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Massage Therapy Terminology & Glossary



M

 

 
Info Link
MA-MD
Macro-
Large  
Macrobiotic Shiatsu
This method supports a natural lifestyle and heightened instincts for improving health. Treatment involves non-invasive touch and pressure using hand and barefoot techniques and stretches to facilitate the flow of Qi (energy) and to strengthen the body-mind.  
Macrodrip set
An administration set named for the large orifice between the piercing spike and the drip chamber; allows for rapid fluid flow into the vascular system.
Macrophage
Cell particularly abundant in lymphatic and connective tissues; important in the immune response as an antigen-presenter to T cells and B cells.
Mal-
Bad  
-Malacia
Softening  
Malignant
Life threatening; pertains to neoplasms that spread and lead to death, such as cancer.
Malleol/o
Malleolus  
Malpractice
Improper, negligent treatment, or incompetent treatment of a patient/client resulting in injury, damage, or loss.  
Mamm/o
Breast  
Mammary glands
Milk-producing glands of the breasts.
Mandibul/o
Mandible  
Mandible
The bone of the lower jaw.
-Mania
Obsessive preoccupation  
Manual Cervical Immobilization
Type of spinal immobilization in which the cervical spine is immobilized by hand until further devices can be applied.
Manual therapists
Trained professionals who touch the physical or energetic body of the client or who use a method of movement to affect the body of a client for the purpose of facilitating awareness, health, and well-being. As used here, the term is interchangeable with somatic practitioners and includes massage therapists, bodyworkers, movement educators, practitioners of Asian methods, and practitioners who work primarily with energy fields.
Manually triggered ventilation device
A fixed flow/rate ventilation device that delivers a breath every time its button is pushed; also referred to as a flow-restricted, oxygen-powered ventilation device.
Manubrium
The upper quarter of the sternum.
Mark 1 Nerve Agent Antidote Kit (NAAK)
A nerve agent antidote kit containing two auto-injectors containing atropine and pralidoxime chloride.
-Masesis
Mastication; chewing  
Mass or Multiple Casualty Incident (MCI)
Commonly accepted definition of any incident involving one or more patients that cannot be handled by the first responding units to a scene; an emergency situation involving three or more patients that can place great demand on the equipment or personnel of the EMS system or has the potential to produce multiple casualties.
Mast/o
Breast  
Mastermind groups
A focused group setting where the individuals in the group create specific goals for their business/career and provide each other with support and inspiration for achieving those goals.  
Mastication
The act of chewing.
Mastoid/o
Mastoid process  
Mastoid Process
The prominent bony mass at the base of the skull about 1" posterior to the external opening of the ear.
Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS)
A form, provided by manufacturers and compounders (blenders) of chemicals, containing information about chemical composition, physical and chemical properties, health and safety hazards, emergency response, and waste disposal of a specific material.
Matrix
The basic substance between the cells of a tissue. Matrix is composed of amorphous ground substance consisting of molecules that expand when water molecules and electrolytes bind them. Up to 90% of connective tissue is ground substance. Fibers make up the other components of matrix.
Matter
Anything that occupies space and has mass.
Maxill/o
Maxilla  
Maxillae
The upper jawbones that assist in the formation of the orbit, the nasal cavity, and the palate and hold the upper teeth.
Maximal stimulus
The point at which all motor units of a muscle have been recruited and the muscle is unable to increase in strength.
ME-MEH
Meat/o
Meatus  
Meatus
The external opening of a canal.
Mechanical energy
Energy from directly involved in putting matter into motion.
Mechanical piston device
A device that depresses the sturnum via a compressed gas-powered plunger mounted on a backboard.
Mechanical receptors
Sensory receptors that detect changes in pressure, movement, temperature, or other mechanical forces.
Mechanics
The branch of physics dealing with the study of forces and motion produced by their actions.
Mechanism of Injury (MOI)
Manner in which injuries occur; actions or objects that cause trauma injury to a patient; the way in which traumatic injuries occur; the forces that act on the body to cause damage.
Mechanoreceptors
Receptors sensitive to mechanical pressures such as touch, sound, or contractions.
Meconium
A dark green material in the amniotic fluid that can indicate distress or disease in the newborn; the meconium can be aspirated into the infant's lungs during delivery; the infant's first bowel movement.
MED channels
VHF and UHF channels that the Federal Communications Commission has designated exclusively for EMS use.
Medi/o
Middle  
Medial
Towards the midline of the body; parts of the body that lie closer to the midline; also called inner structures.
Mediastin/o
Mediastinum  
Mediastinum
The region of the thoracic cavity between the two lungs; space within the chest that contains the heart, major blood vessels, vagus nerve, trachea, major bronchi, and esophagus.
Mediation
This has become a very common form of dispute resolution where a third party (mediator) works with disputants to agree on a fair result. It is less costly and less time consuming over the long term and can be the way to finding innovative, mutually beneficial solutions. However, mediation does not always result in a settlement.  
Medic/o
To heal; healing  
Medical control
Physician instructions that are given directly by radio or cell phone (online/direct) or indirectly by protocol/guidelines (off-line/indirect), as authorized by the medical director of the service program.
Medical direction
The physician who authorizes or delegates to the EMT the authority to provide medical care in the field; various duties that a physician provides in support of an EMS system; includes protocols, case reviews, educational programming, etc.
Medical emergencies
Emergencies that require EMS attention because of illnesses or conditions not caused by an outside force.
Medical incident command
A branch of operations in a unified command system, whose three designated sector positions are triage, treatment, and transport.
Medical Qigong
This process is based on meridian and point theory that makes use of: breath training, psychosomatic exercises, meditation and guided visualization that direct the practitioners to create a place of health and balance in their clients.  
Medication
A chemical substance that is used to treat or prevent disease or relieve pain. (Rx)
Medicolegal
A term relating to medical jurisprudence (law) or forensic medicine.
Medivac
Medical evacuation of a patient by helicopter.
Medull/o
Medulla; middle; soft; marrow  
Medulla
The central portion of certain organs.
Medulla oblongata
Nerve tissue that is continuous inferiorly with the spinal cord; serves as a conduction pathway for ascending and desending nerve tracts; coordinates heart rate, blood vessel diameter, breathing, swallowing, vomiting, caughing, and sneezing.
Mega-
Large  
-Megaly
Enlargement  
MEI-MER
 
