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Any massage involves manipulating the muscle and connective tissue with the help of various techniques.

Massage is used to aid the healing process, enhance function, increase circulation, prevent motor neuron excitability, reduce muscle reflex activity, promote relaxation, and as a recreational activity.

Thus, any massage can be called therapeutic in nature as it involves your skin – the largest organ in the body.

Therapeutic Massage Therapy

Therapeutic Massage Therapy can be defined as mobilizing the soft tissues (like fascia, muscles) to aid in restoring a normal systemic and functional/biomechanical use.

Therapeutic massage finds use as an associated treatment protocol in a majority of musculoskeletal and its related conditions. Regular therapeutic massage is known to improve lymphatic, circulatory, and neurological functioning.

It can be soothing or stimulating based on the technique, speed, and depth. Performed by a trained professional, therapeutic massage therapy is safe and effective. It helps in creating an internal balance and harmony.

Given the high amount of stress in the modern world, therapeutic massage therapy can act as a highly beneficial as well as a very healthy and easy way to enhance the quality of life.

Also Known As

Therapeutic Massage Therapy is known by different names. Some of the common names include:
  • Anti-Stress Massage
  • Deep Tissue Massage
  • Rehabilitation Massage
  • Sports Massage

Difference Between Therapeutic Massage and Relaxation Massage

The technique and the intention are the major differentiators between relaxation massage and therapeutic massage.

While relaxation massage covers most of the area, therapeutic massage is restricted to the affected area (such as back, neck, feet, etc.).

Many therapeutic massage therapists utilize connective tissue release and specific neural muscular techniques during a therapeutic massage.

Therapeutic Massage Therapy Benefits

Therapeutic massage therapy is becoming very popular across the world due to the several benefits it offers.

Increased anxiety, stress, and other ailments are driving people to get a therapeutic massage. Many companies across the world are either adopting therapeutic massage therapy or actively encouraging employees to undergo it.

Some of the significant benefits of therapeutic massage therapy include:

1. Stress management

Helps in relieving associated muscular tension while encouraging general relaxation.

2. Health promotion and/or health maintenance

Therapeutic massage helps in promoting general tissue health. It also improves general health awareness.

3. Post-operative care

Therapeutic massage therapy aids in reducing the recovery period after surgery. It also speeds up elimination anesthetic side effects and reducing stiffness and pain associated with bed rest.

4. Psychological and/or emotional disorders

Therapeutic massage helps in releasing endorphins that aids in reducing depression.

5. Terminal illness

It helps in addressing discomfort and alleviating pain associated with prolonged bed rest. It also provides support and reducing emotional stress for both patients and family.

6. Chronic pain

Therapeutic massage helps in breaking the pain cycle while addressing any associated muscle tightness.

7. Assists in the care of disabled

Regular therapeutic massage helps in maintaining the general tissue health of disabled persons.

8. Pre and post sports participation

Therapeutic massage helps in improving an athlete’s performance. It also helps in decreasing the scope of occurrence of serious injury as well as post-recovery rehabilitation.

Choosing a Therapist

To get proper benefit from therapeutic massage, massage should be provided by trained and certified therapists.

Scan local allied health associations to check if they have registered therapeutic massage therapists before opting for this therapy. The last thing one would want is injury due to unqualified therapists.

Therapeutic Treatment Procedure

Here is a sneak peek at a therapeutic massage session.

It is done in the privacy of your therapist’s room. The therapist takes a detailed medical history and determines whether you are a candidate or not for therapeutic massage.

Once the therapist deems you as an ideal candidate for massage, you will be made to sign an indemnity form, and the code of ethics and practice are explained.

After that, you disrobe and lie on the table. Towels are given to cover the body. Every care is taken by the therapist to protect your dignity.

The therapist uses superior quality natural oils for providing gentle, rhythmical, yet a firm massage. The idea is to avoid causing pain, which will nullify the benefits derived from massage.

The therapist methodically covers your entire body, making sure that you are comfortable during the whole period of the session.

Once the treatment session is completed, you are encouraged to take water as it helps in detoxifying the body from a therapeutic massage session.

To see improvement, you will require more than one session. However, one session is enough to start the cycle of improving your physical as well as mental well-being.

Scientific Backing

There has been enough research done to determine the efficacy and benefits of a therapeutic massage.

The University of Miami affiliated Touch Research Institute in 1991 conducted several qualitative studies to determine the efficacy of therapeutic massage therapy.

Following the research, therapeutic massage therapy was moved into the mainstream

Studies were conducted on the benefits of therapeutic massage therapy on anxiety, anorexia, depression, dance, lower back pain, burns, blood pressure, fibromyalgia, headaches, among others.

In Conclusion

Therapeutic Massage Therapy follows the principle of body knowing how to heal itself. It also believes that touch sends a message to the brain and the body to do what is best for it.

Therapeutic massage therapy, if applied correctly and practiced in a professional setting, is one the best and powerful methods of treating pain.

Therapeutic massage therapy also helps a person to get healed as well as achieve a state of being healthy, both physically and emotionally, in a manner that is safe and non-invasive.