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Massage Therapy Terminology & Glossary

 



 

B

 

 
Info Link
B-BD
 
B cells
Lymphocytes that oversee humoral immunity; their descendants differentiate into antibody-producing plasma cells; also called B lymphocytes.  
Bacill/o
Bacilli (Bacteria)  
Backboard
A device that is used to provide support to a patient who is suspected of having a hip, pelvic, spinal, or lower extremity injury; also called a spine board, trauma board, and longboard.  
Baclofen (Rx)
Brand name; Lioresal. Generic name; Baclofen. Classified as a Skeletal muscle relaxant. It relieves muscle spasm in the treatment of Cerebral palsy. It works by helping to relax the muscles. Clients who take Lioresal may experience constipation or drowsiness. It is best to note that deep tissue techniques are contraindicated. Abdominal massage might relieve constipation.
Bacteria
Any of a large group of microorganisms, generally one-celled; found in humans and other animals, plants, soil, air, and water; have a broad range of functions; microorganisms that reproduce by binary fission; these single-cell creatures reproduce rapidly, some can form spores (encysted variants) when environmental conditions are harsh.  
Bacterial vaginosis
An overgrowth of bacteria in the vagina; characterized by itching, burning, or pain, and possibly a "fishy" smelling discharge.  
Bacteri/o
Bacteria  
Bag-mask device
A device with a one-way valve and a face mask attached to a ventilation bag; when attached to a reservoir and connected to oxygen, it delivers more than 90% supplemental oxygen.  
Balance
The ability to control equilibrium. Two types of balance are static or still balance and dynamic or moving balance.  
Balance Billing

Refers to the practitioner’s ability or inability to bill the client for the remaining cost of service not covered by insurance payments. Most insurance companies have practitioners on contract and will not allow them to bill the client above the contracted rate the insurance company has determined. Charging the patient for the difference between the physician's fee and the insurance carrier's allowed fee.

 
Balan/o
Glans (acorn) Penis (head)  
Ball-and-socket joint
Joint that allows movement in many directions around a central point. Ball-and socket joints are ball-shaped convex surfaces fitted into concave sockets. This type of joint gives the greatest freedom of movement but also is the most easily dislocated; a joint that allows internal and external rotation, as well as bending.  
Bariatrics
A branch of medicine concerned with the management (prevention or control) of obesity and allied diseases.  
Bar/o
Pressure; Weight  
Barotrauma
Injury resulting from pressure disequilibrium across body surfaces; for example, from too much pressure in the lungs.  
Barrier device
A protective item, such as a pocket mask with a valve, that limits exposure to a patient's body fluids.  
Bartering
Used for bodyworkers to mean exchanging a manual therapy session for goods or services other than another manual therapy session.  
Bartholin/o
Bartholin Glands  
Bary-
Weight; Pressure  
Basal metabolic rate (BMR)
The rate of energy expenditure of the body under normal, relaxed activities; the rate at which energy is expended (heat produced) by the body per unit time under controlled (basal) conditions: 12 hours after a meal, at rest.  
Basal nuclei
Gray matter areas deep within the white matter of the cerebral hemispheres; also called basal ganglia.  
Basal surface
The tissue surface that faces the inside of the body.  
Base
A substance that accepts hydrogen ions; proton acceptor; compare with acid.  
Base station
Any radio hardware containing a transmitter and receiver that is located in a fixed place.  
Basement membrane
A permeable membrane that attaches epithelial tissues to the underlying connective tissue; a thin layer of extracellular material to which epithelial cells are attached in mucosal surfaces.  
-Basia
Walking  
Basic Coverage
Insurance coverage limited to basic inpatient medical and diagnostic care, and both inpatient and outpatient surgary services.  
Basic life support (BLS)
Noninvasive emergency lifesaving care that is used to treat medical conditions, including airway obstruction, respiratory arrest, and cardiac arrest.  
Basilar skull fractures
Usually occur following diffuse impact to the head (such as falls, motor vehicle crashes); generally result from extension of a linear fracture to the base of the skull and can be difficult to diagnose with a radiograph (x-ray).  
Basket stretcher
A rigid stretcher commonly used in technical and water rescues that surrounds and supports the patient yet allows water to drain through holes in the bottom; also called a Stokes litter.  
Bas/o
Base; Opposite of Acid  
Basophils
White blood cells whose granules stain deep blue with basic dye; have a relatively pale nucleus and granular-appearing cytoplasm.  
Batho-, Bathy-
Deep, Depth  
Battery
Touching a patient or providing emergency care without consent.  
Battle's sign
Bruising behind an ear over the mastoid process that my indicate a skull fracture.  
BCBSA
Blue Cross Blue Shield Association  
BC/BS
Blue Cross and/ or Blue Shield  
BCBS FEP
Blue Cross/Blue Shield Federal Employees Plan  
BC/BS Medicare Supplemental Plan
A Blue Cross/Blue Shield policy designed to augment the patient's Medicare benefits. Also known as BC/BS Medigap plan if plan meets federal Medigap standards.  
BE-BI
 