Meiosis
A type of cell division in which each daughter cell receives half the normal number of chromosomes, forming two reproductive cells; the two successive cell divisions in gamete formation producing nuclei with half the full number of chromosomes (haploid).
Mel/o
Limb; limbs  
Melan/o
Black  
Melanin
The pigment that colors our skin and works as a natural sunscreen to protect us from ultraviolet rays by darkening our skin; the dark pigment synthesized by melanocytes; responsible for skin color.
Melanocyte
A cell that produces melanin.
Melena
Black, foul-smelling, tarry stool containing digested blood.
Memory cell
Member of T cell and B cell clones that provides for immunologic memory.
Membrane
A thin, sheetlike layer of tissue that covers a cell, an organ, or some other structure; that lines a tube or cavity; or that divides or separates one part from another.
Men/o
Menses; menstruation  
Menarche
Establishment of menstrual function; the first menstrual period.
Mening/o
Meninges  
Meninges
The membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord; three layers of tissue that surround and protect the brain and the spinal cord within the skull and the spinal canal.
Meningi/o
Meninges  
Meningitis
An infection or inflammation of the meninges, highly vascular membranes that separate the skull from the brain; inflammation of the meninges of the brain or spinal cord; an inflammation of the meningeal coverings of the brain and spinal cord; it is usually caused by a virus or a bacterium.
Meningococcal meningitis
An inflammation of the meningeal coverings of the brain and spinal cord; can be highly contagious.
Menopause
The physiological end of menstrual cycles.
Menses
Monthly discharge of blood from the uterus; menstruation.
Menstruation
The periodic, cyclic discharge of blood, secretions, tissue, and mucus from the mature female uterus in the absence of pregnancy.
Ment/o
Mind  
Mentor
A trusted colleague who provides guidance and education. Mentors are usually helpful in advising on both the details of establishing oneself as a professional and the broader general aspects of taking on a professional role or of taking on the role of a particular kind of bodywork or massage practitioner.  
Mentoring
A professional relationship in which a more experienced practitioner shares information, skills, and insights with a less-experienced practitioner to provide encouragement and support.  
Mer/o
Part  
MES-MH
 
