Massage therapy has been around for thousands of years and used
by ancient cultures in various forms of healing touch. Today there are still
many forms of what is called therapeutic
massage (professional, structured,
skilled assessment and touch). Its therapeutic
value derives from changes in soft tissue rather than from surgery or
pharmaceuticals. Therapeutic massage is difficult to define accurately and completely
because of the many forms of massage currently practiced. However, massage
therapy can be used in two distinct professional worlds- 1. Wellness and Personal Services
and 2. Health Care Services.
In the professional world of wellness and personal services, clients seek massage for relaxation and general health maintenance and generally do not present as sick or injured unless directly supervised by licensed and qualified professionals such as doctors or nurse practitioners. Rather these are clients who are mentally and/or physically stressed and uncomfortable, needing to feel better through stress management to prevent a more serious stress-induced illness.
Massage therapy health care services require specific training for skilled assessment and application of massage to promote rehabilitation and performance and to help manage pathologic conditions or illnesses while working in conjunction and effectively communicating with other health care professionals on behalf of the client. Medical massage therapists help to develop, maintain, or rehabilitate physical function; relieve or prevent physical dysfunction and pain; and enhance the well-being of the client.
I work in both professional worlds as a wellness and medical massage therapist. I utilize multiple different forms of massage therapy including the most common, Swedish Massage which is generally utilized for relaxation therapy but is also used in the health care realm. I also use Myofascial Release Therapy which is commonly used in the medical profession by Occupational and Physical Therapists and other health care professionals. I utilize Deep tissue, trigger point therapy, light stretching and joint movements, neuromuscular and muscle energy techniques and moist hot packs when appropriate and offer education and self-help information on your condition. I also apply when appropriate manual lymph drainage for those diagnosed with lymphedema or chronic edema related to other health conditions such as congestive heart failure or chronic venous insufficiency.
Everyone can benefit from therapeutic massage. Whether you are working long hours at a desk, on your feet all day, experiencing fatigue, carrying heavy bags, raising children, training for a marathon, suffering from a past injury, recovering from a recent injury, suffering from chronic pain or illness, experiencing muscle tension or stiffness, headaches, anxiety, gastrointestinal dysfunction, circulatory problems, or are just not feeling your best, massage therapy can make a difference.
Massage Therapy Benefits
Relaxation of tight muscles
Increased body awareness
Decreased tissue restrictions
More restful sleep
Improved quality of life