Therapeutic massage has a different focus from what relaxation massage offers. Typically a client seeks the help of a professional massage therapist, outside of a spa setting, for this type of massage. Therapeutic massage is appropriate when there are specific areas that need to be addressed that could include pain reduction, release of tight muscles, increasing range of motion, improving flexibility and more.
An experienced therapist will use a variety of techniques that differ from a relaxation massage. Although spa therapists have the basic training needed for relaxation massage, they may not be the best choice for therapeutic massage. Advanced techniques such as myofascial release, deep tissue massage, trigger point therapy, scraping massage, and cupping – all focused on addressing short term or chronic ailments may be used and require a different skill set and expertise.
Usually a deeper pressure is used for therapeutic massage, focusing on the problem area. Your session may also include a component of relaxation massage as well.
The intake process for a therapeutic massage is in-depth. Both past and current health issues are discussed and a plan of action is established. Having regularly scheduled appointments until the ailment, or issue, is “under control” is suggested. This may take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months depending on the client and the area or areas being addressed.
Having an in-depth evaluation allows both the client and therapist to understand the baseline or beginning point. Periodic assessments and benchmarks allow the client and therapist to track the progress of the treatments and to make any necessary adjustments as time progresses. Your therapist may also make suggestions about what to do and not to do during the treatment period to enhance the benefits and to limit any further harm or injury.
Do not hesitate to speak to your doctor about the benefits of massage. Open communication between all your health care providers will ensure the best possible results. You may even be able to use pre-tax FSA money to pay for your session. Click here for more information.