Mesentery
The double-layered membrane of the peritoneum that supports most organs in the abdominal cavity.
Meso-
Middle  
Meta-
Change; beyond  
Metabolic rate
The energy expended by the body per unit time.
Metabolism (cellular respiration)
Chemical processes in the body that convert food and oxygen into energy to support growth, distribution of nutrients, and elimination of waste; the sum total of the chemical reactions that occur in the body; the biochemical processes that result in production of energy from nutrients within the cells.
Metabolites
Molecules synthesized or broken down inside the body by chemical reactions.
Metabolize
To transform substances into energy or materials the body can use or store by means of anabolism or catabolism.
Metacarp/o
Metacarpals  
Metacarpals
The five bones in the palm of the hand between the carpals and phalanges of the hand.
Metastasis
The spead of cancer from one body part or organ into another not directly connected to it.
Metatars/o
Metatarsals  
Metatarsals
The five bones between the tarsus and phalanges of the foot.
-Meter
Measure  
Metered-dose inhaler (MDI)
A miniature spray canister used to direct medications through the mouth and into the lungs.
Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA)
A bacterium that causes infections in different parts of the body and is often resistant to commonly used antibiotics; can be found on the skin, in surgical wounds, in the bloodstream, lungs, and urinary tract.
Method/o
Procedure; technique  
Metr/o
Uterus; womb; measure  
Metri/o
Uterus  
-Metry
Process of measuring  
MI-MN
 
Mi/o
Smaller; less  
Micro-
Small  
Microdip set
An administration set named for the small orifice between the piercing spike and the drip chamber; allows for carefully controlled fluid flow and is ideally suited for medication administration.
Microorganisms
Small life forms that may be damaging to the body or interfere with its function.
Microvilli
Small projections of the cell membrane that increase the surface area of the cell; the tiny projections on the free surfaces of some epithelial cells; increase surface area for absorption.
Micturition
The clinical term for urination or voiding; emptying the bladder.
Midbrain
The part of the brain that is responsible for helping to regulate the level of consciousness.
Middle adults
Persons who are 41 to 60 years of age.
Midsagittal (median) section
Specific sagittal plane that lies exactly in the midline.
Midsagittal plane (midline)
An imaginary vertical line drawn from the middle of the forehead through the nose and the umbilicus (naval) to the floor.
Mid airway obstruction
Occurs when a foreign body partially obstructs the patient's airway; the patient is able to move adequate amounts of air, but also experiences some degree of respiratory distress.
Migranal (Rx)
Brand name; Migranal. Generic name; Dihydroergotamine mesylate. Classified as a Cranial vasoconstrictor. It reduces symptoms of migraine and cluster headaches in the treatment of Migraine headache. It works by narrowing the blood vessels in the brain. Clients who take Migranal may experience anxiety, sweating, abdominal pain, nausea, or vomiting. It is best to adjust for temperature needs, and create a calming environment.
-Mimesis
Imitation; simulation  
Mimetic
Mimic; copy  
Minerals
The inorganic chemical compounds found in nature.
Minute ventilation
The volume of air moved through the lungs in 1 minute minus the dead space; calculated by multiplying tidal volume (minus dead space) and respiratory rate; also referred to as minute volume.
Minute volume
The amount of air moved through the lungs in 1 minute minus the dead space; calculated by multiplying tidal volume (minus dead space) and respiratory rate; also referred to as minute ventilation.
Miosis
Excessively constricted pupil; often bilateral after exposure to nerve agents.
Miscarriage
The passage of the fetus and placenta before 20 weeks; spontaneous abortion.
-Mission
To send  
Mitochondria
Cell organelles of rod or oval shape; the rod-like cytoplasmic organelles responsible for ATP generation.
Mitosis
Cell division in which the cell duplicates its DNA and divides into two identical daughter cells; the division of the cell nucleus; often followed by division of the cytoplasm of the cell.
Mixed nerves
Nerves that contain sensory and motor axons; nerves containing the processes of motor and sensory neurons; their impulses travel to and from the central nervous system (CNS).
-Mnesia
Memory  
MO-MT
 