Behavior
How a person functions or acts in response to his or her environment.  
Behavioral crisis
The point at which a person's reactions to events interfere with activities of daily living; this becomes a psychiatric emergency when it causes a major life interruption, such as attempted suicide.  
Benchmarking
The process of comparing one's performance metrics to industry best practices.  
Bends
Common name for decompression sickness.  
Beneficence
The principle of "do good." Beneficence is action that is done for the benefit of others.  
Beneficiary
A person eligible to receive the benefits of a specific policy or program.  
Benefit
An amount payable by an insurance company to the insured or the insured's designated health care provider for covered medical expenses.  
Benefit Period
A Medicare designation for the period of time covered by the inpatient deductible. A benefit period starts with the first day of hospitalization and ends when the patient has been out of the hospital for 60 consecutive days. Also known as "Spell of Illness".  
Benign
A term usually describing a non-cancerous tumor that is contained and does not spread; not malignant. A tumor that is non-invasive or not affecting deeper tissue, localized, and non-spreading.  
Benztropine mesylate (Rx)
Brand name; Cogentin. Generic name; Benztropine mesylate. Classified as an Antiparkinson. It increases physical mobility in Parkinson's patients in the treatment of Parkinson's disease. It works by blocking acetylcholine (ACh) which is the neurotransmitter at neuromuscular junctions and at a variety of sites within the central nervous system (CNS). Clients who take Cogentin may experience cardiac complications, confusion, incoherence, dry mouth, or constipation. It is best for a reminder call to be placed for treatment. Abdominal massage might relieve constipation.

WebMD.com

Nlm.Nih.gov

RxList.com

RxList

Beta
A type of energy that is emitted from a strong radiologic source; is slightly more penetrating than alpha and requires a layer of clothing to stop it.  
Beta-adrenergic receptors
Portions of the nervous system that, when stimulated, can cause an increase in the force of contraction of the heart, an increased heart rate, and bronchial dilation.  
Betaseron (Rx)
Brand name; Betaseron. Generic name; Interferon Beta-1B, recombinant. Classified as an Antiviral, immunomodulator. It decreases Multiple Sclerosis exacerbations and is used for treatment of Multiple Sclerosis (MS). It works by decreasing the number of attacks of weakness and slow the worsening of the disease with the protein interferon. Clients who take Betaseron may experience anxiety, flu-like symptoms, depression, hemorrhage, or dizziness. It is best to never perform deep treatment work. Use caution around injection site, never massage the day of, or day after injection. Help client on/off table if needed.

WebMD.com

Drugs.com

Betaseron.com

RxList

Bi-
Two  
Biceps
Two-headed, especially applied to certain muscles; the large muscle that covers the anterior humerus.  
Bicuspid
Having two points or cusps.  
Bilateral
Pertaining to two sides; a body part or condition that appears on both sides of the midline.  
Bile
A greenish-yellow or brownish fluid produced in and secreted by the liver, stored in the gallbladder, and released into the small intestine.  
Bile ducts
The ducts that convey bile between the liver and the intestine.  
Billing Entity
A legal business name of a practice or organization.  
Bills of lading
The shipping papers used for transport of chemicals over roads and highways; also referred to as freight bills.  
Bi/o
Life  
Bil/i
Bile; Gall  
Bilirubin/o
Bilirubin  
Bioethics
The study of ethics related to issues that arise in health care.  
Biologic rhythms
The internal, periodic timing component of an organism, also known as a biorhythm. Circadian rhythms work on a 24-hour period to coordinate internal functions such as sleep. Ultradian rhythms repeat themselves from every 90 minutes to every few hours, whereas seasonal rhythms are annual functions.  
Biomechanics
The study of mechanical principles, movements, and actions applied to living bodies.  
Biopsy
The removal and examination of live tissue; usually done to detect or rule out the presence of cancerous cells.  
Birth canal
The vagina and cervix.  
BJ-BN
 
