Small, thin myofilaments that attach to myosin in order for a muscle to contract.
Occurs when the client does his/her own stretching, and one muscle contracts to stretch the opposing muscle.
A treatment that is very similar to acupuncture except that acupressure requires the use of thumbs and fingertips on pressure points.
The acute stage of injury or infection is short term.
Adenoids: Enlarged pharyngeal tonsils.
Adrenal glands: Each of the two adrenal glands is situated on the superior surface of one kidney.
Agonists (primary movers): The main muscle(s) doing the movements.
All or None Principle: States that a motor unit will either activate fully to 100 percent, or not activate at all (0 percent). The force of a contraction depends on how many motor units activate.
Alveoli: The very small air sacs where oxygen goes before it is absorbed into the bloodstream.
Anabolism: The constructive phase or build-up of the body in metabolism; conversion of simple compounds into more complex substances that are needed by the body.
Aneurysm: This is a ballooning out of the arterial wall. When in the brain, it can lead to a stroke.
Antagonist: Muscles that help the primary mover by moving in the opposite direction or contraction.
Aortic semilunar valve: The valve in the heart between the left ventricle and the aorta.
Apocrine glands: The larger sweat glands in the axillary and pubic regions.
Appendicular skeleton: The part of the skeleton system that is composed of the bones of the arms, hand, legs, foot, and pelvis.
Applied kinesiology: A technique where practitioners examine structural factors such as posture and gait by performing muscle tests.
Aromatherapy: A technique that involves using essential oil(s) from plants in the massage lubricant for treatment or by using these oils in candles and oil burners.
Arteries: Arteries are blood vessels that carry blood away from the heart.
Arteriosclerosis: Also known as hardening of the arteries, this condition is due to calcium deposits on the walls of arteries.
Assets: Things that provide value to the company, such as massage tables, equipment, and furniture.
Assisters: Muscles that help the primary movers.
Atherosclerosis: A condition in which fatty material becomes deposited on the walls of arteries, thus narrowing the passageway for blood.
Autonomic nervous system: The part of the peripheral nervous system that controls smooth muscle, cardiac muscle, internal organs, and glands.
Axial skeleton: The part of the skeletal system that is composed of the bones of the vertebrae, skull, and thoracic cage.
Ayurveda: A holistic system of medicine from India. It has a strong connection between the mind and the body.
Bacteria: Primitive one-celled organisms. Some bacteria are harmless and actually benefit our health.
Benign: A tumor that is not cancerous.
Bile: A solution that helps to emulsify fat. The liver secretes it and the gallbladder stores it.
Bipennate muscle fibers: These have muscle fibers on both sides of the tendon.
Bloodborne pathogen rule: A "rule" that should be followed by all health care professionals that essentially states that one should assume that we all have some communicable condition and we should act accordingly to protect our clients and ourselves.
Blood pressure: The force that blood exerts on the walls of blood vessels.
Brainstem: The brainstem interconnects many nervous pathways.
Bronchioles: The smallest subdivisions of the bronchial tubes, at the end of which are the air sacs or alveoli.
Bursa: A small fluid-filled sac that provides cushion between bones and tendons and/or muscles around a joint. They are filled with synovial fluid (pl. bursae).
Cancellous bone: The spongy center found in epiphyses of long bones.
Capillaries: Microscopic blood vessels where the exchange of oxygen into the tissue takes place.
Cartilage: Connective tissue that provides the cushion between bones.
Catabolism: The destructive phase or break down of the body and its tissues in metabolism; the breakdown of substances into simple compounds that liberates energy for use in work and heat production.
Caudal: Lower than or below; closer to the feet.
Cells: The basic unit of all organisms.
Cephalad: Higher than or above; closer to the head.
Cerebellum: The second-largest structure of the brain. It is found posterior and inferior to the cerebrum. It controls muscle tone, coordinates skeletal muscles and balance, and controls fine and gross motor movements.
Cerebrospinal fluid: The clear liquid that helps to cushion the brain and spinal cord. It also provides nutrients to the central nervous system.