Mobile data terminals (MDT)
Small computer terminals inside ambulances that directly receive data from the dispatch center.
Mogi-
Difficult  
Mole
Also known as a nevus, a mole is a benign pigmented skin growth formed of melanocytes.
Molecule
A combination of two or more atoms; a molecule is the smallest portion of a substance that can exist seperately without losing the physical and chemical properties of the substance; particle consisting of two or more atoms held together by chemical bonds.
Mon/o
One; single  
Monoclonal antibodies
Pure preparations of identical antibodies that exhibit specificity for a single antigen.
Monocyte
Large single-nucleus white blood cell; agranular leukocyte.
Monosaccharide
Literally, one sugar; the building block of carbohyreates; examples include glucose and fructose.
Monoplegia
Paralysis of a single limb or a single group of muscles.
Mons pubis
The fatty eminence over the pubic symphysis in the female.
Morality
A code of conduct that can be defined by society, religion, or a person, affecting character, conduct, and conscience.
Morals
Standards by which behaviors and character traits are judged as right or wrong.  
Morgue supervisor
In incident command, the person who works with area medical examiners, coroners, and law enforcement agencies to coordinate the disposition of dead victims.
Morph/o
Shape; form  
Moro reflex
An infant reflex in which, when an infant is caught off guard, the infant opens his or her arms wide, spreads the fingers, and seems to grab at things.
Mort/o
Death  
-Mortem
Death  
-Motor
Movement  
Motor nerves
Nerves that carry information from the central nervous system to the muscles of the body.
Motor point
The location where the motor neuron enters the muscle and where a visible contraction can be elicited with a minimal amount of stimulation. Motor points most often are located in the belly of the muscle.
Motor unit
A motor neuron and all of the muscle fibers it controls; a motor neuron and all the muscle cells it supplies.
Motrin (Rx)
Brand name; Advil or Motrin. Generic name; Ibuprofen. Classified as a Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drug (NSAID). It reduces fever, is an anti-inflammatory, and an analgesic used for treatment of whiplash, transmandibular joint dysfunction (TMJD), sprains and strains, scoliosis, sciatica, plantar fasciitis, osteoarthritis, neuropathy, muscle spasm, multiple sclerosis, hyperkyphosis, migraine headache, fibromyalgia, delayed-onset muscle soreness, carpal tunnel syndrome, and bursitis. It works by reducing hormones that cause inflammation and pain in the body. Clients who take Advil or Motrin may experience upset stomach, ringing in the ears, or headache. It is best to use deep massage with caution and be aware of decreased pain perception.
MU-MX
 
