2 Your Health: What Is Therapeutic Massage?

Heidi Overman, Licensed Massage Therapist, #MT-24997

I have found, in my practice, that when clients schedule a massage, they really want to “feel” like they have gotten work done. Clients come in and tell us about their aches, pains, injuries, surgeries, and pathologies. They are in pain, discomfort, and sometimes feel hopeless.

They are looking for some relief due to issues from surgery or a fall, or perhaps years of repetitive motion have caught up to them. Massage is often their last hope in relieving these issues.

Understanding Therapeutic Massage

Each practitioner defines therapeutic massage differently. Therefore, it is difficult for clients to find the therapist they are looking for.

At MEND, we define therapeutic massage as a full experience where a client has the opportunity to talk to our massage therapist, explain their issues and concerns, and the massage therapist is educated and trained in multiple modalities to work the areas in need of extra attention. We have many different therapists, and we try to match you with the one who can address your issues.

Depth of work is relative in therapeutic work. This is important to understand.

Some therapeutic massage therapists work deeper, and the client feels more of the work. This type of work may leave the client sore in the days after. Many clients prefer this type of massage; however, it may not be recommended. Bruising can happen during this type of massage, possibly due to medications, physiology, or muscle grouping.

Therapeutic massage therapists may also work slowly and methodically to release muscles. Clients may perceive this work as too soft because they do not feel the work as much as deeper modalities. However, this work is necessary for many clients. You may walk away thinking that you did not get much work done, but that is the magic of the slow muscle release.

Therefore, it’s important to have an educated massage therapist, who can assess and talk to you about what they feel is happening with your muscles and work accordingly. Communication is especially important, and it is up to you, the client, to say something if you feel the work was not appropriate for you. By speaking up, we can write notes and adjust the next session.

As I coach clients about their sessions, I often tell them how I can feel their muscles and how they are responding to the work, but I cannot feel inside their bodies, and everyone feels the work differently and has different pain thresholds.

Therapeutic massage usually focuses on a specific problem and can help you with the following conditions and more:

* Low back pain

* Plantar fasciitis

* Limited mobility

* Recovery from injuries (e.g., whiplash, falls, pulled muscles)

* Recovery from surgery (e.g., knee replacement, hip replacement)

* Repetitive strain injury, such as carpal tunnel syndrome

* Postural problems

* Muscle tension in the hamstrings, glutes, IT band, legs, quadriceps, rhomboids, upper back

* Osteoarthritis pain

* Sciatica

* Piriformis syndrome

* Tennis elbow

* Frozen shoulder

* Fibromyalgia

* Upper back or neck pain

When using proper techniques, therapeutic massage can be effective in relieving pain, helping your body heal, and preventing future injury and issues.

If you are interested in a therapeutic massage, call me for an appointment at 520-771-1514. My website is www.mymendingplace.com, and I’m located at MEND Therapeutic Massage and Restorative Skincare, 15920 N Oracle Rd., Ste. 170, Tucson, AZ 85739 (next to the Golden Goose Thrift Shop).