massager, massagist, n.
/meuh sahzh", -sahj"/ or, esp. Brit., /mas"ahzh/, n., v., massaged, massaging.
1. the act or art of treating the body by rubbing, kneading, patting, or the like, to stimulate circulation, increase suppleness, relieve tension, etc.
2. Slang. attentive or indulgent treatment; pampering: ego massage.
3. to treat by massage.
4. Slang. to treat with special care and attention; coddle or pamper: The store massages its regular customers with gifts and private sales.
5. Informal.
a. to manipulate, maneuver, or handle skillfully: to massage a bill through the Senate.
b. to manipulate, organize, or rearrange (data, figures, or the like) to produce a specific result, esp. a favorable one: The auditors discovered that the company had massaged the books.
[1875-80; < F, equiv. to mass(er) to massage ( < Ar massa to handle) + -age -AGE]

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Systematic, scientific manipulation of body tissues with the hands to relieve pain and reduce swelling, relax muscles, and speed healing after strains and sprains.

It has been used for more than 3,000 years by the Chinese. Early in the 19th century, the Swedish physician Per Henrik Ling (1776–1839) devised a massage system for joint and muscle ailments, which was later extended to relieve deformities of arthritis and re-educate muscles following paralysis. Manipulations include light or hard stroking, compression (kneading, squeezing, and friction), and percussion (striking with the edges of the hands in rapid alternation). In acupressure, a style of massage derived from China, pressure is exerted on Chinese acupuncture points for healing effects. See also physical medicine and rehabilitation.

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      in medicine, systematic and scientific manipulation of body tissues, performed with the hands for therapeutic (therapeutics) effect on the nervous and muscular systems and on systemic circulation. It was used more than 3,000 years ago by the Chinese. Later, the Greek physician Hippocrates used friction in the treatment of sprains and dislocations and kneading to treat constipation. Early in the 19th century, Per Henrik Ling, a doctor in Stockholm, devised a system of massage to treat ailments involving joints and muscles. Others later extended the treatment to relieve deformities of arthritis and re-educate muscles following paralysis.

      Massage is used to relieve pain and reduce swelling, to relax muscles, and to speed the healing process following strain and sprain injuries. Massage, however, cannot prevent loss of muscle strength nor reduce fat deposits.

      There are three forms of hand manipulation employed in therapeutic massage. They are: light or hard stroking (effleurage), which relaxes muscles and improves circulation to the small surface blood vessels and is thought to increase the flow of blood toward the heart; compression (petrissage), which includes kneading, squeezing, and friction and is useful in stretching scar tissue, muscles, and tendons so that movement is easier; and percussion (tapotement), in which the sides of the hands are used to strike the surface of the skin in rapid succession to improve circulation. See also physical medicine and rehabilitation.

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Universalium. 2010.