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.