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Massage Therapy Terminology & Glossary



E

 

 
Info Link
E-EI
 
-Eal
Pertaining to  
Early adults
Persons who are 19 to 40 years of age.
Ec-
Outside; Out  
Eccentric contraction
The action of an antagonist by which a muscle lengthens while under tension and changes in tension to control the descent of the resistance. Eccentric contractions may be thought of as controlling movement against gravity or resistance and are described as negative contractions.
Eccentric muscle contraction
An overall lengthening of the muscle while it is contracting or resisting a workload
Ecchymosis
Bruising or discoloration associated with bleeding within or under the skin.
Eccrine
A type of seat gland that releases a watery fluid known as sweat, which cools the body and provides minor elimination of metabolic waste.
ECG
Electrocardiogram; an electronic tracing of the heart's electrical activity through leads, which originate in the electrocardiograph machine and contain electrodes that attach to the patient's chest and/or limbs.
ECG 12-lead
An ECG or Electrocardiogram that uses 12 leads attached to the patient's skin; these include the limb leads and chest leads.
ECG 4-lead
An ECG or Electrocardiogram that uses 4 leads attached to the patient'sskin; these include the limb leads.
Echin/o
Spiny, Prickly  
Echo-
Reflected sound  
Eclampsia
Seizures (convulsions) resulting from severe hypertension in a pregnant woman.
Ecotrin (Rx)
Brand name; Astrin, Empirin, or Ecotrin. Generic name; Aspirin. Classified as a Salicylate and a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). It is an analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antithrombotic and fever reducer and is used in the treatment of stroke, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylosis, or tension headaches. It works by reducing substances in the body (prostaglandins) that cause pain, fever, and inflammation. Clients who take Astrin, Empirin, and Ecotrin may experience upset stomach and increased bruising. It is best to use caution with deep massage techniques and be aware of the client's decreased pain perception.
-Ectasia
Dilation; Dilatation; Widening  
-Ectasis
Dilation; Dilatation; Widening  
Ecto-
Outside; Out  
-Ectomy
Removal; Excision; Resection  
Ectopic
Not in the normal place; for example, in an ectopic pregnancy the egg is implanted at a place other than the uterus
Ectopic pregnancy
A pregnancy that develops outside the uterus, typically in a fallopian tube.
Ectro/o
Congenital Absence  
-Edema
Swelling  
Edema
A local or generalized condition in which body tissues contain an excessive amount of fluid. The accumulation of abnormal amounts of fluid in tissue space; an abnormal accumulation of fluid in body parts or tissues; causes swelling; the presence of abnormally large amounts of fluid between cells in body tissues, causing swelling of the affected area.
Effector
An organ, gland, or muscle capable of being activated by nerve endings
Efferent
Away from a center or point of reference; carrying away or away from
Efferent nerves
Motornerves that link the central nervous system to the effectors outside it and transmit motor impulses.
Efferent neurons
Neurons that conduct impulses away from the central nervous system
Effexor (Rx)
Brand name; Effexor. Generic name; Venlafaxine hydrochloride. An SSNRI or Selective Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitor and is classified as an Antidepressant. Used for treatment of Stress, major depression disorder (MDD), generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorders, and social phobia. It effects the chemicals in the brain that may become unbalanced and cause depression. Clients who take Effexor may experience increased blood pressure, agitation, constipation, nausea, and weakness. It is best to use caution with stimulating techniques, and abdominal massage may relieve constipation.
Effleurage
To glide, stroke or touch lightly, from the French word effleure; used early in a massage to introduce touch, spread lubricant, palpate; prepares tissue for deeper techniques, is used to transition between strokes or limbs/area, or to end the massage or section of body.
Effort
The force applied to overcome resistance  
Eight
Octa-, Octi-  
EJ-EL
 
