Therapeutic massage is an umbrella term for massage techniques that target a specific problem. For example, for someone with tension in a particular muscle group from a sports injury or repetitive use, therapeutic massage will focus on relieving pain at that location. The registered massage therapist may use deep tissue massage or hot stone massage to resolve the pain and discomfort. Depending on your condition, your massage therapist may use a light touch for less painful areas and a deeper massage technique for other aches and pains.
The Benefits of Therapeutic Massage
Targeted Pain Relief
A therapeutic massage focuses on providing pain relief to the areas that cause you the most discomfort. If you’ve injured a muscle or your soft connective tissue, your registered massage therapist will adapt massage techniques to treat that specific area of your body. Your first appointment may involve deep tissue massage, while you may benefit from a gentler massage in your follow-up session. Each appointment is customized to your specific needs.
Injured muscles take time to repair themselves and regain strength. For some, the healing process can be frustrating. Therapeutic massage helps to increase blood flow and circulation in your body, an essential component of healing and repairing muscle tissue. Stress levels can also inhibit your body’s ability to heal effectively, and massage therapy overall helps to reduce stress and anxiety.
After suffering an injury to your muscles or soft tissues, you’ll likely experience soreness, stiffness, and decreased mobility around the injury site. The purpose of therapeutic massage is to smooth out the stiff tissues and release tension allowing you to move your body and limbs comfortably. After a series of therapeutic massage sessions, you should notice significant improvements in your range of motion.
What Is Therapeutic Massage?
How the Treatment Works
A therapeutic massage is an excellent option if you have a specific condition or sore muscle that you want to treat (for example, if you experience frequent low back pain or have restless leg syndrome). Once your registered massage therapist understands your symptoms and quality of discomfort, they will tailor their massage techniques to best benefit you. Sometimes this may include deep tissue massage, while other times, it might be a gentler relaxation massage. It may also extend to other areas of the body, which can be related to the cause of your pain—remember that the body is a complex and interconnected system!
Types of Massage
Your registered massage therapist will use different massage techniques to best fit your aches and pains. The modes of massage they might use can include sports massage, trigger point therapy, myofascial massage, or gentler relaxation massage. You may receive different massage treatments during each appointment, depending on how well your condition progresses. Your massage therapist will choose what’s best to help relieve your pain each time.
Deep Tissue Massage
Most people associate therapeutic massage with deep tissue massage because this technique is highly effective for managing chronic pain. If you experience neck and shoulder pain, lower back pain, or tense muscles, you may benefit from a deep tissue massage. These aches and pains are often caused by repetitive motion or bad posture. While therapeutic massage may include deep tissue massage, it may eventually be managed with different techniques as the area heals and improves.
Therapeutic Massage in St. Albert
Neck and Shoulder Pain
Chronic neck and shoulder pain are common reasons for booking a therapeutic massage. Deep tissue massage techniques, followed by relaxation massage, can be an effective method to loosen up those tense muscles and provide the desired pain relief. If you sit at a computer for most of your day or drive a vehicle for long hours, therapeutic massage can benefit you.
Back pain is a common reason why clients book a therapeutic massage appointment. Pain in the upper, mid, and lower back can be caused by repetitive motion, sudden movements, or carrying heavy objects. Once you feel it, the pain can be difficult to ignore. With therapeutic massage, your experience will adapt to best match the quality of your back pain and the location of your discomfort to bring you as much relief as possible.
Pain and discomfort in your body are prime triggers for stress and anxiety. Problematic muscles or joints can disrupt our sleep patterns, distract us during the day, and weigh on our minds. Therapeutic massage aims to treat the source of your pain while helping you to relax in a calming environment. When your body hurts less, your mind can relax more, and sleep becomes more manageable.
What You Should Know Before You Book an Appointment
What to Expect During a Massage
Regardless of which massage modality you receive, you should not feel intense pain during the massage. Our registered massage therapists will check in with you during the massage and welcome your feedback. If the pressure is too much for your comfort, or if you could benefit from additional pressure, let us know. The goal is to treat your pain, reduce your stress, and give you a comfortable experience.
The Effects of Therapeutic Massage
Because therapeutic massage uses a variety of massage techniques, the effects of the session will vary from person to person. In general, you may feel additional soreness the day after your appointment because your muscles are repairing themselves, and toxins are leaving your body. The additional soreness should only last a day or two at the most. Afterward, you’ll feel more energized and loose.
The Healing Process
Injuries and chronic pain often require more than one massage treatment to address the cause of pain. You may prefer ongoing appointments to provide you with continuous relief and additional relaxation. You can help your tense muscles heal between sessions by soaking in a salt bath and applying cold or heat to the sore areas. You can also incorporate light stretching and exercising into your routine to improve your range of motion.
Safety and Risks
Therapeutic massage is a safe treatment for most people. You may feel light-headed for a few minutes after your session or dehydrated from the massage. We’ll provide you with water, but you can always bring some with you. Therapeutic massage is not suitable for individuals with open wounds, bone breaks or fractures, or those who are taking blood-thinning medications. It’s always best to consult with your physician or call our clinic if you’re uncertain whether massage will work for you.
Enjoy the Benefits of Therapeutic Massage
You can enjoy pain relief and faster recovery times from injuries with one or more therapeutic massage sessions. Our team of registered massage therapists is here to tailor your treatment to your unique condition. If you have any questions about whether therapeutic massage is correct for you, please get in touch. We’re happy to help!