Blanching
Turning white.  
-Blast
Embryonic; Immature Cell  
Blastocyst
A stage of early embryonic development.  
-Blastoma
Immature Tumor (cells)  
Blenn/o
Mucus  
Blephar/o
Eyelid  
Blind spots
Areas of the road that are blocked from your sight by your own vehicle or mirrors.  
Blood
A thick, red fluid that provides oxygen, nourishment, and protection to the cells and carries away waste produucts. Whole blood consists of two components: the formed cellular elements and the liquid plasma. Blood is a form of connective tissue.  
Bloodborne pathogens
Pathogenic microorganisms that are present in human blood and can cause disease in humans; these pathogens include, but are not limited to, hepatitis B virus and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)  
Blood-brain barrier
A mechanism that inhibits passage of materials from the blood into brain tissues.  
Blood pressure
The measurement of pressure exerted by the heart on the walls of the blood vessels. The highest pressure exerted is called systolic pressure, which results when the ventricles are contracted. Diastolic pressure, the lowest pressure, results when the ventricles are at rest. Blood forced into the aorta during systole sets up a pressure wave that travels down the arteries. The wave expands the arterial wall, and the expansion can be palpated by pressing the artery against the tissue, the waves constitute the pulse rate.  
Bloody show
A small amount of blood at the vagina that appears at the beginning of labor and may include a plug of pink-tinged mucus that is discharged when the cervix begins to dilate.  
Blowout fracture
A fracture of the orbit or of the bones that support the floor of the orbit.  
BlueCard Program
A BC/BS Association program that eases the processing of claims from PAR and PPN providers when they provide medical services to BC/BS patients enrolled in plans outside the health care provider's local service area. This program was formerly known as the "Out-of-Area Program".  
Blue Cross (BC)
A medical insurance corporation organized for the purpose of offering pre paid hospital care plans to people living and working in a specific geographic region.  
Blue Shield (BS)
A medical insurance corporation organized for the purpose of offering pre paid medical and surgical care plans to people living and working in a specific geopgraphic region.  
Blunt trauma
An impact on the body by objects that cause injury without penetrating soft tissues or internal organs and cavities.  
B-NICE
A memory device to recall the types of weapons of mass destruction: biologic, nuclear, incendiary, chemical, and explosive.  
BO-BR
Body language
Nonverbal communication in which people reveal clues to unspoken intentions or feelings through their physical behaviors, such as posture, gestures, facial expressions, and eye movements.  
Body memories
Body sensations that symbolically or literally capture some aspect of trauma. Sensory impulses are recorded in the brain, and these remembrances of bodily sensations can be felt when similar occurrences or cues stimulate the stored memories.  
Body Substance Isolation (BSI)
Isolation of substances that are excreted from the body to prevent the spread of communicable diseases.  
Bol/o
Cast; Throw  
Bolus
A rounded mass of food prepared by the mouth for swallowing.  
Bonding
The formation of a close, personal relationship.  
Bony thorax
Bones of the thorax, including ribs, sternum, and thoracic vertebrae.  
Botulinum
Produced by bacteria, this is a very potent neurotoxin; when introduced into the body, this neurotoxin affects the nervous system's ability to function and causes botulism.  
-Boulia
Will  
Boundaries
For healthcare practitioners, a boundary is like a protective circle around the professional relationship that separates what is appropriate between practitioner and client from what is not. Keeping appropriate boundaries includes such behavior as not engaging a client in another kind of relationship, such as a social one, and honoring what is appropriate within the professional relationship, such as confidentiality.  
Boundary
Border or limit that separate people from their environment and from other people.  
Boundary crossing
A transgression that may or may not be experienced as harmful.  
Boundary violation
A harmful transgression of a boundary.  
Bowman's capsule
Walled cuplike end of a renal tubule; encloses a glomerulus; also called Glomerular capsule.  
Brachial
Pertaining to the arm.  
Brachial artery
The major vessel in the upper extremity that supplies blood to the arm.  
Brachi/o
Arm  
Brachy-
Short  
Brady-
Slow  
Bradycardia
Heart rate less than 60 beats per minute; a patient with bradycardia may or may not have symptoms; slow heart beat, usually defined as a rate under 60 beats per minute.  
Bradypnea
Slow respiratory rate; ominous sign in a child that indicates impending respiratory arrest.  
Brain
The largest and most complex unit of the nervous system, the brain is responsible for perception, sensation, emotion, intellect, and action; the controlling organ of the body and center of consciousness; functions include perception, control of reactions to the environment, emotional responses, and judgment.  
Brain stem
The primitive portin of the brain that contains centers for vital functions and reflex actions, such as vomiting, coughing, sneezing, posture, and basic movement patterns; the protion of the brain consisting of the medulla, pons, and midbrain; the area of the brain between the spinal cord and cerebrum, surrounded by the cerebellum; controls functions that are neccesary for life, such as respiration.  
Breach of confidentiality
Disclosure of information without proper authorization. Unauthorized release of confidential patient information to a third party.  
Breath-holding syncope
Loss of consciousness caused by a decreased breathing stimulus.  
Breathing pattern disorder
A complex set of behaviors that leads to overbreathing without a pathologic condition present.  
Breath sounds
An indication of air movement in the lungs, usually assessed with a stethoscope.  
Breech Presentation
A delivery in which the buttocks come out first.  
Brom/o
Bromine-containing compound, odor  
Bronchial breath sounds
Normal breath sounds made by air moving through the bronchi.  
Bronch/o
Bronchial Tube  
Bronchi/o
Bronchial Tube  
Bronchiol/o
Bronchiole  
Bronchioles
Subdivision of the smaller bronchi in the lungs; made of smooth muscle and dilate or constrict in response to various stimuli.  
Bronchiolitis
Inflammation of the bronchioles that usually occurs in children younger than 2 years and is often caused by the respiratory syncytial virus.  
Bronchitis
Inflammation of the mucous membranes of the bronchi; an acute or chronic inflammation of the lungs that may damage lung tissue; usually associated with cough and production of sputum and, depending on its cause, sometimes fever.  
Bronchodilators
Medications that relax constricted airways, making airflow easier; commonly used in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma.  
Bronchospasm
Condition seen in patients with asthma in which airways constrict tightly in response to irritants, cold air, exercise, or unknown factors.  
Bronchus
One of the two large branches of the trachea leading to the lungs.  
BS-BZ
 
