What is Therapeutic Massage?
In a therapeutic setting, medical massage and non-medical massage are combined to cater to the individual’s needs. Each massage combines all modalities the Licensed Massage Therapist is trained in to manipulate the soft tissue and enhance overall health. Goals for each session are determined by the patient and the Licensed Massage Therapist.
Our licensed massage therapists use a variety of techniques to create a custom treatment plan:
- Active release/Concentric & Eccentric contraction- Educating patient with active or passive movement, or contraction and relaxation, of the muscle to reach desired goals of rehabilitating tissue and range of motion with massage.
- Deep tissue- Manipulating the soft tissue to affect the deeper layers of muscular structure. Fascia, tendons, and ligaments benefit from the deep warming sensations versus the misconception of just deep, hard pressure.
- Myofascial release- Manipulating the fascia to improve range of motion and promote future healing versus guarding. Most associated with trauma (falls, car accidents, injury).
- Neuromuscular- Most popular in balancing the central nervous system to incorporate neuroplasticity within the brain and muscular activity. Common association is “mind body awareness” for desired results.
- Range of Motion- The ability to contract and relax at the body’s potential. The measurement of range of motion is important when identifying realistic outcomes and goals of the patient.
- Swedish massage flushing- Gentle to effective pressure to increase flow of oxygen in the blood and release toxins. A gentle Swedish massage can reduce anxiety and stress due to promoting relaxation and breathing exercises.
- Trigger-point- A type of neuromuscular therapy focused on the protective mechanisms of the muscle belly when injured or overused. Precise and constant pressure (with or without movement) is applied to a latent or active trigger point (commonly referred to as a “knot”). Perceptions of the trigger point massage are associated with “good pain” or “uncomfortable happiness” after achieving the results.
What are the benefits of therapeutic massage?
According to the National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, massage therapy relieves pain and stress, reduces anxiety and depression and promotes relaxation and well-being. Massage therapy may relieve the following symptoms:
- Arthritis and joint pain
- Back pain
- Muscle aches
- Muscle tightness
- Neck pain
Additionally, massage can complement other treatments. For instance, it can reduce pain and depression in cancer patients and improve weight gain and development in premature infants.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have to remove my clothes?
No. Like chair massages in the airport or mall, massage therapy does not always require bare skin. Your massage therapist will work with you to maximize your comfort.
I feel uncomfortable when I lay flat on my back or stomach. Can I still get a massage?
Yes. Your massage therapist can keep you comfortable with pillows and bolsters or give you a massage while you are seated or lying on your side.
How do I ask my doctor or nurse practitioner to recommend massage?
Just do it! You could say, “I would like to try massage therapy to complement my care. That may reduce my pain, help me sleep better, help me recover more quickly, use less medication, improve my quality of life, etc. Will you please write a prescription for therapeutic massage with the reason for it, so my insurance will cover it?”
What are the side effects of massage therapy?
Massage is extremely safe when done by an experienced, licensed therapist. Side effects may include sleepiness.
Will insurance cover therapeutic massage?
Yes. Please call your insurance company to verify your plan covers "Massage Therapy provided by a Licensed Massage Therapist." Other questions to ask are,
- "How many units will my insurance cover for my massage prescription diagnosis of _____"
- "When assessing my treatment plan, do I have a limitation on how many visits?"
Are all Therapeutic Massage sessions the same?
No. Your treatment could vary each session even by the same Licensed Massage Therapist. This is why a Therapeutic Massage accommodates to what your body needs at that moment. No cookie-cutter treatment. At OSU Integrative Medicine, we work together as a team. We have patients who prefer multiple Licensed Massage Therapists depending on what their needs are or have a preference of just one Massage Therapist. Try everyone out, and see who is the best fit for you!
Why Choose Ohio State?
Why choose therapeutic massage services at Ohio State?
It is rare to find massage therapists working alongside medical doctors and other health professionals in a multi-practice setting. We have created this environment to make it even easier for doctors and health professionals to work together for your personalized care. Our massage therapists are certified and credentialed to provide the best available therapeutic massage. They also have specific experience working with medically fragile patients for the best complementary treatment.
Ohio State’s Integrative Medicine Clinic also offers:
- Convenient and comprehensive care in one location
- Other health services, including chiropractic care, acupuncture, general medicine and more, in the same location
- The highest quality massage therapists who educate patients about their treatment, conduct research to better understand the benefits and risks for patients with specific conditions and engage with community practitioners to enhance the quality of their service
- Classes in yoga, tai chi, stress-reduction and more
- Free and convenient parking