AMTA, American Masssage Therapy Association (professional association) www.amtamassage.org
Eden Energy Medicine (Donna Eden) www.innersource.net
State Medical Board of Ohio (licensing agency for Massage Therapy in Ohio) www.med.ohio.gov
Touch Research Institute: The Touch Research Institute is dedicated to studying the effects of touch therapy. The TRIs have researched the effects of massage therapy at all stages of life, from newborns to senior citizens. In these studies theTRIs have shown that touch therapy has many positive effects. For example, massage therapy: Facilitates weight gain in preterm infants Enhances attentiveness Alleviates depressive symptoms Reduces pain Reduces stress hormones Improves immune function http://www6.miami.edu/touch-research/
Upledger Institute (information on CranioSacral Therapy) www.upledger.com
Watsu www.watsu.com -- follow link at bottom of page to "view on u tube". An introduction to Watsu (water shiatsu) by Harold Dull. www.youtube.com/watch?v=7PMayvbzmQI
Glossary (a public education site brought to you by Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals) www.massagetherapy.com
The Following is an excerpt. For a more complete listing go to www.massagetherapy.com
ACUPRESSURE Acupressure is an ancient healing art that uses the fingers to press key points on the surface of the skin to stimulate the body's natural self-curative abilities. When these points are pressed, they release muscular tension and promote the circulation of blood and the body's life force (sometimes known as qi or chi) to aid healing. Acupuncture and acupressure use the same points, but acupuncture employs needles, while acupressure uses the gentle, but firm pressure of hands and feet. Acupressure, continues to be the most effective method for self-treatment of tension-related ailments by using the power and sensitivity of the human hand. Acupressure can be effective in helping relieve headaches, eye strain, sinus problems, neck pain, backaches, arthritis, muscle aches, tension due to stress, ulcer pain, menstrual cramps, lower backaches, constipation, and indigestion. Self-acupressure can also be used to relieve anxiety and improve sleep. There are also great advantages to using acupressure as a way to balance the body and maintain good health. The healing touch of acupressure reduces tension, increases circulation, and enables the body to relax deeply. By relieving stress, acupressure strengthens resistance to disease and promotes wellness. In acupressure, local symptoms are considered an expression of the condition of the body as a whole. A tension headache, for instance, may be rooted in the shoulder and neck area. Thus, acupressure focuses on relieving pain and discomfort, as well as responding to tension, before it develops into a disease, before the constrictions and imbalances can do further damage. The origins of acupressure are as ancient as the instinctive impulse to hold your forehead or temples when you have a headache. Everyone at one time or another has used their hands spontaneously to hold tense or painful places on the body. More than five thousand years ago, the Chinese discovered that pressing certain points on the body relieved pain where it occurred and also benefited other parts of the body more remote from the pain and the pressure point. Gradually, they found other locations that not only alleviated pain, but also influenced the functioning of certain internal organs. (Definition, in part, from the book Acupressure's Potent Points, by Michael Reed Gach, director of the Acupressure Institute, Bantam, 1990.)
APPLIED KINESIOLOGY Applied Kinesiology is a healing system that evaluates and treats an individual's structural, chemical, and mental aspects. It employs muscle testing and other standard methods of diagnosis. Applied Kinesiology therapeutically utilizes nutrition, manipulation, diet, acupressure, exercise, and education to help restore balance and harmony in the body and maintain well-being throughout life. (From Alternative Healing, by Hugh Burroughs and Mark Kastner, Halcyon, 1993.) Dr. George Goodheart, a chiropractor in Detroit, Michigan, discovered the technique in 1964 during a patient treatment. After applying a few seconds of deep pressure on the man's severe muscular dysfunction, he found the problem was eliminated. Dr. John Thie developed a simplified version of Applied Kinesiology called Touch for Health in 1970.
AROMATHERAPY The use of essential oils (extracted from herbs, flowers, resin, woods, and roots) in body and skin care treatments is known as aromatherapy. Used as a healing technique for thousands of years by the Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans, essential oils aid in relaxation, improve circulation, and help the healing of wounds. Aromatherapy diffusers are utilized to fill the massage room with the scent of the oils. Specific essential oils are blended by the aromatherapist and added to a carrier oil, such as almond oil, to be used during the massage. Each oil has its own unique characteristics and benefits. Use of this technique declined as the modern pharmaceutical industry developed. However, the French chemist Gattefoss' revived the art by coining the term aromatherapy and by publishing a book on the subject in 1928.