Ejaculation
The sudden ejection of semen from the penis  
-Elasma
Flat Plate  
Elastic fibers
Connective tissue fibers that are extensible and elastic. They are made of protein called elastin, which returns to its original length after being stretched.  
Elasticity
The ability of a muscle to recoil and resume its original resting length after being stretched.  
Elastin
A connective tissue fiber type that has elastic properties and allows flexibility of connective tissue structures.  
Elder abuse
Any action on the part of an older person's family member, caregiver, or other associated person that takes advantage of the older person, his or her property, or emotional state; also called granny beating and parent battering.  
Ele/o
Oil  
Electr/o
Electricity  
Electrical conduction system
A network of special cells in the heart through which an electrical current flows, causing contractions of the heart that produce pumping of blood.  
Electrical energy
Energy form resulting from the movement of charged particles  
Electrocardiogram (ECG)
A graphic record of the electrical activity of the heart  
Electroencephalogram (EEG)
A graphic record of the electrical activity of nerve cells in the brain  
Electrolyte
A substance that breaks down into ions when in solution and is capable of conducting an electric current  
Electron
Negatively charged subatomic particle; orbits the atomic nucleus  
Electron transport chain
Metabolic pathway within the mitochondria in which energy harvested from high-energy hydrogen atoms is used to make ATP; final delivery of H to molecular oxygen produces water.  
Element
Substance containing only a single kind atom; any of the building blocks of matter; for example, oxygen, hydrogen, and carbon.  
Eletriptan hydrobromide (Rx)
Brand name; Relpax. Generic name; Eletriptan hydrobromide. Classified as an Antimigraine. It relieves migraine headache symptoms used for the treatment of Migraine headaches. It works by narrowing blood vessels around the brain and reducing substances in the body that can trigger migraine symptoms such as headache pain, nausea, sensitivity to light and sound. Clients who take Relpax may experience palpitations, dizziness, flushing, or abdominal pain. It is best to create a calming environment, help client on/off the table, and alter positioning when needed.
Elevation
Upward or superior movement.  
Elimination (egestion)
Removal and release of solid waste products from food that cannot be digested or absorbed.  
EM
 
