Therapeutic Massage

Therapeutic massage is a style of massage that focuses on treating specific conditions or injuries while also promoting relaxation and relieving tension. Also referred to as medical massage by many, therapeutic massage can help reduce inflammation, increase mobility, and improve mental health. Licensed Massage Therapists (LMTs) may use a variety of different approaches, such as deep tissue massage, trigger point therapy, stretching or myofascial release in a session, depending on the needs of the client. Therapeutic massage is an excellent addition to any wellness routine.

What are the Benefits of Therapeutic Massage?

Whether you struggle with tense, painful muscles, fibromyalgia, soft tissue strains, or are dealing with insomnia, anxiety, or depression, one thing is for sure–everyone can benefit from therapeutic or medical massage. While under a doctor’s care, always seek their approval for specific medical massage needs such as lymphatic drainage, prenatal or oncology massages.

Here are a few of the many benefits that therapeutic massage offers:

Decreased muscle stiffness

Therapeutic massage therapists use various techniques, such as kneading, friction, and compression, to target specific muscle groups and release tension accordingly. Knots or adhesions in the muscles, which can contribute to stiffness and discomfort, are broken down through these manipulations. By alleviating muscular tension, range of motion is enhanced, thus reducing stiffness.

Better blood circulation

Therapeutic massage has long been known to help improve overall bodily blood circulation. Stronger blood circulation allows for more oxygen and nutrients to the muscles and joints, aiding in the removal of waste products and reducing inflammation. Improved circulation also helps in the healing process by enhancing the supply of essential components for tissue repair.

Improved flexibility

People with chronic injuries, or those whose movement has been limited for long periods, are great candidates for therapeutic or medical massage. It helps significantly with the mobilization of joints, muscles, soft tissue, and fascia (or connective tissue).

Improved sleep quality

Regular therapeutic massage has long been associated with improved sleep patterns. The relaxation induced by massage stimulates the release of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that is critical to regulating sleep cycles.

Mental Health

Therapeutic or medical massage helps mitigate anxiety and depression by promoting the release of endorphins, the body’s natural mood enhancers.

43% of Americans [undergoing massage therapy] reported they did so for health conditions such as pain management, injury rehabilitation, migraine control, or overall wellness. 88% agree that massage can be effective in reducing pain.

Therapeutic Massage FAQs

You don’t have to! Experienced massage clients typically know how to ask for deep tissue, trigger point or other modalities which have helped them previously. However, many individuals begin their massage wellness journey by booking a therapeutic massage session and then asking their licensed massage therapist (LMT) questions to narrow down the types of modalities and techniques to be used in the session. LMTs are trained to address the unique challenges and goals of their clients, and will also make suggestions for your follow-up plan, to include specific massage modalities.

Not always, but they are frequently used synonymously. While a medical massage is certainly therapeutic, be sure to clarify your specific needs when looking for the best therapist for you. Most licensed massage therapists (LMTs) are trained to address a wide range of medical issues and symptoms. For specific needs like lymphatic drainage, prenatal massage or oncology massage, please seek a properly trained LMT.

If your primary goal is relaxation and stress relief, Swedish massage is the best choice. The long, flowing strokes and gentle techniques promote a sense of calm and well-being. Swedish massage is often considered more approachable and less intense than some therapeutic techniques. The main goal of therapeutic massage is to address specific health concerns or conditions. It may focus on relieving chronic pain, rehabilitating injuries, or addressing muscular imbalances. Therapeutic massage is often more targeted and may involve deeper pressure than Swedish massage.

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