most people think of massage, they think of the pampering, lighter touch
massage that's given at spas, health clubs, resorts, and on cruise
ships. After all,
Relaxation Massage is the type of massage that's most popular in movies
and TV shows.
that style of massage is beneficial for relieving everyday stress, it
just can't help the many conditions that people have to deal with, such
as chronic neck pain, back pain, wrist pain from keyboard overuse, old
injuries from sports or automobile accidents, limited range of motion in
the neck, arms, or legs, etc. These conditions are typically caused by
tension that is buried deep within our soft tissue (muscles, tendons,
ligaments, and fascia).
Therapeutic Massage (sometimes called Deep Tissue Massage) uses special
massage techniques that are not used in a Relaxation Massage session. In
order to release the tightness in the soft tissue, the massage therapist
needs to work deeper into the tissue and will use whichever therapeutic technique
is most effective for the condition. In getting deeper, it usually
requires a more firm pressure.
Isn't Therapeutic Massage
not every massage therapist has been taught how to properly go deeper
into tissue without hurting the patient, nor have they taken classes to
learn the therapeutic techniques that help the most. Many massage
therapists believe that, because Therapeutic Massage is also called Deep Tissue Massage,
they're supposed to beat the patient's tissue into submission. However,
when it's not performed properly, going deeper into tissue can cause
unnecessary bruising, soreness or pain for as long as a week, and even
injury. It's not uncommon for a person to have just one improperly
given massage and never want another one, thinking that all
massage therapists work the same way.
Throughout a Therapeutic Massage session, I continually
"check in" with my patients on the amount of pressure that I'm using so that
I only use as much pressure as is needed in each area. I never need to cause
intolerable or excruciating pain to get results.
How do I know if
I need a Therapeutic Massage or not?
upon the condition that you have, a Relaxation Massage may not give you
the long-term relief that you're looking for. If the tension that's
causing the problem is deeper
into your tissue or it requires therapeutic techniques and a more firm
pressure to release that tension, you would most likely need a
What types of
conditions can Therapeutic Massage help?
people I've met are surprised when they learn that a condition that they
have could be helped by Therapeutic Massage. Here is a list of the
conditions that I've been able to help with my Therapeutic Massage:
Range of Motion limitation
Range of Motion limitation
muscle pain from TMJ Dysfunction
How many Therapeutic
Massage sessions does it take to get results?
Each condition and each person gets
different results with Therapeutic Massage, so it's difficult to give an
exact number of sessions for a specific condition. However, with my
Therapeutic Massage, our goal is to make progress with every
session, even if it's sometimes just a little progress.
Based on the thousands of
Therapeutic Massages I've given, I've found that we can typically make
significant progress on the first session and build on that progress
each successive session, provided the patient doesn't do things to make
the condition worse between sessions!. If someone comes to me with a
complaint of frequent headaches caused by neck tension, for example,
after their first session, they may have from half to less than half the
amount of headaches they were having, or a 50% to 70% improvement. Then,
after the second session, they'll typically be at 80% to 90%
improvement, and after the third session, they'll be at 90% or 100%
improvement. However, the next person who comes to me with the same
complaint may take six sessions or more to get to 90% or 100%
How often will
the Therapeutic Massage sessions need to be?
As we're making progress
with each Therapeutic Massage session (taking steps forward), the worst
thing that could happen is for the patient to wait too long before the
next session and the condition starts getting worse (taking steps
backwards). Therapeutic Massages need to be scheduled at least once a
week in order to continue building on the previous session's
progress. Once the condition is under control, a Therapeutic Massage
once a month can help to maintain that control and prevent the condition
from getting out of control again.