Em-
In  
-Ema
Condition  
Emancipated minors
A person who is under the legal age in a given state but, because of other circumstances, is legally considered an adult.  
Embolo/o
Embolus  
Embolus
A blood clot or other substance in the circulatory system that travels to a blood vessel where is causes a blockage.  
Embolism
The obstruction of a blood vessel by an embolus; blood clot, bubble of air, or fatty mass floating in the blood.  
Embry/o
Embryo  
Embryo
An organism in its early stages of development; in humans, the first 2 months after conception; the fertilized egg that is the early stages of a fetus.  
Emergency
A serious situation, such as injury or illness, that threatens the life or welfare of a person or group of people and requires immediate intervention.  
Emergency doctrine
The principle of law that permits a health care provider to treat a patient in an emergency situation when the patient is incapable of granting consent because of an altered level of consciousness, disability, the effects of drugs or alcohol, or the patient's age.  
Emergency medical care
Immediate care or treatment.  
Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD)
A system that assists dispatchers in selecting appropriate units to respond to a particular call for assistance and in providing callers with vital instructions until the arrival of EMS crews.  
Emergency Medical Responder (EMR)
The first trained individual, such as a police officer, fire fighter, lifeguard, or other rescuer, to arrive at the scene of an emergency to provide initial medical assistance.  
Emergency Medical Services (EMS)
A multidisciplinary system that represents the combined efforts of several professionals and agencies to provide prehospital emergency care to the sick and injured.  
Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)
An individual who has training in basic life support, including automated external defibrillation, use of a definitive airway adjunct, and assisting patients with certain medications; a person trained in and responsible for the administration of specialized emergency care and transportation to a medical facility of victims of acute illness or injury; the US Department of Transportation training guidelines for EMTs include a 110-hour course of instruction and clinical time.  
Emergency move
A move in which the patient is dragged or pulled from a dangerous scene before assessment and care are provided.  
Emergency Response Guidebook
A preliminary action guide for first responders operating at a hazardous materials incident in coordination with the US department of Transportation's labels and placards marking system. The ERG was jointly developed by the DOT, the Secretariat of Communications and Transportation of Mexico, and Transpot Canada.  
-Emesis
Vomiting  
Emesis
Vomiting.  
-Emia
Blood Condition  
-Emic
Pertaining to Blood Condition  
Emmetr/o
In Due Measure  
Emmetropia
The eye that focuses images correctly on the retina, is said to have this "harmonious visison".  
Emotionally oriented bodywork
Manual therapy that is based on the idea that physical tension and restriction are related to unconscious patterns of holding that the client has adopted, often early in life, to cope with his or her emotional environment. The practitioner facilitates the client in releasing these tension patterns for the greater emotional and physical well-being of the client. Also called psychologically oriented bodywork.  
Empathy
The action of understanding, being sensitive to, and identifying with another person's situation, feelings, thoughts, and motives.  
-Emphraxis
Stoppage, Obstruction  
Emphysema
A condition caused by overdistension of the pulmonary alveoli and fibrosis of lung tissue; a disease of the lungs in which there is extreme dilation and eventual destruction of the pulmonary alveoli with poor exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide; it is one form of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.  
Empirin (Rx)
Brand name; Astrin, Empirin, or Ecotrin. Generic name; Aspirin. Classified as a Salicylate and a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). It is an analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antithrombotic and fever reducer and is used in the treatment of stroke, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylosis, or tension headaches. It works by reducing substances in the body (prostaglandins) that cause pain, fever, and inflammation. Clients who take Astrin, Empirin, and Ecotrin may experience upset stomach and increased bruising. It is best to use caution with deep massage techniques and be aware of the client's decreased pain perception.
EMT-administered medication
When the EMT directly administers the medication to the patient.  
EMT-Basic (EMT-B)
(old term no longer used now EMT) Basic level of emergency medical technician education identified by the US Department of Transportation; provides basic emergency medical care.  
EMT-Intermediate (EMT-I)
(old term no longer used now AEMT or Advanced EMT) Level of emergency medical technician between the level of EMT-Basic and EMT-Paramedic; the EMT-I generally has additional education in assessment over the EMT-B level; in addition, the EMT-I generally will be educated to use intravenous therapy and a limited selection of medications.  
EMT-Paramedic (EMT-P)
Most advanced level of prehospital emergency care provided identified by the US Department of Transportation; the EMT-P has advanced assessment skills and is trained in a wide variety of invasive interventions; the EMT-P can use a variety of medications, intravenous solutions, and other advanced treatment techniques.  
EN
 