Cerebrum: The superior part of the brain, making up eighty-nine percent (89%) of the total brain mass. Right side = creativity and the left side = logic, science, languages, and verbal ideas.
Ceruminous glands: Glands that secrete ear wax.
Chakras: Chakras store and activate our emotions and emotional responses.
Chi: Chi (qi) means "life force" or energy that flows through the body.
Chronic: The stage of injury or infection where it is either low intensity or long term and in some cases lasts a lifetime.
Circular muscle fibers: Fibers arranged concentrically around an opening.
Clarifying: A communication technique that is an attempt to understand what the client is saying.
Colon: A part of the large intestines that is made up of the ascending colon, transverse colon, descending colon, and the sigmoid colon.
Comminuted fracture: A fracture in which three or more bone fragments are produced. Also known as shattered.
Compact bone: The dense and heavy outer layer of the bone.
Compound fracture: Where the bone is broken and protrudes through the skin. Also known as an open fracture.
Compression fracture: An impacted fracture characterized by crushed bones.
Concentric contraction: The lifting phase of movement; the muscles shorten and contract.
Confronting: A communications technique that provides the client with mild or strong feedback about what is really going on, such as when dealing with a cancellation.
Connective tissue: Tissue that supports, protects, and connects other tissues.
Convergent muscle fibers: Triangular muscle with common attachment site.
Cranial nerves: Twelve pairs of nerves that branch off of the brain as a part of the peripheral nervous system. They provide various functions to the body. See Table 1-9 for individual nerves.
Craniosacral therapy (CST): CST is a gentle, hands-on method used to evaluate and enhance the functioning of the craniosacral system.
Depreciation: The process of spreading out the deduction of the cost of an asset over time.
Dermatomes: These are a bandlike unilateral patterns of peripheral nerves or an area or section supplied by a single spinal nerve.
Dermis: The layer below the epidermis.
Diaphragm: The strong wall of muscle that separates the chest cavity from the abdominal cavity. By moving downward, it creates suction in the chest to draw in air and expand the lungs.
Diaphysis: The shaft of the long bone, composed mainly of compact bone.
Diencephalon: Often referred to as the "in-between brain." It provides the relay and switching centers for some sensory and motor pathways and for control of visceral activities.
Dorsal cavity: This cavity is more posterior on the body and contains the cranial cavity and the spinal cavity.
Duodenum: The first ten inches of the small intestines.
Eccentric contraction: The type of contraction when the muscles are contracting but lengthening, also known as the lowering phase of movement.
Eccrine glands: Sweat glands, found primarily on the back, forehead, hands, and feet.
Ejaculatory duct: This is the passage formed by the junction of the duct of the seminal vesicles and the vas deferens through which semen enters the urethra.
Embolus: A moving blood clot.
Endangerment site: In massage, an area or location on the body where massage should be avoided, usually due to a nerve, blood vessel, or sensitive bony landmark.
Endemic: When an infectious disease is present in a geographical area or population.
Endocarditis: This is an inflammation of the inner layer of the heart.
Endocardium: The thin membrane lining the inner wall of the heart.
Effleurage: A Swedish massage stroke that helps to warm up the muscles, spread lubricant, and let the client adjust to your touch; it is also known as gliding.
Epidemic: When an infectious disease appears in a new population that spreads at an unexpected and alarming rate.
Epidermis: The most superficial layer of skin.
Epiglottis: A flap of tissue that guards the entrance to the laryngeal opening.
Epiphysis: Found at either end of long bones. It is mainly composed of cancellous bone.
Esophagus: The passage leading from the mouth and throat (pharynx) to the stomach.
Estrogen: The hormone that initiates and maintains growth of the functional layer of the endometrium.
Ergonomics: The study of the anatomy, physiology, and psychology of how the body adjusts to the environment and equipment used in activity.
Etiology: Etiology is the study of the factors that cause disease and how they come into contact with the human body.
Excursion: The length of the massage stroke and how far it has traveled.
External respiration: The exchange of gases between the alveoli and the blood.
Fascia: A web of tissue that serves to maintain structural integrity by providing support and protection while acting as a shock absorber.