ASIAN BODYWORK Monitoring the flow of the vital life energy (known as chi, ki, prana, or qi) is at the heart of Asian bodywork. Using physical pressure and manipulation, the healer evaluates and modulates this energy flow to attain a state of balance. Popular modalities include shiatsu, amma, Jin Shin Do, Thai massage, and tui na.
CHAIR MASSAGE Known as seated massage, chair massage, or on-site massage, this technique involves the use of a specially designed massage chair in which the client sits comfortably. The modern chair massage was originally developed David Palmer, but the technique is centuries-old, with some Japanese block prints illustrating people having just emerged from a nearby bath, receiving massage while seated on a low stool. Seated massage includes bodywork and somatic techniques, such as shiatsu, amma, and Swedish massage, provided to the fully clothed client in a variety of settings, including businesses, airports, and street fairs.
COLOR THERAPY An ancient system using specific color rays to treat the body and mind, color therapy is based on the notion that organs and systems vibrate at certain frequencies. By applying a particular color ray on an area, the correct vibration--bringing with it health--will be restored.
CRANIOSACRAL THERAPY Craniosacral therapy is a gentle, noninvasive method of evaluating and enhancing the function of a physiological body arrangement called the craniosacral system. Developed by John E. Upledger, DO, OMM, this manual therapy enhances the body's natural healing processes and has proven effective in treating a wide range of medical problems associated with pain and dysfunction. The roots of this therapy are in cranial osteopathy, developed by Dr. William G. Sutherland. The craniosacral system consists of the membranes and cerebrospinal fluid that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord. It extends from the bones of the skull, face, and mouth--which make up the cranium--down to the sacrum or tailbone. Since this system influences the development and function of the brain and spinal cord, any imbalance or dysfunction in the craniosacral system could cause sensory, motor, or neurological disabilities. These problems may include chronic pain, eye difficulties, scoliosis, motor-coordination impairments, learning disabilities, and other dysfunctions of the central nervous system. Craniosacral therapy encourages the body's natural healing mechanisms to improve the functioning of the central nervous system, dissipate the negative effects of stress, and enhance health and resistance to disease. The craniosacral therapy practitioner uses a light touch to assist the natural movement of fluid within the craniosacral system. Therapists generally use only five grams of pressure, roughly the weight of a nickel, to test for restrictions in various parts of the craniosacral system. It's often possible for the evaluation alone to remove the restriction and allow the system to correct itself.
DEEP TISSUE MASSAGE Techniques that utilize deep-tissue/deep-muscle massage are administered to affect the sub-layer of musculature and fascia. These techniques require advanced training and a thorough understanding of anatomy and physiology. The muscles must be relaxed in order to effectively perform deep-tissue massage, otherwise tight surface muscles prevent the practitioner from reaching deeper musculature. It helps with chronic muscular pain and injury rehabilitation and reduces inflammation-related pain caused by arthritis and tendinitis. It is generally integrated with other massage techniques.
FIVE-ELEMENT SHIATSU This technique is based on classical Chinese medicine's law of the five elements. The five-element system views the human body as a microcosm of the universe with the tides of energy and emotions waxing and waning. These energies and emotions are stored in the visceral organs and move through specific pathways or meridians in the body in a regular and cyclical fashion. When these energies or emotions become blocked, or deficient or excessive through stress, trauma, or disease, the five-element practitioner may use carefully controlled pressure on certain meridian points to help move the energy or emotions. This restores the natural cycle of energy and emotional movement, thus helping the person's natural ability to heal.
FOOT ZONE THERAPY Foot zone therapy is based on the premise that energy flows through the body in meridians from the brain to the feet. Every organ and cell has a representative point. On the foot, and when pressure is applied, the brain sends a signal to the corresponding part of the body to facilitate healing and restore balance. Temporary pain, defined also as a blockage of energy flow, is felt on areas of the foot that correspond to the affected organ or body part. When the pain is relieved or reduced, the healing process has begun. Positive and apparent results are felt almost immediately. Foot zone therapy dates back five thousand years and was used in ancient China and India. Egyptian hieroglyphs and paintings also show the use of this method. But not until the twentieth century, when Dr. Erdal of Norway used a form of this therapy to cure himself of paralysis, did foot zone therapy get rediscovered. After more than twenty years of intensive clinical research, Erdal has codified his findings into a medical science widely respected throughout Europe.