En-
In; Within  
Enamel
The hard, calcified substance that covers the crown of a tooth.  
Enanti/o
Opposite, Opposed  
Enbrel (Rx)
Brand name; Enbrel. Generic name; Etanercept. Classified as an Antirheumatic. It relieves signs and symptoms of Rheumatoid arthritis used for treatment of Rheumatoid arthritis. It works by controlling the body's defensive response by blocking the action of TNF (Tumor Necrosis Factor a cytokine involved with inflammation) used by the immune system. Clients who take Enbrel may experience abdominal pain, dizziness, or headache. It is best to elevate the head and help client on/off the table, if needed.
Encephal/o
Brain  
End-
In; Within  
Endep (Rx)
Brand name; Apo-Ami Triptyline or Endep. Generic name; Amitriptyline hydrochloride. Classified as a Tricyclic antidepressant. It relieves depression and is used in the treatment of stress, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and neuropathy. It works by affecting the balance of neurotransmitters such as serotonin (natural occurring substance) in the brain. Clients who take Apo-Ami Triptyline or Endep may experience drowsiness, dry mouth, or constipation. It is best to help the client on/off table, abdominal massage may help relieve constipation, and make sure the client is alert before driving home.
Endo-
In; Within  
Endocarditis
An inflammation of the inner lining of the heart.  
Endocardium
The endothelial membrane lining the interior of the heart.  
Endocrine glands
A ductless glands that secretes hormones directly into the bloodstream; glands that secrete or release chemicals that are used inside the body.  
Endocrine system
Body system that includes internal organs that secrete hormones; the complex message and control system that integrates many body functions, including the release of hormones.  
Endocytosis
The cellular process of engulfing particles located outside the cell membrane into a cell by forming vesicles.  
Endometrium
The mucous membrane lining on the inside of the uterus.  
Endomysium
The thin connective tissue surrounding each muscle cell  
Endoneurium
A delicate connective tissue sheath that surrounds each fiber in a nerve  
Endoplasmic reticulum
A network of interacellular membranes in the form of tubes that is connected to the nuclear membrane; a membranous network of tubular or saclike channels in the cytoplasm of a cell  
Endorphins
Peptide hormones that mainly work like morphine to suppress pain. They influence mood, producing mild euphoric feeling such as is seen in runner's high.  
Endoskeleton
The bony support structure found inside the human body that accommodates growth  
Endosteum
A thin membrane of connective tissue that lines the marrow cavity of the bone  
Endothelium
The single layer of simple squamous cells that line the walls of the heart and the vessels that carry blood and lymph  
Endotracheal intubation
Insertion of an endotracheal tube directly through the larynx between the vocal cords and into the trachea to maintain and protect an airway.  
End-tidal carbon dioxide detectors
Plastic, disposable indicators that signal by color change when an endotracheal tube is in the proper place.  
End-tidal CO2
The amount of carbon dioxide present in exhaled breath.  
Energy
The capacity to work, and work is the movement of or a change in the physical structure of matter; the ability to do work  
Enfuvirtide (Rx)
Brand name; Fuzeon. Generic name; Enfuvirtide. Classified as an Anti-HIV and Antiviral. It controls symptoms of HIV infection used for treatment of HIV/AIDS. It works by decreasing the amount of HIV in the body so the immune system can work better. Clients who take Fuzeon may experience peripheral neuropathy, depression, bruising, abdominal pain, constipation, or diarrhea. Deep tissue techniques are contraindicated. Gentle abdominal massage may help relieve constipation. Perform neuropathy protocol and be supportive in actions and words.
Entacapone (Rx)
Brand name; Comtan. Generic name; Entacapone. Classified as an Antiparkinson. It controls signs and symptoms of Parkinson's disease used for treatment of Parkinson's disease. It works by COMT enzymes (Catechol-O-methyltransferase O=oxygen) inactivating catecholamine neurotransmitters such as dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine allowing other Rx to work properly. Clients who take Comtan may experience anxiety, depression, abdominal pain, constipation, or diarrhea. It is best to perform abdominal massage to help relieve constipation. Offer a calming environment and positive reinforcement in actions and words.
Enter/o
Intestines (Usually Small Intestine)  
Enternal medications
Medications that enter the body through the digestive system.  
Entrainment
A coordination or synchronization to an internal or external rhythm, especially when a person responds to certain patterns by moving in a coordinated manner to those patterns.  
Entrapment
To be caught (trapped) within a vehicle, room, or container with no way out or to have a limb or other body part trapped.  
Envenomation
The act of injecting venom.  
Enzymes
A substance formed by living cells that acts as a catalyst in bodily chemical reactions; catalysts designed to speed up the rate of specific biochemical reactions.  
EO-EQ
 
