Classic Massage is based on western scientific medicine. It defines massage as manipulation of the body's muscles and connective tissue in order to normalize and strengthen its functions.
Massage is given by many throughout the world, regardless of whether they have education in the subject or not. Norwegian Massage Association members have the quality assured titles Masseur/Masseuse, Massage Therapist or Sports Massage Therapist, based on the education and experience they have. This provides safety for the clients. See Requirements and Titles
Massage practice in Norway is governed by Legislation on Alternative Treatment of Disease. There is a voluntary registration scheme for alternative practitioners in Brønnøysundregisteret, where massage therapists can register. All our members are eligible for registration and VAT-exemption on their treatments, which also benefits the clients.
It is worth noting that the reason why classic masseurs are listed in the Alternative registry is that they offer an alternative to the public health system. It does not mean that the methods or explanatory models are alternative in knowledge or logic. Massage therapists have the same medical view of the body as doctors and physiotherapists, and their methods have solid scientific support.
Massage is a part of the physiotherapy education and massage performed by physiotherapists are not counted as alternative therapies. When the same methods are performed by therapists without authorization however, they are called alternative.
Understanding of illness
Because classical massage springs from physiotherapy, the understanding of disease does not differ from medical science. Massage therapists relate mainly to physical structures and processes as causes and explanatory models of physical health problems, and see massage as a form of treatment for specific ailments in muscles and skeleton.
In the literature on classical massage there is an emphasis on the relationship between mental/emotional and physical ailments. There are thus explanatory models that allows for illness to have mental as well as physical causes. Meanwhile, it has been scientifically recognized that massage can have an effect on the immune system in general. Thus, massage may also have effects on disease in general, although this is usually not the main focus of the treatment.
Massage + client effort = effect
The purpose of the massage is to decrease pain and muscle tension, as well as provide relaxation, through softening of tissue and muscles. All theorists of classical massage emphasizes the importance of linking the massage with physical exercise in order to get the full effect of the treatment.