The Big Differences
What is the first thing you think about when going in for a massage? According to popular belief, there will be relaxing music, long soothing strokes, and the result will be a gateway to a mental state of euphoria. Yes, you can still receive this type of massage, which I’m sure you guessed correctly as being a “relaxation massage” or Swedish massage. However, people are coming to find out this is not all that is offered, nor expected or desired. Medical massage is becoming more sought after and more common, as it is results orientated and directed to resolve a specific condition, which has typically been diagnosed or prescribed by a Physician.
Why a Medical Massage?
Most people can identify specific areas that have chronic aches and pains from either their normal daily activities, injuries, or maybe even an unknown cause. Yes, it is really nice to go in to receive a relaxation massage every now and then, but wouldn’t you agree that you would prefer to receive a massage that works the specific area you have pain, so you can have longer lasting results and pain relief? That is where medical massage comes in.
Is it Painful?
Now, you may be thinking that if you came in for a medical massage, it will be overly painful. The “no pain, no gain” method, that is. This is a common misconception about this form of massage. Yes, you can choose to receive a “no pain, no gain” massage, if that is what you prefer, but that is not the only way, or necessarily what medical massage is. Medical massage is meant to be therapeutic, without being too painful.
Let’s say you come in with a shoulder problem for a 60 minute massage session. You have very limited range of motion and are not able to fulfill your regular daily activities, without much difficulty. After some assessment, your massage therapist will devise a plan of action. You should expect that the majority of the session will be spent on muscles directly related to the injury, and also those indirectly related. The therapist may do some passive stretching to help increase the range of motion or even try some muscle energy techniques or other fancy massage methods, along with the common deep tissue and Swedish strokes. There may be a short amount of time to work on other areas of the body at the end of the massage, mostly depending on the severity of the injury or the specific area’s sensitivity to being overly massaged. The entire point of the massage, being that you walk away feeling like you have better usage of your shoulder. Just like any “problem area” or injury, it may take multiple medical massages to get you back to 100%.
How to Pick
To sum it all up, a relaxation massage is when you come in to receive a Swedish massage that leaves you feeling relaxed and stress free. A medical massage can use a variety of massage techniques, and is meant to comfortably help improve a specific condition. So, with how you are feeling, what type will your next massage be?