Eoain/o
Red; Rosy; Dawn-Colored  
Eosinophils
Granular white blood cells whose granules readily take up a stain called eosin  
Epi-
Above; Upon; On  
Epicardium
A serous membrane that tightly hugs the external surface of the heart and is actually part of the heart wall; also called visceral pericardium  
Epicondyle
A bony projection above a condyle  
Epidemic
Occurs when new cases of a disease occur in a human population and substantially exceed what is "expected," based on recent experience.  
Epidermis
The outer or top layer of skin composed of sublayers called strata. The epidermis contains no nerves or blood vessels; the outer layers of the skin; epithelium; the outer layer of skin that acts as a watertight protective covering.  
Epididym/o
Epididymis  
Epididymis
That portion of the male duct system in which sperm mature; empties into the ducts, or vas deferens  
Epidural hematoma
An accumulation of blood between the skull and the dura mater.  
Epiglott/o
Epiglottis  
Epiglottis
The elastic cartilage at the back of the throat; covers the glottis during swallowing; a thin, leaf-shaped valve that allows air to pass into the trachea but prevents food and liquid from entering.  
Epiglottitis
A disease in which the epiglottis becomes inflamed and enlarged and may cause an upper airway obstruction.  
Epilepticus
A continuous seizure  
Epilepsy
A group of neurologic disorders characterized by recurrent episodes of convulsive seizures, sensory disturbances, unusual behavior, loss of consciousness, or all of these; uncontrolled electric discharge from the nerve cells of the cerebral cortex.  
Epimysium
The sheath of fibrous connective tissue surrounding a muscle  
Epinephrine
A catecholamine released by the nervous system and involved in fight-or-flight responses such as dilation of a blood vessels to the skeletal muscles. Epinephrine is classified as a hormone when secreted by the adrenal gland; a substance produced by the body (commonly called adrenaline), and a drug produced by phamacuetical companies that increases pulse rate and blood pressure; the drug of choice for an anaphylactic reaction.  
Epineurium
A tough, fibrous sheath that binds together the fascicles in a nerve  
Epi-Pen
Autoinjector that contains epinephrine used subcutaneously to counteract the effects of histamine.  
Epiphysis
The end of a long bone  
Episi/o
Vulva  
Epistaxis
A nosebleed.  
Epitheli/o
Skin; Epithelium  
Epithelial tissues
A specialized group of tissues that cover and protect the surface of the body and its parts, line body cavities, and form glands. Epithelial tissue usually is found in areas that move substances into and out of the body during secretion, absorption, and excretion.  
Epithelium
One of the primary tissues; covers the surface of the body and lines the body cavities, ducts, and vessels.  
Equi-
Equality, Equal  
Equilibrium
Balance; a state when opposite reactions or forces counteract each other exactly.  
Equin/o
Horse  
ER-EU
 
-Er
One Who  
Erg/o
Work  
Erethism/o
Irritation  
Erythem/o
Flushed; Redness  
Erythr/o
Red  
Erythrocytes
Red blood cells that contain hemoglobin and function to transport oxygen to the cells and carbon dioxide away from the cells.  
Erythropoiesis
The process of erythrocyte formation.  
Eschar/o
Scab  
Escitalopram oxalate (Rx)
Brand name; Lexapro. Generic name; Escitalopram oxalate. Classified as a Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI) and Antidepressant. It relieves depression and anxiety and is used for treatment of Stress. It works by helping to restore the balance of serotonin in the brain. Clients who take Lexapro may experience cardiac complications, abdominal pain, abnormal dreams, dizziness, migraine, sedation, heartburn, indigestion, and gas. It is best not to let the client fall asleep. Position for gastric distress. Alter positioning and help client on/off the table if needed.
-Esis
Action; Condition; State of  
Eso-
Inward  
Esophag/o
Esophagus  
Esophagus
A collapsible tube that extends from the pharynx to the stomach; contractions of the muscle in the wall of the esophagus propel food and liquids through it to the stomach.  
Essential tremor
A chronic tremor that does not proceed from any other pathologic condition.  
Esthes/o
Nervous Sensation  
Esthesi/o
Nervous Sensation  
-Esthesia
Nervous Sensation  
Estr/o
Female  
Estrogen
Hormones that stimulate female secondary sex characteristics; female sex hormones.  
Etanercept (Rx)
Brand name; Enbrel. Generic name; Etanercept. Classified as an Antirheumatic. It relieves signs and symptoms of Rheumatoid arthritis used for treatment of Rheumatoid arthritis. It works by controlling the body's defensive response by blocking the action of TNF (Tumor Necrosis Factor a cytokine involved with inflammation) used by the immune system. Clients who take Enbrel may experience abdominal pain, dizziness, or headache. It is best to elevate the head and help client on/off the table, if needed.
Ethical congruence
Making decisions that are consistent, or in alignment with the ethical values that apply to each situation.  
Ethical dilemma
A situation in which two or more duties, rights, or a combination of duties and rights are in conflict. As a result, regardless of what action is taken, something of value will be compromised.  
Ethics
The philosophy of right and wrong, of moral duties, and of ideal professional behavior.  
Ethm/o
Sieve  
Ethnocentrism
When a person considers his or her own cultural values as more important when interacting with people of a different culture.  
Eti/o
Cause  
Etiology
The study of the factors involved in the development of disease, including the nature of the disease and the susceptiblility of a person.  
Etiquette
A code of behavior that delineates expectations. Professional etiquette concerns behaviors that fall under the heading of good manners: cancellation notification and being punctual; hygiene; and personal habits.  
Eu-
Good; Normal  
Eupnea
Easy, normal breathing.  
-Eurysm
Widening  
Eustachian tube
Tube that connects the middle ear and the pharynx; allows pressure to be equalized on both sides of the ear drum; also called the Pharyngotympanic (auditory) tube; a branch of the internal auditory canal that connects the middle ear to the oropharynx.  
EV-EZ
 