Muc/o
Mucus  
Mucos/o
Mucous membrane  
Mucosal atomizer device (MAD)
A device that is used to change a liquid medication into a spray and push it into a nostril.
Mucous membrane (mucosa)
Membrane that forms the linings of body cavities open to the exterior, examples include digestive, respiratory, urinary, and reproductive tracts; the lining of the body cavities and passages that communicate directly or indirectly with the environment outside the body.
Mucus
A sticky, thick fluid, secreted by mucous glands and mucous membranes, that keeps the free surface of membranes moist; the opaque, sticky secretion of the mucous membranes that lubricates the body openings.
Multi-
Many  
Multigravida
A women who has had previous pregnancies.
Multilumen airways
Advanced airway devices, such as the esophageal tracheal Combitube and the pharyngeotracheal lumen airway, that have multiple tubes to aid in ventilation and will work whether placed in the trachea or esophagus.
Multiple intelligences
Howard Gardner's theory that people possess a variety of different intellectual capacities that operate relatively independently of one another. Nine learning styles; Visual-Spatial, Bodily-Kinesthetic, Musical, Interpersonal, Intrapersonal, Linguistic, Logical-Mathematical, and Realia.
Multisystem trauma
Trauma that affects more than one body system.
Muscle
An organ composed of one of three types of muscle tissue (skeletal, cardiac or visceral), specialized for contraction.
Muscle compliance
An intrinsic property of muscle and the quality of yeilding to pressure without disruption. Tension within the muscle increases during lengthening without a change in the neural drive (nerve-based motor command) to the muscle.
Muscle contraction
An increase of tension in the muscle caused by activation of the contractile mechanism of the muscle.
Muscle fibers
Muscle cells.
Muscle spasticity
A motor disorder characterized by velocity-dependent hypertonia (an excessive resistance to passive stretch, accompanies other medical disorders and diseases) and accentuated tendon reflexes.
Muscle spastic paresis
Infers the presence of spasticity and muscle paresis (weakness).
Muscle spindle
Encapsulated sensory receptor found in skeletal muscle that is sensitive to stretch.
Muscle stiffness
The intrinsic property of muscle and the magnitude of force necessary to cause tissue displacement (the inverse of muscle compliance).
Muscle tissue
A specialized form of tissue that contracts and shortens to provide movement, maintain posture, and produce heat.
Muscle tone
Sustained partial contraction of a muscle in response to stretch receptor inputs; keeps the muscle healthy and ready to react; a muscle's resistance to passive stretch, reflects the relative influences of the mechanical-elastic characteristics of muscular and connective tissues, and the reflexive drive to the muscle.
Muscle twitch
A single rapid contraction of a muscle followed by relaxation.
Muscul/o
Muscle  
Muscular dystrophy
A progressive disorder marked by atrophy and stiffness of the muscles.
Muscular system
Organ system consisting of skeletal muscles and their connective tissue attachments.
Musculoskeletal system
The bones and voluntary muscles of the body.
Mut/a
Genetic change  
Mutagen/o
Causing genetic change  
Mutagen
A substance that mutates, damages, and changes the structures of DNA in the body cells.
Mutual aid response
An agreement between neighboring EMS systems to respond to mass-casualty incidents or disasters in each other's region when local resources are insufficient to handle the response.
MY-MZ
 
My/o
Muscle  
Myasthenia gravis
A disorder that usually affects muscles in the face, lips, tongue, neck and throat, which are innervated by the cranial nerves, but that can affect any muscle group.
Myc/o
Fungus  
Mydr/o
Wide  
Myel/o
Spinal cord; bone marrow  
Myelin
A white, fatty, insulating subsctance formed by the Schwann cells that surrounds some axons; also produced in the central nervous system (CNS) by oligodendrocytes; a white, fatty lipid substance.
Myelinated fibers
Axons (projections of a nerve cell) covered with myelin.
Myocardi/o
Myocardium or heart muscle  
Myocardial contractility
The ability of the heart muscle to contract.
Myocardial contusion
A bruise of the heart muscle.
Myocardial Infraction (MI)
Condition in which part of the heart muscle (myocardium) dies because of inadequate supply of oxygen and nutrients; may be caused by a thrombosis, coronary artery spasm, or emboli; also called a heart attack; a condition characterized by dead tissue areas in the myocardium caused by interruption of blood supply to the area.
Myocardium
The cardiac muscle layer of the heart wall; the heart muscle.
Myofascial
Pertains to skeletal muscles ensheathed by fibrous connective tissue.
Myofibrils
Contractile organelles found in the cytoplasm of the muscle cells.
Myofilament
Filaments composing the myofibrils; of two types: actin and myosin.
Myom/o
Muscle Tumor  
Myometrium
The thick uterine musculature.
Myopia
Nearsightedness.
Myos/o
Muscle  
Myosin
One of the principle contractile proteins found in muscle.
Myotome
A skeletal muscle or group of skeletal muscles that receives motor axons from a particular spinal nerve.
Myring/o
Tympanic Membrane or Eardrum  
Myx/o
Mucus  

 

     

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