Fibrous joints: A type of joint where articulating bones are fastened together by a thin layer of dense connective tissue. These joints do not move.
Friction: A type of massage technique that combines compression and movement in order to help break down adhesions.
Frontal plane: This plane separates the body into front and back.
Fundus: The upper portion of the stomach.
Fungi: Fungi are one-celled plants that are responsible for breaking down organic matter in the environment.
Gamete: This is a cell with half the number of chromosomes.
General liability insurance: This covers trips, falls, property damage to your client, and personal injury when your client is on your premises.
Genitalia: The reproductive organs of males and females.
Gestation: The period of development of the fetus from the time of fertilization to birth.
Glomerular filtration: The filtration of fluid out of the capillaries and into the nephron of the kidneys. The driving force for this process is blood pressure.
Golgi tendon organs: Nerve endings located within tendons near a muscle-tendon junction. They help us from over-contracting by sending signals to the interneurons in the spinal cord, which in turn inhibit the actions of the motor neurons. This allows the muscle to relax, thus protecting the muscle and tendon from excessive tension damage.
Gonads: One of the two types of primary reproductive organs, ovaries (female) and testes (male).
Greenstick fracture: An incomplete fracture, more common in children.
Gross income: All the money earned or accumulated before deductions.
Hara: In Japanese therapies, the Hara is the belly. This is the center of gravity and the energetic center.
Heat cramps: These are due to fluid/electrolyte imbalances resulting from excessive dumping of fluids without replacement.
Heat exhaustion: A continued dumping of body fluids following heat cramps where a cardiovascular condition called hypovolemia (low blood volume) begins to manifest.
Heat stroke: Results from the body's inability to dissipate heat and is a true medical emergency. In order to protect the heart and brain from the side effects of hypovolemia, the body overrides the cooling system by shutting down the sweating process.
Hemorrhoids: Varicosities (enlargement) in the veins of the anus.
HIPAA: Stands for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. The goal is to ensure that an individual's health information is protected while allowing the appropriate health care professional access to promote the highest quality of health care and to protect the public's well being.
Hot stone therapy: A massage technique where stones of all shapes and sizes and varying temperatures, ranging from 130–140 degrees F, are used to elicit physical healing, mental relaxation, and a spiritual connection to earth energy.
Hydrotherapy: A technique that involves the use of water, in any form, in massage therapy. This technique is often incorporated with other types of massage therapy.
Hyperthyroidism: A condition in which there is an oversecretion of thyroxin in the blood.
Hypothalamus: Controls the pituitary gland and regulates water, electrolytes, balance, hunger, body temperature, sleep, sexual response, and emotions. Also known as the Pleasure Center.
Hypothyroidism: A condition in which there is a lack of thyroxin in the blood.
Homeostasis: When the body is in a process of equilibrium, as a result of the constant feedback and regulation.
Integrative manual therapy: A combination of structural and functional rehabilitation, integrative manual therapy based on the concept that we are all connected.
Ileum: The last twelve feet of the small intestines that merges with the large intestines.
Internal respiration: The exchange of gases between the blood and the body cells
Inventory: Unsold retail items on hand in a business.
Isometric: This is when the muscle is contracting, but the joint/s is/are not moving.
Isotonic: Movement of the muscle and joint occurs with this type of contraction.
Jejunum: The second section of the small intestines. It is generally seven feet long.
Keratin: Protein found in the stratum corneum layer that makes the epidermis tough and impenetrable.
Large intestines: Organ that is about five feet long and made up of the cecum, colon, and rectum.
Larynx: The organ of voice; it contains the vocal cords.
Left atrio-ventricular valve: (mitral valve) The valve between the left atrium and left ventricle.
Ligaments: Connective tissue that attaches bone to bone.
Lingual tonsils: Small lymphatic organs located at the base of the tongue.
Lymphatic ducts: Situated in the thoracic cavity, this is where all of the lymph vessels in the body drain. The left and right thoracic ducts drain into the left and right subclavian veins.
Lymphocytes: T-lymphocytes help to recognize antigens and attack foreign cells to reduce threats by pathogens. B-lymphocytes contain antigen receptors that respond to one particular antigen and cause the production of antibodies to respond to that particular antigen.