GERIATRIC MASSAGE Geriatric massage, with its focus on the elderly, addresses the psychological and physiological aspects of aging and its associated diseases. Bodywork, often limited to a shorter time span, is often performed in residential care facilities.
GUA SHA Used in China for more than two thousand years, gua sha means to scrape toxins. A method of promoting blood circulation and removing toxic heat, blood, and lymph from the body, gua sha involves scraping the skin with a flat tool to facilitate pain relief. Olive oil and herbs are usually applied to the skin to open pores, increase deep cleansing, and improve circulation.
INGHAM METHOD The Ingham Method is a form of zone therapy or reflexology. In the 1930s, Eunice Ingham, a physiotherapist working for a physician, used zone therapy on patients. She mapped the entire body as represented on the feet. At first used to reduce pain, Ingham developed the work into the Ingham Reflex Method of Compression Massage, later known as reflexology. Only the hands are used to apply the pressure to the reflex points on the feet. It is used primarily to reduce stress and promote relaxation. Many practitioners integrate the practice of reflexology with other forms of bodywork. It's now known as the Original Ingham Method of Reflexology.
INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE Alternative and conventional (allopathic) methodologies are combined to stimulate the person's natural healing response.
KINESIOLOGY/APPLIED KINESIOLOGY Kinesiology is the study of the principles of mechanics and anatomy related to human body movement, specifically the action of individual muscles or groups of muscles that perform specific movements. Applied kinesiology involves muscle testing to assess a client's condition.
LOMILOMI This system of massage utilizes very large, broad movements. Two-handed, forearm, and elbow application of strokes, which cover a broad area, is characteristic of lomilomi. Similar to Swedish massage in many aspects, this system uses prayer and the acknowledgment of the existence of a higher power as an integral part of the technique. Lomilomi--Hawaiian for rub rub--is described by teacher Aunty Margaret Machado as --the loving touch--a connection between heart, hand, and soul with the source of all life.-- Aunty Margaret was the first to teach lomilomi in a formal, classroom situation; previously the training was passed on within the family by Kahunas or shamans. Oils are used in the application of cross-fiber friction techniques. The practitioner often uses the forearm and elbow in the application of pressure.
LYMPH DRAINAGE THERAPY Lymph Drainage Therapy (LDT) is unique in that healthcare professionals learn how to palpate the lymphatic flow. As they develop their skills, they can then identify the rhythm, direction, and quality of the lymphatic flow. Advanced practitioners will be able to precisely map the lymphatic flow to find alternate pathways for drainage. Developed by Bruno Chikly, MD, Lymph Drainage Therapy evolved from years of training in traditional medicine, Asian medical practices, and manual therapies. (Definition provided by The Upledger Institute.)
MAGNET THERAPY The therapeutic use of
magnets may be older than acupuncture, originally involving a material
called magnetite applied in a poultice. Today’s magnet therapy is still
applied to the skin, but employs steady or pulsed magnetic fields from
either electromagnets or less powerful permanent magnets. Fixed magnets
may also be taped to the body for a period of time. Magnet therapy is
used to relieve pain and discomfort and to aid in healing with a variety
of physical and emotional disorders, such as arthritis and stress.
Treatment may be administered by the therapist or, as in the case of
taped magnets, by the client.
MANUAL LYMPH DRAINAGE The strokes applied in manual lymph drainage are intended to stimulate the movement of the lymphatic fluids in order to assist the body in cleansing. This is a gentle, rhythmical technique that cleanses the connective tissue of inflammatory materials and toxins, enhances the activity of the immune system, reduces pain, and lowers the activity of the sympathetic nervous system. The most widely taught and generally accepted form of this technique was created by Dr. Vodder of Austria and requires advanced training and precise movements.
