing in or drinking of salt water

Thermophore- moist heat pack; heating unit wrapped in flannel which absorbs moisture from the atmosphere.

Tonic- Increases vigor; return of cellular activity to normal state

Turkish Bath- Hot air bath (dry sauna)

Whirlpool bath- A partial immersion bath in which water is agitated and mixed with air to be directed at the affected area; Used to soften muscles for massage, stimulate circulation, relieves pain.

Glossary of Massage terms (B,C,D)

Glossary of Massage Terms for Massage School – B, C, D

Body Mechanics – Massage therapists must use appropriate body mechanics with proper use of leverage and strength for maximum efficiency with minimum strain to stay healthy while doing massage.

Broad Fiber Spreading – Any friction technique that moves superficial tissue over the underlying structures in a direction that is generally considered ‘across’ the fibers.  Circular friction can be considered a type of broad fiber spreading.

Bursitis –  Inflammation of a bursa which is small fluid filled sac that is found around joints.  Bursitis can result from an injury or develop because of overuse. Bursa fluid in the inflamed state has a high concentration of calcium ions.

Calorie – A unit of heat.  Food is associated with it’s ability to supply calories.

Capsular Pattern– A pattern of limitation of moment that has become common for the joint which indicates a problem or a dysfunction with the joint.

Carbohydrate– An organic compound made up of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen molecules which is a basic source of energy.  It is stored as glycogen in body tissues such as the liver and muscles.  Carbohydrates yield about 4 calories per gram.

Cardiac Output – The amount of blood pumped by the heart per minute which at rest is usually 6-8 liters a minute.

Circular Sports Friction – Friction applied in a circular motion with thumb, fingers, heel of the hand, elbow or other surface.  The skin moves with the compressor into and over the underlying tissues.

Complete Protein – Protein that contains all of the essential amino acids such as eggs, cheese, milk and meat.

Compression – Rhythmic pumping action that may vary in pace and depth that can be applied with the fist, palm, heel of the hand or fingertips, used to create hyperemia and to spread fibers.  Contraindicated over joints and bony prominences.

Concentric Contraction – A shortening of the muscle during a contraction – a type of isotonic exercise.

Contractures – Shortening or tightening of the skin, muscle, fascia or joint capsule that prevents normal mobility or flexibility of that structure.

Contusion – Bruising from a direct blow that causes the capillary to rupture along with edema and an inflammatory response.




Main Glossary of Terms

Glossary of Massage Terms (A)

Accessory Movement – Movement that happens involuntarily to tissues in and around a joint during a normal movement.  This movement accompanies a specific movement, but those accessory movements can’t be repeated without the initial movement.

Active Myofascial Triggerpoint- A focus of hyper irritability in a muscle or its fascia that is painful and refers a pattern of pain at rest or during activity.  The pattern of referred pain often follows a specific pattern for that specific muscle.  An active triggerpoint is always painful under pressure.  The muscle is shortened in contracture or spasm and is usually weak because of that state. It usually refers pain with sustained direct pressure.

Adaptation – The ability of an organism to change over time in response to a stimulus

Adhesions – Abnormal adherence of collagen fibers to surrounding structures during immobilization, following trauma, or as a complication of surgery, which restricts normal elasticity of the structures involved.

Aerobic – With oxygen.  Exercise during which the energy needed is supplied by the oxygen being breathed in.  An oxygen debt is not produced.  This type of exercise can be continued for an extended period.

Alactacid Oxygen Debt – The oxygen necessary after strenuous exercise to replenish the ATP-PC energy stores.

Amino Acids – The structural components of protein.  There are 20 amino acids with 11 being essential amino acids meaning they are not produced by the body and must be obtained through the diet.  Amino Acids pass unchanged from the intestines to the liver and into the general blood circulation from which they are absorbed by each tissue as needed to make it’s own protein.  Unused amino acids are converted into urea, a main constituent of urine.

Amphetamine – A synthetic Central Nervous System stimulant related to epinephrine (adrenaline).

Anabolic Steroids – A group of synthetic drugs that have an anabolic (protein building) effect on the body.  Used by athletes to gain more muscle mass and strength but with many adverse side effects.

Anaerobic – Without Oxygen. Exercise that demands more oxygen than the heart and lungs can supply. An oxygen debt occurs.  The exercise period and intensity is of short duration.

Ankylosis – The severe or complete loss of movement at a joint.  It can be a result of fibrous build up or bony fusion.

Approximation – Technique used in managing cramps in muscles to stimulate muscle relaxation.  Hold on to the belly of the muscle on either side of the area that is cramping and push the muscle together which shortens the muscle.

Associated Myofascial Triggerpoint – A focus of irritability that has developed as a result of overwork, shortening contracture because of referred phenomena caused by active triggerpoint in another muscle.

ATP (Adenosine triphosphate) – a compound formed from the breakdown of food and stored in the cells, especially in the muscles.  When split by enzyme action, energy is produced. ATP is the last known chemical that is formed prior to the transfer of the chemical work to mechanical work.

ATP-PC System – anaerobic energy system in which ATP is formed from the breakdown of phosphocreatine (PC).  Muscles performing at a maximal effort for 10 seconds or less obtain ATP from this system.

Atrophy – Wasting away or decrease in size due to a failure, abnormality of nutrition or lack of use.


Glossary of Massage Terms -D,E

Glossary of Massage Terms (D,E)

Deep Tendon Reflex – knee jerk reflex that occurs as a result of a strike by a rubber mallet to a tendon

Desquamation – The shedding of epithehial elements mainly the skin, in scales or small sheets: exfoliation

Direct Compression – Sustained pressure on a muscle cramp or tight muscle often using the hand, fist, forearm or knee

Dislocation – Displacement of a bony part within a joint leading to soft tissue damage, inflammation, pain and muscle spasm

Distraction – A pulling apart or separation of joint surfaces

Dysfunction – Adapative shortening of soft tissues resulting in loss of mobility

Eccentric Muscle Contraction – Lengthening of the muscle while it is contracting or resisting a work load

Efficiency – the Ratio of work output to work input.  Output divided by input and multiplied by 100 equals 100% efficiency

Electrolytes – Ionized salts in the blood, tissue fluids and cells

Empty Calories – calories obtained from food such as sugar, which are devoid of any dietary essentials like amino acids, vitamins and minerals

End-feel – the quality of feel the massage therapist experiences when passively applying pressure at the end point of the available range of motion

Endurance – The ability of a muscle to perform repeated contractions over a prolonged period of time before fatigue failure begins

Energy- The capacity for doing work

Engaging Tissue – When a sufficient amount of pressure is applied during palpation or treatment in order to move or compress the structure, then the tissue is engaged and assessment or treatment will be efficacious.

Enzymes- Complex proteins that are capable of speeding up chemical changes in other substances without being changed themselves.  Enzymes are found in digestive juices where they break down food into simpler compounds

Ergogenic Aids – Stimulants and other substance that when taken orally or by injection, increase the potential for exercise performance.  Most are illegal substances

Ergometer- A stationary bicycle used for training or for lab tests to measure work performed

Excursion- In friction, it refers to the distance of movement or glide available from the starting point in a pattern of oscillation or alternating movements with a return to the starting point.