Lymph nodes: Pea-sized pellets situated along the course of lymph vessels that produce lymphocytes and monocytes helping to destroy debris and bacteria in the lymph.
Lymph vessels: Essentially a system of filters that drain off excess tissue fluid and channel it back to the blood stream from whence it came.
Malignant: A tumor that is cancerous.
Mechanoreceptors: Located at the ends of neurons. They respond to mechanical pressure.
Medulla oblongata: The cardiac control center, vasomotor center, and respiratory center in the brainstem.
Medullary cavity: The diaphysis of long bones. In adults, it contains yellow bone marrow and is often called the marrow cavity.
Melanin: Dark pigment in the skin and hair that is produced by melanocytes.
Melatonin: Appears to play a role in maintaining day/night rhythms, and it also appears to inhibit the premature secretions of female hormones prior to puberty.
Meninges: The three layers that surround and protect the CNS.
Menopause: The cessation of the reproduction cycle.
Meridians: Channels through which energy flows that are internally associated with organs and externally associated with the surface of the head, trunk, and extremities.
Metastasized: Sometimes abbreviated as Mets means that the cancer has spread to other nonadjacent organs or tissues. The new tumor is called a secondary or metastatic tumor.
Metabolism: All of the chemical and physical processes that take place inside the body resulting in growth, production of energy, elimination of wastes, and other body functions.
Midbrain: This area is responsible for visual and auditory reflexes in the brainstem.
Minimal encouragers: Brief words such as "aha" or "I see" that let your client feel you are listening and encouraging him or her to continue.
Mitral valve: (left atrio-ventricular valve) The valve between the left atrium and left ventricle.
Morbidity: The condition of being sick.
Mortality: The death rate of a disease.
Motor unit: One motor neuron and the muscle fibers it innervates.
Multipennate muscle fibers: These muscles have tendons that branch within the muscle.
Muscle energy technique: A technique that when applied directly is based on the principle of reciprocal inhibition and when applied indirectly is based on post-contraction relaxation.
Muscle spindles: Help our body's muscles protect itself from over-stretching.
Myocardium: The thick middle layer of the heart composed of cardiac muscle tissue. Generally considered the "heart muscle."
Myosin: Long thick myofilaments that attach to actin in order for a muscle to contract.
Nephrons: The structural and functional unit of the kidney that do the job of filtering and removing waste from the blood and collecting it as urine
Net income: Gross income minus expenses and after taxes.
Osteoblasts: Cells that build up or repair bone tissue.
Osteoclasts: Cells that break down bone tissue, which helps release stored minerals.
Osteocytes: Individual bone cells.
Ovary: The female gonad in which the ova, or germ cells, are formed.
Ovulation: The expulsion and release of a mature ovum from a follicle in the ovary as a result of cyclic ovarian and pituitary endocrine function. Ovulation usually occurs about two weeks before the menstrual period.
Ovum: A mature female gamete.
Pacinian corpuscles: A type of mechanoreceptor that are also known as Lemellated corpuscles. They are large receptors that detect deep pressure and vibration.
Palatine tonsils: Small lymphatic organs located next to the soft palate.
Pandemic: When an infectious disease spreads worldwide.
Parallel muscle fiber: Fascicles are parallel to the long axis of the muscle.
Paraphrasing: Restating what the client said in order to confirm understanding.
Parasympathetic nervous system: The part of the autonomic nervous system that slows the body to prepare for rest and digest.
Parathyroid glands: Four small nodules found on the back of the thyroid gland that produce parathyroid hormone (PTH).
Parathyroid hormone: Secreted by the parathyroid gland and increases blood calcium by causing the release of calcium from bone.
Partnerships: This type of business entity is where two or more people contribute assets, share expenses, and operate together as the business.
Passive stretching: Occurs when the therapist lifts the client's limb in order to stretch a muscle, and both agonistic and antagonistic muscles are relaxed.
Pathology: The study of disease, focusing on how the disease changes the function and structure of tissues and organs.
Pathophysiology: The study of physiology of disease.
