Have you ever been in a situation where you go in for a massage therapy treatment for a specific complaint and the therapist isn’t able to identify the problem? Have you ever left a massage therapy session feeling like you received a very general, cookie-cutter massage that leaves you with the same complaint. It is COMPLETELY and TOTALLY frustrating because you have specific needs that were not addressed.
A massage therapist with the right kind of clinical training can address your complaint more specifically. Medical massage therapy is highly effective in treating soft tissue pain.
What is medical massage therapy?
Medical massage is a manual therapy directed at a specific issue, pathology or dysfunction of soft tissue. Different techniques are used according to what presentations are found in the tissues. These techniques can affect the tissue by releasing tension in the muscles and fascia to eliminate spasm, nerve entrapment, adhesion and scar tissue as well as treat tendonosis.
A medical/clinical massage therapist will have training in assessment protocols and may use manual resistive tests (or muscle tests) to evaluate the condition and create a treatment plan. Medical/clinical massage therapists will not be able to diagnose a client with a condition as it is out of their scope of practice. However, medical massage therapists are well-trained at ruling out conditions and treating specific causes of pain.
You can think of medical/clinical massage as part of a health care plan and relaxing massage or a spa massage as part of a self-care plan. Although self-care and health care have the same underlining goal, they have slightly different nuances in their meaning. See the video near the bottom of the page for further explanation.