Whether you are a sedentary office worker, an active athlete or somewhere in between, you can benefit significantly from a therapeutic massage, which is performed by a professional remedial massage therapist. This type of massage helps speed up the flow of blood, relieve muscle tension and encourage healing of ligaments. The goals of therapeutic massage can vary between different massage therapists and clients. A healthcare provider may recommend therapeutic massage for a treatment plan or supplement cancer care, wound care and other treatments.
For example, a regular therapeutic massage for someone attending physiotherapy for an injury helps to improve muscle tone, loosen muscles and increase their flexibility. Therapeutic massage can also be used as a standalone treatment. Stressed out office workers, laborers, and athletes may benefit from receiving a therapeutic massage to keep them in good physical condition. A massage therapist may use different massage techniques that are tailored to their clients’ needs. Here is everything you need to know about therapeutic massage.
Types of Therapeutic Massage
- Trigger Point Therapy
In this type of massage, a therapist will apply pressure to the tender muscle tissues to help relieve pain and other dysfunctions in your body. Trigger points usually cross over with acupuncture points and are the active centers of muscular hyperactivity. Trigger point therapy uses different cycles of isolated pressure and releases to alleviate the source of pain.
- Swedish Massage
This is a common type of therapeutic massage that uses light, rhythmic tapping strokes as well as soft and long kneading strokes on the topmost layers of muscles. Swedish therapy can be both energizing and relaxing since it relieves muscle tension when combined with movement of the joints. Apart from reducing pain, it promotes relaxation and boosts your mood.
- Deep Tissue Massage
Deep tissue massage is quite similar to Swedish massage but differs slightly on the technique used. In deep tissue massage, a therapist targets knots on the deepest layer of muscles to release chronic muscle tension. Slow deliberate strokes are used to focus pressure on your tendons and other deep tissues beneath your skin.
- Sports Massage
Unlike other types of therapeutic massage, the techniques used in a sports massage are tailored to the athlete’s sport of choice. It focuses on a particularly troublesome area that is mostly involved in the sport such as the ankle, knee or shoulder. Sports massage improves endurance, reduces fatigue, prevents injuries, promotes flexibility and prepares your mind and body for optimal performance.
Benefits of Therapeutic Massage
Massage therapy provides significant benefits to your body. The different techniques used can help relax muscle tissues, which increases the muscle and joint range of motion. This leads to decreased nerve and joint compression, which translates to less pain and improved function. Regular therapeutic massage helps relieve stress, anxiety, and minor injuries. It is useful for people with arthritis, low immunity, and high blood pressure, as it helps improve general wellbeing. You can always go for a therapeutic massage whenever you are worked up or do not feel at your best. A massage therapist helps you schedule a routine that works best for your health condition or current situation.
What Massage Frequency Works Best?
Your needs for a therapeutic massage may differ depending on your lifestyle and health status. According to experts, therapeutic massage works best when it is done on a regular basis. The initial treatment for an individual who has never had a therapeutic massage is at least 60 to 90 minutes. This gives enough time for your therapist to work through specific pressure points on your body to minimize any possible soreness that may occur the following day. A regular massage allows your body to adjust to these positive changes to provide optimal results while minimizing the potential for muscle soreness after the session.
Easing Your Discomfort and Pain
A massage therapist can work on a variety of acute and chronic medical issues to ease discomfort and pain. Patients with low back pain, whiplash, temporomandibular joint disorder, migraines or repetitive stress injuries may benefit significantly from therapeutic massage. Your massage therapist will always tailor different massage techniques to suit your needs depending on the affected area.
A therapist may employ different techniques during your treatment sessions such as various movement therapies, myofascial release, deep tissue massage, and resistive or passive stretching techniques. Not only does it help reduce your pain but also benefits overall wellbeing and increases your range of motion. Therapeutic massage is one of the most powerful methods of relieving muscle tension and increasing blood flow when applied correctly in a professional environment.