Studies of the benefits of massage demonstrate that it is an effective treatment for reducing stress, pain and muscle tension. At Mayo Clinic, massage therapy may be recommended to help people cope with the pain and stress of cancer, heart disease, stomach problems, fibromyalgia or other conditions.
Therapeutic massage is a general term that describes any type of massage modality that helps relieve pain, reduce stress, and work on a specific problem—such as a frozen shoulder. People tend to assume therapeutic massage means deep tissue massage, and that they will get a very strong massage. But this is not always the case. Deep tissue massage is great at breaking down scar tissue and getting your blood circulating, but it may not be what you need on a particular day. A good therapist will apply the specific techniques and the right amount of pressure to address your need, and sometimes that’s a lighter touch.
Types of Therapeutic MassageThere are several different types of therapeutic massage in addition to deep tissue massage, such as:
trigger point therapy
Many therapists will use a combination of techniques depending on what your body needs. In addition, therapists will often take additional classes in different techniques.
Differences between a medical massage therapist and a massage therapistMedical massage therapy is a specialty in the field of massage therapy. It is a powerful rehabilitative technique used to treat the areas of a patient's body affected by illness, injury or pain. A patient's specific muscles, pain syndromes and trigger points are addressed in medical massage therapy. Working hand in hand with physicians, a medical massage therapist is an integral part of the health care team, incorporating advanced massage techniques structured to achieve the best possible health outcomes for the patient.
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