Massage Abbreviations

Massage Abbreviations: Unraveling the Language of Massage Therapy!

Are you overwhelmed by the jargon used by massage therapists?

You’re not alone!

Massage abbreviations can be confusing and intimidating.

It’s daunting to enter a new field, especially when you don’t understand the lingo.

With so many massage abbreviations, it can be hard to keep track of them all – and that’s where I come in.

As an experienced massage therapist and massage educator, I’d like to take some of the guesswork out of the equation by providing a comprehensive guide to massage abbreviations.

Let’s decode the language used by massage therapists together!


Some Massage Stats and Info 

  • The estimated global market size of massage therapy services in 2019 was 33.05 billion USD.
  • Massage is known to improve circulation of blood and lymph fluids, reduce muscle tension, stimulate the skin and nervous system and provide relaxation. 
  • There are numerous types of massage with some popular ones being Swedish, Shiatsu and Deep Tissue.
  • Massage abbreviations are widely used by massage therapists to keep records of services and communication with clients.

Common Massage Abbreviations List: 

  • DTM: Deep Tissue Masssage
  • TEN: Trigger Point Therapy
  • MT: Massage Therapist
  • HW: Hot Stone
  • SWT: Swedish Massage
  • SS: Sports Massage
  • CBT: Connective Tissue Massage
  • CST: Cranial Sacral Therapy 
  • PM: Pregnancy Massage
  • AMT: Acupressure Massage Technique
  • ASM: Advanced Soft Tissue Manipulation
  • BCST: Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy
  • CF: Connective Fascia
  • DPNF: Deep Pressure and Neuromuscular Facilitation
  • EMM: Esalen Massage
  • MFR: Myofascial Release
  • MLD: Manual Lymph Drainage
  • NMT: Neuromuscular Therapy
  • PNF: Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation
  • RAP: Reciprocal Inhibition
  • RMT: Registered Massage Therapist
  • RSM: Remedial Soft Tissue Manipulation
  • SCS: Structural Cranial Sacral Therapy
  • SMT: Soft Tissue Massage
  • TBM: Total Body Modification
  • TP: Tapping
  • WAT: Water Massage

Related Here is how to say ‘massage’ in dozens of other languages!

Massage abbreviations can be an annoying and confusing obstacle when it comes to communication between massage therapists and clients.

Some of the most common abbreviations include RMT for Registered Massage Therapist, LMT for Licensed Massage Therapist, and MFR for Manual Fascia Release.

The sheer number of abbreviations and their specific meaning can be a bit overwhelming and create a barrier to effective communication.

To fix this issue, I recommend making sure clients are aware of the abbreviations and their meanings before their massage sessions. 

Alternatively, massage therapists can avoid using abbreviations altogether by providing more detailed descriptions of what they do and the services they offer.

What Abbreviations Are and Why They’re Used

Abbreviations are shortened forms of words or phrases, typically made by omitting certain letters and sounds.

They are used as a way to save time, space, and energy when communicating.

In the field of massage therapy, abbreviations are often used as a shorthand way to refer to specific techniques, modalities, and conditions.

For example, “AMT” stands for “Acupressure Massage Technique,” “MLD” stands for “Manual Lymph Drainage,” and “RSM” stands for “Remedial Soft Tissue Manipulation.”

Abbreviations are also commonly used in medical settings to refer to diagnoses, medications, and other important information.

For example, “COPD” stands for “Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease,” “BP” stands for “Blood Pressure,” and “NSAID” stands for “Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug.”

Abbreviations can be helpful in certain contexts, as they can make it easier to quickly convey complex information.

However, it’s important to use them carefully, as they can also be confusing or misleading if used incorrectly or out of context.

Related Here is a list of different words you can use to describe a massage!

Common FAQs

What does PFT mean in massage therapy? 

PFT stands for postural functional therapy, a type of bodywork that helps to reduce muscle tension and fatigue while improving posture. 

What does ISOM stand for?

ISOM stands for Isometric Muscle Balancing, which is a technique used to treat chronic musculoskeletal pain.

What does SMT mean?

SMT stands for Soft-tissue Manipulation Therapy, a type of therapy that uses gentle pressure to manipulate connective tissues and encourage healing.

What does MFR stand for?

MFR stands for Myofascial Release, a massage technique used to release tightness in the fascia, a type of connective tissue that covers muscles.

What does PNF mean?

PNF stands for Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation, which is a type of muscle stretching used to improve range of motion and flexibility.

Image credits – Photo by Sven Brandsma on Unsplash

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