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How Much Does a Therapist Need to Know About Anatomy?

Angel W.
Elements Florence

"Knowing where muscles start and end, what they should and should not feel like, and what knots and trigger points feel like are beneficial so you are not digging on some portion of a bone and wondering why its not releasing and the client is in terrible pain. Believe it or not, this has happened to me and all I did was ask the therapist to back off on the pressure. I didn't have the heart to tell her she was killing the inferior angle of my scapula."

Steph P.
Elements Centennial

"Massage therapists must have a pretty comprehensive understanding of anatomy. Not only is it important to know the muscular system -- muscle attachments and actions -- and skeletal system, it is also important to understand how massage affects the body systemically."

Danny P.
Elements Westford

"It's important to understand the muscular and skeletal structure. Awareness of origins and insertions of the muscles to the skeleton makes it possible for the massage therapist to treat their clients appropriately. Without this knowledge, it's impossible for the therapist to be effective."

Colleen O.
Elements Louisville East

"I'm not sure how to quantify it so I'll share a story with you. I have two friends in the medical field -- one doctor and one nurse -- and when I was in school the three of us were discussing my anatomy class. Both of them were amazed at how detailed I was during the discussion. My doctor friend said, "You know more about anatomy than I ever knew!"

"In order to be effective, at a minimum, we need to know where a muscle begins and where it ends, what it does and what other muscles help it to do its job. The more we know, the better it is for our client."

Bonnie V.
Elements Wilsonville

"The more anatomy you know, the better. But it is worthless unless you couple it with physiology. Many people come to a massage therapist for a weird pain that they know nothing about. If you know how the body works -- things like the fascial line that connects the right foot to the left side of the back of the head, or how the neck can make the arm go numb, or how a trigger point in the calf can give someone a headache -- then you are more able to effectively and efficiently treat a person and get them back doing the things that they love; and this will bring them and their friends back to you. This also makes the difference between a therapist that rubs people and one that treats people."

Emily V.
Elements Nutley

"As a therapist you should you know most of your anatomy. This will help you when a client comes in with a specific problem. If you know your anatomy you can customize the massage to their specific needs and work on all areas related to their specific problem."

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