BENEFITS OF MEDICAL MASSAGE
By Nicole Mongelli and Shauna Malo, LMT
Who says medical treatments can’t be enjoyable? A medical massage is enjoyable and can improve your health. Massage therapy can help patients who suffer from chronic pain and is being incorporated into pain management programs nationwide. Getting a medical massage on a regular basis can help chronic pain patients achieve periods of pain freedom, decrease pain levels, improve sleep cycles and overall can improve their quality of life.
There are many other benefits to a medical massage besides just “relaxing your muscles”. Some additional benefits are:
• Massage therapy stimulates the brain to produce endorphins
• It helps relieve pain by focusing on the entire body system and its relationship to soft tissue instead of solely on the site of pain
• Massage helps patients become more aware of their bodies and the sources of pain
• It can help ease pain by increasing blood flow to sore, stiff joints and muscles
• Massage can help increase range of motion by releasing muscle tension
Did you know that there is a difference between the type of massage you would get at a spa compared to in a medical setting? Below is how a medical massage differs from a massage at a spa and why chronic pain patients should opt for a medical massage for treatment.
A medical massage has a very specific goal of relieving pain or tension for a specific condition. If you are in pain, a spa massage may temporarily fix the problem but there is usually no clear end goal. The spa massage therapist seeks to relax and soothe their client, rather than heal them. The main goal of a medical massage therapist is to promote your body’s natural healing ability which can lead to a reduction in pain and resolution of the issue.
A spa massage uses basic, general techniques for every client that focuses on stretching muscles and increasing blood flow. These treatments are not individualized for each client. Medical massages use individualized techniques such as myofascial release or trigger point therapy to provide target pain relief that is specific for each patient’s pain issue. Since each treatment is created specifically for each patient, the patient will undoubtedly see better results than if they sought a spa massage for their medical problem.
One of the most rewarding feelings in a spa massage is getting rid of those pesky knots in your muscles. A medical massage therapist will also work your knots but they will also find the source of what is causing the knots. By focusing on your condition and addressing the root cause, the medical massage therapist can resolve the issue and prevent any further damage.
Medical massage therapists are required to do ongoing medical training to maintain their license. This ongoing education keeps them up to date on specific medical conditions they will see in a medical setting.
A medical massage therapist can work with your other medical providers. Having a comprehensive medical team that consists of a massage therapist, physical therapist, behavioral health specialist, and a medical provider can provide the best chance of living your best life.