Pennate muscle fiber: The muscle body has one or more tendons; the fasciles are at an oblique angle to the tendon.
Pericarditis: This is an inflammation of the outer layer of the heart.
Pericardium: The thin membrane covering the outer side of the heart.
Periosteum: The layer of tissue that covers the bone surface.
Petrissage: A type of massage stroke that helps to work deeper tissues, and is therefore generally done after effleurage; it is also known as kneading.
Phlebitis: An inflammation of a vein.
Pineal gland: A tiny structure situated just above the thalamus of the brain that produces a hormone called melatonin.
Pituitary gland: The "master gland of the body," because its hormones control the activity of other endocrine glands.
Pharyngeal tonsils: Small lymphatic organs located in the upper throat.
Pharynx: Also called the throat.
Pleura: These are the two membranes, actually one continuous membrane folded on itself that surround each lobe of the lungs and separate the lungs from the chest wall.
Pons: The center for autonomic respiration in the brainstem and acts as a bridge from the spine to the rest of the brain.
Probing: A type of communication technique that is an attempt to gain more information.
Professional liability insurance: Also known as malpractice insurance, this covers liability costs if you are accused of negligence.
Progesterone: The hormone that maintains the uterine endometrium in the richly vascular state necessary for implantation and pregnancy
Proprioception: The ability to tell where our body or parts are without having to look.
Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF): A type of stretching technique that stimulates neural proprioceptors to help muscles stretch farther than they normally would.
Prostate: A gland located below the neck of the bladder in males that surrounds the proximal portion of the urethra. Its function is to secrete and store a clear fluid that makes up one-third of the volume of semen.
Protozoans: One-celled animals that have a cell that includes organelles.
Pulmonary artery: The artery leading from the right ventricle of the heart to the lungs.
Pulmonary circulation: The circulation of the blood from the heart to the lungs and back to the heart.
Pulmonary semilunar valve: The valve in the heart between the right ventricle and the pulmonary artery.
Pulmonary vein: The vein that returns blood from the lungs to the left atrium of the heart.
Pyloric sphincter: The ring of muscle that guard the opening between the end of the stomach and the beginning of the small intestines.
Pylorus: The lower portion of the stomach.
Qi Gong: A practice of harnessing and directing Qi (which is Life Energy) from the universe and from one's inner self.
Reciprocol inhibition: A type of stretching technique that ensures that when the agonist is moving or activated, the antagonist elongates.
Right atrio-ventricular valve: (tricuspid valve) The valve between the right atrium and right ventricle.
Sagittal plane: This plane separates the body into left and right.
S-corporation: This is a business entity that is separate from the owner as an individual.
Sebaceous glands: Glands secrete sebum and help keep the stratum corneum supple and waterproof.
Seminal vesicle: One of a pair of saclike accessory glands located posterior to the urinary bladder in the male that provide nourishment for sperm.
Shiatsu therapy: Developed in Japan, shiatsu is a finger pressure technique utilizing the traditional acupuncture points.
Simple fracture: Where the bone is broken but does not protrude through the skin. Also known as a closed fracture.
Sinuses: Hollow spaces in the bones of the head.
Sliding filament theory: A theory that explains muscular contractions.
Sole proprietorship: A business entity in which you are in business for yourself, but you do not incorporate, create a partnership, or form a limited liability corporation (LLC).
Somatic nervous system: The part of the peripheral nervous system that controls skeletal muscles and their contractions.
Spermatozoan: A mature male gamete that develops in the seminiferous tubules of the testes, consisting of a head, a midpiece, and a tail.
Spleen: An organ of the lymph system that is reddish brown and located just under the diaphragm, posterior and lateral to the stomach. It contains macrophages that engulf worn-out blood cells and bacteria and store about 200 mL of whole blood.
Stabilizers: Muscles help prevent motion by isometrically contracting.
Stress fracture: A small hairline fracture in a bone usually caused by prolonged repetitive activity.
Stretch reflex: This is the utilization of both Golgi tendon organs and muscle spindles, whereas the Golgi tendon organs begin to relax while we stretch and the muscle spindles help the muscle to elongate without overstretching.
