What’s that Mean? Common Massage Terms

Massage therapy is such a diverse practice and has a multitude of effects on the body. As such, there are some terms that you might hear your therapist use from time to time. Here, we discuss several common terms that come up during and after a massage.

Adhesions and Scar Tissue

During the body’s natural healing process of injured tissues, regeneration of new tissue occurs. Muscle tissue is quite sensitive to the regeneration process, with damaged tissues often being replaced by fibrous connective tissue called scar tissue. This tissue can form into adhesions if the healing process is disrupted by further injury or trauma to the area. Adhesions are where the layers of muscle tissue stick together, forming a hodgepodge lump that can restrict the normal movement and function of the muscle. Massage is beneficial throughout the injury healing process because it helps break down scar tissue, allowing it to heal more similar to the original muscle fibers and reducing the likelihood of adhesions developing. If adhesions do form, massage has been found to be highly beneficial to break them up.


Fascia is the glue that holds all of our tissues together. Fascia, otherwise known as connective tissue, is what binds together our muscles, skin, organs, ligaments, and so much more. There are large fascia sheets in the body like the IT band that commonly are tight on many individuals. Fascial pain is generally widespread and can cause trigger points to form.

Trigger Point

Speaking of which, trigger points, also called myofascial pain syndrome, is where the fascia becomes bound and causes deep pain that is generally widespread. The pain from trigger points causes pain in other parts of the body, which can cause a misleading sense of where the problem area actually is. Active trigger point pain can feel dull, achy, deep, burning, or numb. These areas are often found during a massage session and address by your therapist. 

At Ballaura Wellness Spa in Olympia, Washington, we believe in the powerful combination of scientifically backed massage treatment.  As such, we also advocate for educating you on how massage and your body functions to help achieve your wellness goals.




Massage Therapy: Principles and Practice. Salvo, Susan