MASSAGE & MASSAGE THERAPY Massage or massage therapy are systems of structured palpation or movement of the soft tissue of the body. The massage system may include, but is not limited to, such techniques as, stroking, kneading, gliding, percussion, friction, vibration, compression, passive or active stretching within the normal anatomical range of movement; effleurage (either firm or light soothing, stroking movement, without dragging the skin, using either padded parts of fingertips or palms); petrissage (lifting or picking up muscles and rolling the folds of skin); or tapotement (striking with the side of the hand, usually with partly flexed fingers, rhythmic movements with fingers or short rapid movements of sides of the hand). These techniques may be applied with or without the aid of lubricants, salt or herbal preparations, hydromassage, thermal massage or a massage device that mimics or enhances the actions possible by human hands. The purpose of the practice of massage is to enhance the general health and well-being of the recipient. Massage does not include the diagnosis of a specific pathology, the prescription of drugs or controlled substances, spinal manipulation or those acts of physical therapy that are outside the scope of massage therapy.
MASSOTHERAPY Another term meaning therapeutic muscle massage. MEDICAL MASSAGE Performing medical massage requires a firm background in pathology and utilizes specific treatments appropriate to working with disease, pain, and recovery from injury. The therapist may work from a physician’s prescription or as an adjunct healer within a hospital or physical therapy setting.
MUSCLE ENERGY TECHNIQUE Muscle energy is a direct, noninvasive manual therapy used to normalize joint dysfunction and increase range of motion. The practitioner evaluates the primary areas of dysfunction in order to place the affected joints in precise positions that enable the client to perform gentle isometric contractions. These directed movements help correct neuromuscular and joint difficulties.
MUSCLE RELEASE TECHNIQUE This technique combines compression, extension, movement, and breath to give therapists a tool to provide relief from pain, treating such conditions as carpal tunnel syndrome, chronic low back pain, plantar fasciitis, sciatica, tennis elbow, knee pain, shin splints, frozen shoulder, hammer toes, piriformis syndrome, tendinitis, trigger finger, and much more.
MUSCLE TESTING Muscle testing involves finding a muscle that is unbalanced and then attempting to determine why that muscle is not functioning properly. Treatments may involve specific joint manipulation or mobilization, various myofascial therapies, cranial techniques, meridian and acupuncture skills, clinical nutrition, dietary management, counselling skills, evaluating environmental irritants, and various reflex procedures. The object is to test the function of a single muscle in the best possible manner. (Adapted from www.icak.com.)
MYOFASCIAL RELEASE Myofascial release is the three-dimensional application of sustained pressure and movement into the fascial system in order to eliminate fascial restrictions and facilitate the emergence of emotional patterns and belief systems that are no longer relevant or are impeding progress. First, an assessment is made by visually analyzing the human frame, followed by the palpation of the tissue texture of various fascial layers. Upon locating an area of fascial tension, gentle pressure is applied in the direction of the restriction. Myofascial release is an effective therapeutic approach in the relief of cervical pain, back pain, fibromyalgia, scoliosis, neurological dysfunction, restriction of motion, chronic pain, and headaches.
MYOFASCIAL TRIGGER POINT THERAPY Based on the discoveries of Drs. Janet Travell and David Simons in which they found the causal relationship between chronic pain and its source, myofascial trigger point therapy is used to relieve muscular pain and dysfunction through applied pressure to trigger points of referred pain and through stretching exercises. These points are defined as localized areas in which the muscle and connective tissue are highly sensitive to pain when compressed. Pressure on these points can send referred pain to other specific parts of the body.
NEUROMUSCULAR THERAPY This comprehensive program of soft-tissue manipulation balances the body’s central nervous system with the musculoskeletal system. Based on neurological laws that explain how the central nervous system initiates and maintains pain, the goal is to help relieve the pain and dysfunction by understanding and alleviating the underlying cause. Neuromuscular therapy can help individuals who experience distortion and biomechanical dysfunction, which is often a symptom of a deeper problem. It is also used to locate and release spasms and hypercontraction in the tissue, eliminate trigger points that cause referred pain, rebuild the strength of injured tissues, assist venous and lymphatic flow, and restore postural alignment, proper biomechanics, and flexibility to the tissues.
ON-SITE MASSAGE See chair massage.
ONCOLOGY MASSAGE Oncology massage refers to massage tailored to the needs of individuals with cancer. This specialized practice requires therapists to be fully educated in and pay close attention to the physical, emotional, and psychological needs of clients in all stages of cancer: diagnosis, treatment, recovery, survivor, or terminal. Training in oncology massage covers appropriate bodywork modalities for cancer clients, includes precautions for radiation, chemotherapy, and surgery, and covers physiology and pathology.