BS
Blue Shield  
Buboes
Enlarged lymph nodes (up to the size of a tennis ball) that were characteristic in people infected with the bubonic plague.  
Bubonic plague
An epidemic that spread throughout Europe in the Middle Ages, causing more than 25 million deaths, also called the Black Death; transmitted by infected fleas and characterized by acute malaise, fever, and the formation of tender, enlarged, inflammed lymph nodes that appear as lesions, called buboes.  
Buccal
Pertaining to the cheek.  
Bucc/o
Cheek  
Buffers
Compounds that prevent the hydrogen ion concentration from fluctuating too rapidly to alter the pH; a substance or substances that help to stabilize the pH of a solution.  
Bundle branch block
A blocking of heart action resulting from damage to one of the bundle branches; delayed contraction of one ventricle.  
Bunion/o
Bunion  
Burnout
A psychological term that refers to long-term physical or emotional exhaustion.  
Burns
Injuries in which soft-tissue damage occurs as a result from thermal heat, frictional heat, toxic chemicals, electricity, or nuclear radiation.  
Bursa
A flat sac of synovial membrane in which the inner sides of the sac are separated by fluid film. Bursae are located where moving structures are apt to rub, they reduce the friction between two structures; a small sac filled with fluid and located at friction points, especially joints.  
Bursitis
Inflammation of a bursa.  
Burs/o
Bursa (Fluid sac near joints)  
Business association
A legal business formation in which individual practitioners under one roof each maintain their own separate businesses, while contributing to common expenses.  
Business page
Business information entered when registering on social media websites designated for promoting products and services.  
Bx
Biopsy  
Byssin/o
Cotton dust  
 

 

 

     

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