Medical Massage Therapy

Medical Massage…..What Is It?  How can it help me?

   by Sharon Thomas, LMT, NCMMT, NMT

Medical Massage is a specialty massage therapy that is corrective (helpful in realigning compensation patterns that may cause malfunction and pain), rehabilitative (helpful in increasing circulation and restoring function/mobility and reducing lymph swelling ) and restorative (helping to re-establish ease and quality of life). It also uses proprioceptive resistant stretches to reprogram the brain to once again acknowledge the muscle function.  It is ideal for persons with pain or chronic pain, auto, sport or other injury, repetitive motion conditions, lymphatic conditions or just plain ‘can’t figure it out’ situations!  It helps you have a happier body!

The human anatomy is designed brilliantly!  It takes us where we want to go, lifts and carries, competes in sports, repeats movement in work and daily activities…a true personal companion!  Sometimes, it lets us know when it is unhappy!   We get feedback; pain, stiffness, lack of movement, immobility, accident, injury.

The body is a triangle of systems working together; the muscles, bones and nerves…relying on each other so the body can come through!

The triangle is linked through soft tissue, mainly focused on in Medical Massage.  It’s made up of muscle, connective tissue (tendons which link muscle to bone) and joint capsule (tissue covering the end  of bones).  The muscle does two things; relaxes and contracts, allowing us to move.  Too tight, it can cause a bone to shift out of place or a nerve to be pinched.  When it is relaxed, the triangle is balanced and therefore...our body can function pain free and with ease. 

In Medical Massage, the soft tissue is addressed through a postural analysis identifying which muscles are tight or injured, causing the trouble.   This becomes the roadmap used in the therapy session.  Each session begins with the analysis.

Next, specialized Medical Massage techniques are administered to help the patient recover.  The techniques address the following:  adhesions (scar tissue which can create constriction and lack of muscle flexibility leading to pain), pain points (which can cause local and phantom referral pain), tight muscles (released through neuromuscular and multi-directional stretches, restoring brain-body function and mobility), joint and muscle pain/tension (releasing muscles and their attachments to relieve pressure, restore blood and oxygen flow and remove toxins; a source of pain), swelling/tissue congestion (manual lymphatic drainage techniques), dysfunctional fascia (Passive Fascia Restoratio; PFR).  In most cases, four sessions help to unwind the compensation patterns that develop and lead to underlying causes of the problem, providing scientific and measurable results.

Specialized training and certification is required to officially qualify a massage therapist to practice Medical Massage Therapy.  

As previously stated, Medical Massage is corrective (helpful in realigning compensation patterns causing malfunction), rehabilitative (helpful in increasing circulation and restoring function and mobility) and restorative (helping to re-establish ease and quality of life) and proprioceptive (reconnecting the brain neurology to the muscle function).  It is ideal for persons with pain or chronic pain, auto, sport or other injury, repetitive motion conditions or just plain ‘can’t figure it out’ situations!  It helps you have a happier body!  Give a call today so that you, too, can return to the happier body you were meant to experience.... :-)