Body Mechanics for the Massage Therapist

Body Mechanics for the Massage Therapist

Author(s): Dr. Joe Muscolino

2CE credits 8 Lessons Text

Efficient body mechanics are crucial both to the quality of the therapeutic care and the longevity of our massage therapy careers. Unfortunately, some therapists work hard rather than smart, sometimes resulting in career-ending injuries.

This course offers 10 guidelines designed to create healthy body mechanics when giving massage. These guidelines show how to maximize the efficiency by showing how to harness the laws of physics, rather than working against them.

Note: Massage therapists are advised to practice these techniques prior to utilizing them in a clinical setting. While efficient body mechanics should be the goal of all massage therapists, this course stresses deep tissue work because efficient body mechanics are so critical to it. While not the only appropriate technique for massage therapy, injuries and stress are more obvious when poor body mechanics are used with deep tissue work.

This course offers 10 guidelines on how to use equipment and supplies, positioning your body and how to perform massage therapy in a manner that maximizes efficient delivery and minimizes stress on your body. While useful for all massage therapists, these techniques are essential when performing deep tissue work. When you finish this course you will be able to:

  • Define the roles of body mechanics in massage therapy.
  • Describe how the delivery of force in massage therapy is affected by gravity, table height and lubricant.
  • Compare the advantages and disadvantages of the stoop bend and the squat bend in massage therapy.
  • Describe how foot positions and trunk orientation of the massage therapist affect the strength of delivery in massage therapy.
  • Describe how delivery in massage therapy is affected by upper extremity joint alignment.
  • Describe how stress in the therapist’s body is affected by head and neck postures.
  • Describe how the therapist’s use of larger muscles and a larger contact area improves the delivery of massage therapy.

  1. Bodywork, Body Mechanics and Physics
  2. Equipment and Body Mechanics
  3. Bending and Massage Delivery
  4. Body Alignment and Force Delivery
  5. Positioning to Reduce Injury and Maintain Force
  6. Stroke Performance and Massage Delivery
  7. Contact Area
  8. mtj article: Body Mechanics for the Massage Therapist

Dr. 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. Dr. Muscolino runs numerous advanced study workshops, including deep tissue workshops, kinesiology seminars, cadaver labs and in-services for instructors of massage therapy. He is an NCBTMB approved provider.

All photographs in this course: Yanik Chauvin