Evaporation
Conversion of water or another fluid from a liquid to a gas.  
Eversion
Movement of the sole of the foot outward away from the midline; special movement of the foot achieved by turning the sole laterally.  
Evisceration
The displacement of organs outside of the body.  
Ex-
Out; Away From  
Exanthemat/o
Rash  
Exchange reaction
A chemical reaction in which bonds are both made and broken; atoms become combined with different atoms.  
Excitability
The ability of a muscle to receive and respond to a stimulus.  
Excretion
The elimination of waste products from the body.  
Exhalation
The passive part of the breathing process in which the diaphram and the intercostal muscles relax, forcing air out of the lungs.  
Exo-
Out; Away From  
Exocrine gland
A gland that secretes hormones through ducts directly into specific areas. Exocrine glands are part of the endocrine system; glands that have ducts through which their secretions are carried to a body surface, skin or mucosa.  
Exocytosis
The movement of substances out of a cell.  
Expiration
The act of expelling air from the lungs; exhalation.  
Expiratory reserve volume
The amount of air that can be exhaled following a normal exhalation; average volume is about 1,200 mL.  
Exposure
A situation in which a person has had contact with blood, body fluids, tissues, or airborne particles in a manner that suggests disease transmission may occure.  
Expressed consent
A type of consent in which a patient gives express authorization for provision of care or transport.  
Extend
To straighten.  
Extensibility
The ability of a muscle to be stretched or extended.  
Extension
A movement that increases the angle between two bones, usually moving the body part back toward the anatomic position; e.g., straightening a flexed knee; the straightening of a joint.  
External auditory canal
The ear canal; leads to the tympanic membrane.  
External jugular IV
IV access established in the external jugular vein of the neck.  
External respiration
The exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide between the lungs and the bloodstream; the actual exchange of gases between the alveoli and the blood (pulmonary gas exchange); the exchange of gases between the lungs and the blood cells in the pulmonary capillaries; also called pulmonary respiration.  
External rotation
Rotary movement around the longitudinal axis of a bone away from the midline of the body. Also known as rotation laterally, outward rotation, and lateral rotation.  
Externship
Learning programs similar to internships, offered by educational institutions to give students short practical experiences in their field of study. They are generally shorter than internships and last approximately a few weeks to months.  
Extra-
Outside  
Extracellular
Outside a cell.  
Extracellular matrix
Nonliving material in connective tissue consisting of ground substance and fibers that separate the living cells.  
Extracellular fluid
Fluid within the body but outside the cells.  
Extremity lift
A lifting technique that is used for patients who are supine or in a sitting position with no suspected extremity or spinal injuries.  
Extraction
Removal of a patient from entrapment or a dangerous situation or position, such as removal from a wrecked vehicle, industrial accident, or building collapse.  
Extrication supervisor
In incident command, the person appointed to determine the type of equipment and resources needed for a situation involving extrication or special rescue; also called the rescue officer.  
Extubation
Removal of a tube after it has been placed.  
Eyes-forward position
A head position in which the patient's eyes are looking straight ahead and the head and torso are in line.  
 

 

     

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