What is therapeutic massage?
“Therapy” is the root word of therapeutic, so you can expect therapeutic massage to provide some health benefits. This type of massage may be targeted to specific areas of injury or tension, or it may be a more general, releasing tension throughout your body. Your appointment starts with your massage therapist asking about your health needs and history, as well as what your goals for massage treatment are.
Sometimes called deep tissue massage, therapeutic techniques are typically more aggressive than relaxation massage techniques. While providing similar benefits in terms of improved circulation, providing more nutrients and oxygen to your body, therapeutic massage also targets adhesions, chronic contractions of muscle tissue often referred to as knots.
As well, another class of tissue called fascia is also prone to adhesions. Tension and pain associated with this are hard to pinpoint, while muscle adhesions can often be located easily by touch. Therapeutic massage works both muscle and fascia adhesions to the point of relaxation, improving blood flow and expanding flexibility. Your massage therapist at the Spa at Shenandoah may also suggest exercises to do at home to help with your condition.
What is relaxation massage?
Relaxation massage is the choice when your main complaint is stress, without other conditions such as muscle strain, knots, or adhesions causing specific pain or tightness. Relaxation massage may well benefit any of these issues, but the target is stress reduction rather than treatment, so the massage techniques used may not be as aggressive as with therapeutic massage.
It’s not uncommon for you to feel “good” aches the day following a therapeutic massage since it’s intended to provide physical benefits and improvements to deep tissue. Relaxation massage works to avoid this, leaving you refreshed and invigorated.
What conditions can therapeutic massage address?
Many problems stemming from the soft tissue of the body can benefit from massage. These include:
- Muscle spasms
- Neck and back pain
- Arthritis pain and inflammation
- Pain and discomfort associated with pregnancy
- Sports injuries, such as muscle strains and sprains