There are many different types of massage therapy. Most individuals may recognize favorite techniques such as Swedish and deep tissue, or even more exotic styles like shiatsu. With the ever-growing global spa industry, the number of available options can be overwhelming. But, there is another growing trend that deviates from your typical spa massage experience; holistic health and medical massage.
A medical massage, administered in a clinical setting, is somewhat different than a spa massage for several reasons. While they both involve stimulating parts of the body by applying pressure, the purpose and intended outcome of the massage is where they differ most. Medical massage, also referred to as clinical massage or therapeutic massage, is specifically focused on relieving a medical need. Another key difference is the various techniques a therapist may use during the service. A massage therapist providing medical massage may utilize a broader set of modalities, such as trigger point or zone therapy, neuromuscular therapy, ultrasound, microcurrent, active and passive stretching, and will often utilize a lighter touch, rhythmic motions, and a systematic process designed to stimulate certain systems within the body.
Types of Medical/Therapeutic Massage
Lymphatic Drainage Massage
The lymphatic system is a network of organs, nodes, ducts, and vessels which produces a substance called lymph. As lymph circulates the body, it absorbs fluid, waste products, dead cells, bacteria, viruses, fats and proteins, and promotes the production of immune cells. Working closely with the circulatory system, it also delivers nutrients, oxygen, and hormones to the body’s tissue. Manual lymphatic drainage is a type of massage which promotes the natural drainage of the lymph; carrying waste products away from the tissues, back toward the heart, to ultimately be expelled from the body. Manual lymph drainage uses light pressure and rhythmic circular movements to stimulate lymph flow.
- Standard Detoxification – Encourages the removal of waste and toxicity by promoting lymph flow to the nodes where filtration and purification occurs. This enhances liver function, builds the immune system, and increases fluid movement to and from organs and tissues.
- Surgery-Related – Assists in the reduction of post-operative pain and swelling. Manual lymph drainage techniques can significantly reduce recovery time and discomfort. Moving the extra fluids through the body helps soften fibrotic or hardening tissue and helps the body resume normal functioning more quickly.
Medicupping is a form of massage therapy that uses cups to create a vacuum effect that lifts and hydrates the muscle. Medicupping can be used for a variety of conditions, including muscle aches, scars and adhesions, arthritis, and sinusitis.
Craniosacral therapy is a non-invasive, hands-on therapy that aims to enhance the body’s healing capabilities. Using a soft touch, practitioners release restrictions in the craniosacral system to improve the functioning of the central nervous system. This process is thought to relieve pain and dysfunction such as migraines, chronic neck and back pain, Fibromyalgia, concussion, Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome (TMJ), and chronic fatigue.
Reflexology is the application of pressure to areas on the feet, hands, and ears. The theory behind reflexology is that these areas correspond to specific organs and systems within the body. When pressure is applied to these areas, it stimulates a response in the corresponding organs and can ultimately benefit a person’s health. Reflexology may help to relieve physical pain and psychological symptoms, such as anxiety and depression, and help to enhance relaxation and sleep. Proponents of reflexology believe it can also assist in potentially alleviating symptoms for a wide variety of medical conditions, such as asthma, diabetes, cardiovascular issues, sinusitis, and cancer.
These are just a few examples of the modalities that can be used. Omni Balanced Life Center is home to several experienced and knowledgeable practitioners, offering massage therapy services that are designed to promote relief and healing. Visit our ‘About Us’ section to learn more about our team. Appointments can be scheduled online, or by contacting our office at 239-234-1608.