Medical Massage

An Essential Overview Of Medical Massages

medical massage apex

Massage techniques have played an important role in the functioning of muscles and the management of pain and injuries since ancient times. We see massage therapy methods mentioned in both ancient Indian medical references, as well as ancient Chinese remedies.  So really, medical massage has been used for a long time.

In modern times, massage therapy was first made popular in the 19th century when the Swedish massage was introduced to the world. Today, many different massage therapy techniques have been developed to assist with improving the recovery time following an injury or surgery. Also, massage therapy provides beneficial effects, such as an alleviation of pain among individuals who suffer from muscle spasms and similar problems.

Some of the best massage types that have been introduced to the world include Rolfing, Structural integration Hellerwork, Feldenkrais Bioenergetics, and the Alexander technique. Additionally, medical massage therapy has also been introduced as a potential option for individuals suffering from pain, injury and muscle-related problems that affect a specific point on their bodies. In this article, we consider what a medical massage essentially is, how these massages work, and we look at the particular benefits that a patient may achieve by opting for medical massage therapy.

Medical Massage Definition

Medical massages have become quite useful in modern-day, healthcare systems. These massages utilize similar techniques and methods as many other types of massages, but instead of providing a whole-body experience to the patient, a medical massage rather focuses on the particular points on the patient’s body where symptoms are present. Therapeutic massages are often referred to as treatment massages and clinical massages as well.

It should be noted that the term “medical massage” does not refer to one particular form of massage. Instead, it relates to the general implementation of massage techniques that a massage therapist is acquainted with in such a way to target a particular medical condition that a patient is affected with. A variety of massage techniques can be utilized to target the spots on the patient’s body that seems to be giving them trouble in order to bring relief.

Medical Massage Techniques

Even though a medical massage may include a variety of different massage types, it is important to understand that the way these massage techniques are performed is different than visiting a particular individual specializing in general full-body techniques. A massage therapist will conduct a thorough analysis of a patient’s health status, request information about the symptoms the patient is experiencing, and determine why the patient is experiencing such symptoms. This helps the massage therapist determine the right points on the patient’s body to target with a medical massage.

Numerous massage techniques can be used during a medical massage, including:

  • Effleurage
  • Friction
  • Kneading
  • Petrissage
  • Hacking

All of these provide a series of benefits based on the needs of the particular patient. The massage therapist will be able to determine the most appropriate techniques to be used, and where to use these techniques to provide the best results for the patient.

Medical Massage Vs. Deep Tissue Massage

deep tissue massage pressure

Deep tissue massage is a relatively common option advised to patients who are experiencing pain in their lower back, as well as other areas of their bodies. There is not a significant amount of data available to provide a more comprehensive overview of how opting for deep tissue massage may be preferable to getting a medical massage. One study did find that the results of these two are quite similar, but certain benefits, such as an improvement in the patient’s overall functional capacity and the spinal mobility they exerted, were observed in individuals who underwent a medical massage more often than in those who opted for a deep tissue massage. It is important to note that techniques that are used in deep tissue massages are sometimes also utilized as part of a medical massage therapy session by a massage therapist.

Medical Massage Benefits

medical massage benefits

Patients who opt for medical massages can expect to experience a variety of benefits in regards to the particular condition they need to be treated for through these techniques. Pain is the primary target of medical massages, and numerous studies have provided evidence that these techniques can produce impressive results – sometimes immediately – to help the patient get back to their life without allowing their chronic pain symptoms to be disabling.

One study, published in the Journal of Global Advances in Health and Medicine, monitored the effects of a single session medical massage on both unpleasantness and pain sensation among a group of participants who experienced musculoskeletal pain. The study found that participants experience a significant reduction in their overall pain sensations, and pain unpleasantness was also reduced.

Another interesting find that is worth mentioning is the fact that medical massage may be beneficial in providing assistance with more than just pain symptoms. A study published in the Journal of Pain Medicine produced evidence that the use of medical massage therapy can also be beneficial for providing an improvement in overall quality-of-life in patients provided with this treatment option. Additionally, it was also noted that a considerable reduction in anxiety symptoms was observed among the majority of individuals who have undergone a session of medical massage therapy.

Specialized techniques can also be used to deliver a prenatal massage to women during their pregnancy. One review paper reports women who obtain many massages during the course of their pregnancy are likely to experience significant reductions in back pain, leg pain, anxiety, and also symptoms that are associated with depression. Additional benefits that were observed include a reduction in the time it takes the woman to give birth during labor, which was reduced by an average of three hours. Furthermore, a reduced need for medication during labor was also noted among women who received medical massages while they were pregnant.

Other benefits that individuals may experience when they opt for this type of massage include an improvement in their overall blood circulation, as well as better circulation of their lymphatic system. Compression of nerves can be relieved, the nervous system can be relaxed, and overall flexibility can be significantly enhanced through these massage techniques that are used by a trained, professional massage therapist.

Medical Massage Advantage

Medical massages hold numerous benefits for a variety of cases, such as where an individual had suffered a muscle-related injury, or where muscle stiffness and spasms are causing a patient to experience interference with their daily abilities, and their sleep. Due to the specified approach provided by a medical massage, benefits are often more impressive and effective as compared to massage techniques that focus on the entire body, instead of targeting areas where symptoms are experienced.

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