POLARITY THERAPY Polarity therapy is based on universal principles of energy--attraction, repulsion, and neutrality. The interrelation of these principles forms the basis for every aspect of life, including our experience of health, wellness, and disease. With this understanding, polarity therapy addresses the interdependence of body, mind, and spirit, the importance of relationships, and the value of creating a way of life in harmony with nature. Founded by Austrian-born naturopath Dr. Randolph Stone in the mid-1950s, polarity therapy is a clothes-on, noninvasive system complementing existing modalities with an integrated, holistic model. Polarity is based on the belief that positive and negative poles exist in every cell. The body is gently manipulated to balance the positive and negative energies. In addition to physical manipulation, blockages and toxins are eliminated through a cleansing diet and simple exercises. Treatments are suggested in a series of four.
PRENATAL/PREGNANCY MASSAGE Performed by a trained perinatal specialist, many methods of massage and somatic therapies are both effective and safe prenatally and during labor and postpartum periods of women’s pregnancies. Prenatally, specific techniques can reduce pregnancy discomforts and concerns and enhance the physiological and emotional well-being of both mother and fetus. Skilled, appropriate touch facilitates labor, shortening labor times and easing pain and anxiety. In the postpartum period, specialized techniques rebalance structure, physiology, and emotions of the new mother and may help her to bond with and care for her infant. Specialized, advanced training in the anatomy, physiology, complications, precautions, and contraindications is highly recommended, and many practitioners require referrals from physicians prior to therapy.
RAINDROP TECHNIQUE Originated by D. Gary Young, raindrop technique is a noninvasive tool for helping to correct defects in the curvature of the spine caused by viruses and bacteria that lie dormant there. Antimicrobial essential oils are used to reduce inflammation by killing the viral agents, thus bringing the body into structural and electrical alignment. The oils (primarily thyme, oregano, birch, cypress, peppermint, and basil) are dispensed like little drops of rain from a height of about six inches above the back and massaged along the vertebrae. The oils used in this forty-five-minute treatment continue to work for the next five to seven days.
REFLEXOLOGY Based on an ancient Chinese therapy, reflexology involves manipulation of specific reflex areas in the foot, hands, and ears that correspond to other parts of the body. Sometimes referred to as zone therapy, this bodywork involves application of pressure to these reflex zones to stimulate body organs and relieve areas of congestion. Similar to acupressure principles, reflexology works with the body’s energy flow to stimulate self-healing and maintain balance in physical function. This technique is used to reduce pain, increase relaxation, and stimulate circulation of blood and lymphatic fluids. It is especially useful in stress-related illness and emotional disorders. Reflexology is also convenient in cases where an area of the body is traumatized or diseased to the extent that direct manipulation is not appropriate.
REICHIAN RELEASE This technique utilizes manipulation of the musculo-skeletal system to release emotional blockages from the body. It was established from the works of Wilhelm Reich, an Austrian psychoanalyst.
REIKI HEALING--USUI SYSTEM Reiki healing is a hands-on energy healing art. It was originated in Japan in the early 20th century by Mikao Usui, who had a life-changing experience of light and energy that he recognized as reiki--sacred life force--and that awakened his innate healing abilities. He developed a system of practices that enabled others to become effective healers. In a reiki healing session, the practitioner, trained to access and serve as a channel for the life force (ki or chi), places her hands on or just above the client’s body in order to activate healing energy within receptive points on the body. The practitioner’s hands move progressively with a passive touch through twelve positions on the body, remaining in each position for three to five minutes. As a harmonic flow of energy is strengthened, within the client and practitioner, healing occurs through the return of physical, mental, and spiritual balance.
SHIATSU Developed in Japan, shiatsu is a finger-pressure technique utilizing traditional acupuncture points. Similar to acupressure, shiatsu concentrates on unblocking the flow of life energy and restoring balance in the meridians and organs in order to promote self-healing. With the client reclining, the practitioner applies pressure with the finger, thumb, palm, elbow, or knee to specific zones on the skin located along the energy meridians. The treatment brings about a sense of relaxation while stimulating blood and lymphatic flow. The benefits of this treatment may include pain relief and a strengthening of the body’s resistance to disease and disorder.