Subcutaneous: The deepest layer of the skin.
Sudoriferous glands: Sweat glands that help to eliminate waste and help cool.
Summarizing: Consolidating all the statements the client has said to confirm understanding.
Sympathetic nervous system: The part of the autonomic nervous system that speeds up body functions for fight or flight.
Synergist: This helps the primary mover by moving in the same way or direction.
Synovial joint: Joints where articulating bones are surrounded by a joint capsule of ligaments and synovial membranes; the ends of articulating bones are covered by hyaline cartilage and separated by synovial fluid.
Systemic circulation: The circulation of blood from the heart to the rest of the body and back.
Tao: Tao means "way" and supports the balanced function of all the senses and teaches a lifestyle of moderation. Tao is the path or way to sustain chi energy.
Tapotement: A massage technique that is also known as percussion and utilizes striking movements.
Tendons: Connective tissue that attaches muscle to bone.
Testis/testes: The male gonad.
Testosterone: The hormone that causes males to develop the classic characteristics of axillary and pubic hair, deeper voice, and sperm production.
Thai massage: Massage based on the theory that the body is made up of 72,000 sen, or energy lines, of which ten hold top priority. It involves peripheral stimulation, meaning it acts as an external stimulant to produce specific internal effects.
Thalamus: The thalamus sorts out and relays incoming sensory stimuli.
Thrombophlebitis: A blood clot from the result of phlebitis.
Thrombus: A clot in a nontraumatized blood vessel.
Thymus: Located behind the sternum. It is large in children and diminishes in size throughout adulthood. The hormones of the thymus are essential to the development of the immune system and T cells.
Thyrocalcitonin: Secreted by the thyroid gland and decreases the level of calcium ions in the blood by causing the calcium to be absorbed by bone.
Thyroid gland: Situated at the base of the neck. It secretes two hormones—thyroxin and thyrocalcitonin.
Thyroxin: A hormone secreted by the thyroid gland that stimulates growth in children and stimulates the breakdown of glucose for energy.
Tidal volume: The normal amount of air that is inhaled and exhaled in quiet breathing. It is about 500 mL.
Tissues: A group of similar cells that perform similar functions.
Tonsils: Tonsils are small lymphatic organs located in the throat.
Total lung capacity: The total amount of air that both lungs can hold; it is approximately 6000 mL.
Tsubos: A pressure point just beneath the surface of the skin that can modify the energy deep within the body.
Tricuspid valve: (right atrio-ventricular valve) The valve between the right atrium and right ventricle.
Trigeminal neuralgia: (neuro = nerve; algia = pain) Also known as tic douloureux, it is among the most severely painful conditions that exist. It is caused by inflammation of the trigeminal nerve (V).
Trachea: The passage leading from the throat (pharynx) to the lungs.
Transverse plane: This is the plane that separates the body into top and bottom.
Tubular reabsorption: The reabsorption of chemicals from the nephron back to the blood in the urinary system.
The addition of specific chemicals (potassium ions, hydrogen ions, ammonia, and drugs) to the fluid as it flows through the last part of the nephron of the kidney.
A Chinese form of bodywork that uses rhythmic compressions along energy channels as well as a variety of techniques that manipulate and lubricate joints.
Unipennate muscle fibers:
These have all the muscle fibers on the same side of the tendon.
The tubes that transfer urine from the kidneys to the bladder.
The canal that allows for transfer of urine from the bladder for excretion.
An abnormal distention of veins, usually due to sluggish circulation.
These blood vessels carry blood toward the heart.
Vena cavas (inferior and superior):
Main veins that return blood to the heart.
This is the exchange of gases between the atmosphere and lungs.
This cavity is more anteriorly located on the body and contains the thoracic and abdominopelvic cavities.
A rapid shaking, quivering, or trembling massage technique.
An infectious agent that cannot grow or reproduce outside a host cell.
The largest volume of air that may be drawn in after the most powerful exhalation; it is about 5000 mL.
Half of the two opposing forces in Chinese philosophy that is described as the bright, positive masculine principle.
Half of the two opposing forces in Chinese philosophy that is described as the dark, conserving feminine principle.