What is therapeutic massage?
Therapeutic massage differs from a spa massage in that it is more clinical and intended to address the deeper muscles of the body and underlying imbalances. Our therapists have extensive knowledge of anatomy and physiology. They act as “pain detectives” working various muscles groups with a variety of modalities until the root cause of dysfunction is addressed.
In therapeutic massage, the ultimate focus is on functional outcomes, meaning that you should notice palpable relief from pain! There is an evidence-based reason why our therapists apply one modality over another and most importantly, results must be measurable. Your practitioner will work with you to develop a treatment plan, based on the duration and severity of your pain and will offer special self-care techniques such as stretching, postural changes, ergonomics and gait modifications so you may continue your healing progress even when you’re off the table.
How does therapeutic massage work?
Therapeutic massage works to increase in blood and lymph circulation as well as relax and normalize the soft tissue (muscle, connective tissue, tendons, ligaments), which releases nerves and deeper connective tissues. Better circulation can enhance the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to muscle cells. As cellular health improves, tissues function more efficiently. More efficient functioning leads to the removal of waste products and may increase the absorption of excess fluids and reduce swelling in soft tissues.
Massage also induces a relaxation state in which your heart and breathing rate slow, your blood pressure goes down, the production of stress hormones (like cortisol) decreases, and your muscles relax. This relaxation state also seems to increase serotonin levels and release endorphins, chemical in the body that positively affects emotions and thoughts.
Who would benefit from therapeutic massage?
Regular massage can be an essential piece of your health and wellness plan, in conjunction with exercise, proper diet, rest, and possibly chiropractic and acupuncture. If you need to relax, improve posture and gait, lower blood pressure or reduce pain and stiffness, then therapeutic massage is for you! Here are some other ailments that therapeutic massage can help:
- Anxiety & Depression – by releasing endorphins
- Athletes to prepare for and recover from rigorous training regimens
- Digestive disorders
- Enhance immunity by improving lymph flow
- Expectant mothers
- Improve circulation
- Insomnia – massage increases delta waves which are connected to deep sleep
- Lower back pain
- Migraines & headaches
- Paresthesias and nerve pain
- Post-surgery swelling
- Scar tissue
- Soft tissue strains or injuries
- Sports Injuries
- Temporomandibular joint pain
Synergy of Massage & Chiropractic
A massage before an adjustment can release adhesions in the muscles to and allow for a more effective adjustment. A post-chiropractic massage can relax hypertonic muscles and relieve stiffness as your body adapts to proper spinal alignment. Dr. Cohler sometimes recommends massage therapy before or after an adjustment depending on your condition.
Synergy of Massage & Acupuncture
A massage after acupuncture can expedite the healing process and enhance the flow of blood and Qi. While acupuncture targets specific acupoints and trigger points that refer pain, a massage will smooth out those focal areas with long strokes on the whole body.
As massage is being increasingly accepted by the medical community, more insurance companies are covering it. Find out if your insurance covers massage.