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Amateur Massage

Massage is a great thing.  It can be used to heal, to relax, and to connect. It can be used to solve specific physical problems, such as tight muscles, or in special programs for stress reduction or smoking cessation, or just to improve mood. My certified massage therapist friend Richard explains that “one of the main things massage does is increase the rate of circulation to whatever body part you’re working on. Since the blood is the main avenue that brings nutrients (and also takes away dead/torn/injured tissue) to/from injured body parts, massage can greatly facilitate that healing process. It can also help greatly to reduce swelling – like a sedentary person who sits at a desk all day and has swollen ankles when they go home. This kind of swelling is an easy fix with massage”.

In many Asian countries, massage is part of mainstream life.  In Thailand, for example, the foremost massage school is Wat Po, in Bangkok.  Wat means temple in Thai, and Wat Po is probably the most famous temple in Thailand.

There, as in many other places, friends will massage friends and children will massage parents and grandparents.  Although there are professional massage therapists and massage schools, massage is also done by the masses.

In the United States, however, the giving of massage is usually confined to a high priesthood of professional massage therapists.  The legal requirement for certification often means that an excellent massage therapist from outside the country cannot legally practice here, even if he or she is legally allowed to work.

The result of this suppressed supply is higher prices.  A one hour massage can cost as much as $90 or more.  There aren’t many people who can afford that more than once in a great while.

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