SPORTS MASSAGE Sports massage is designed to enhance athletic performance and recovery. There are three contexts in which sports massage can be useful to an athlete: pre-event, post-event, and injury treatment. Pre-event massage is delivered at the performance site, usually with the athlete fully clothed. Fast-paced and stimulating, it helps to establish blood flow and to warm up muscles. During the massage, the athlete generally focuses on visualizing the upcoming event. Post-event massage is also delivered on site, through the clothes. The intent here is to calm the nervous system and begin the process of flushing toxins and waste products out of the body. Post-event massage can reduce recovery time, enabling an athlete to resume training much sooner than rest alone would allow. When an athlete sustains an injury, skillful massage therapy can often speed and improve the quality of healing.
ST. JOHN'S NEUROMUSCULAR THERAPY St. John’s neuromuscular therapy seeks out the cause of pain, focusing on creating a balance between the muscular and nervous systems. This bodywork focuses on five basic principles--biomechanics, ischemis, trigger points, postural distortion, and nerve entrapment and compression--that are important factors in the body’s physical homeostasis. Also, attention is given to hormonal balance, nutrition, and elimination of toxins. This therapy is used to treat soft-tissue pain throughout most of the body.
STRAIN/COUNTERSTRAIN Developed by osteopath Lawrence Jones, this noninvasive treatment helps decrease protective muscle spasms and alleviate somatic dysfunction in the musculoskeletal system. By using palpation and passive positional procedures, the therapist practicing strain/counterstrain therapy can help restore pain-free movement. The position that relieves the referred pain is held for ninety seconds. After resuming the original position and pressing the trigger point, the referred pain is gone. The client is often asked to bend or twist like a contortionist to secure a comfortable position.
STRUCTURAL INTEGRATION Based on the work of Dr. Ida P. Rolf, structural integration is based on the idea that the entire structural order of the body needs to be realigned and balanced with the gravitational forces around a central vertical line representing gravity’s influence. Therapeutic intervention is directed toward the myofascial system--the ligaments, muscles, tendons, and surrounding connective tissues. A practitioner of structural integration has a ten-session cycle of work, in which different angles and degrees of physical pressure are used to stretch and guide fascia to a place of easier movement. The process is not intended to cure symptoms; its goal is to create a more resilient, higher-energy system, free of inhibitions due to past trauma. See Rolfing.
SWEDISH MASSAGE One of the most commonly taught and well-known massage techniques, Swedish massage is a vigorous system of treatment designed to energize the body by stimulating circulation. Five basic strokes, all flowing toward the heart, are used to manipulate the soft tissues of the body. The disrobed client is covered by a sheet, with only the area being worked on exposed. Therapists use a combination of kneading, rolling, vibrational, percussive, and tapping movements, with the application of oil, to reduce friction on the skin. The many benefits of Swedish massage may include generalized relaxation, dissolution of scar tissue adhesions, and improved circulation, which may speed healing and reduce swelling from injury.
THERAPEUTIC TOUCH Developed through the collaboration of a nursing professor and a spiritual healer, Therapeutic Touch is based on ancient energy healing methods. Practitioners, primarily nurses, are trained to feel or sense energy imbalances in the client and to use laying on of hands to disperse blocks and channel healing forces to the client’s body. The therapist uses a light touch or holds the hand above the body, with the client generally seated. Meditation is used by the therapist to center herself and strengthen her connection to the client’s energy system. Therapeutic Touch has been applied in an assortment of medical situations, including the care of premature infants and emergency room patients. It is known to induce a state of relaxation within minutes. Therapeutic Touch is considered safe because of its gentle, noninvasive approach. Developers of this technique affirm that everyone has the potential to heal with Therapeutic Touch and may be taught the methodology in one day.
TOUCH FOR HEALTH Developed by chiropractor John Thie, Touch for Health combines methods and techniques that include acupuncture principles, acupressure, muscle testing, massage, and dietary guidelines. The method of treatment requires a second person who performs muscle testing. This determines which muscles are strong or weak, indicating if a physical problem or organ malfunction exists. Once weak muscles are determined, a variety of methods are used as part of a muscle strengthening program. Such techniques include finger pressure on neuro-vascular holding points on the head and pressure on the acupressure holding points. After the muscles have been strengthened, Touch for Health theory states that energy then flows through the body, improving vitality and the ability to maintain good health. See kinesiology.