What is Medical Massage?
Medical Massage is prescribed and intended to resolve conditions that have been diagnosed and prescribed by a Physician. The massage therapist can use a variety of modalities or techniques, but will focus the Medical Massage session on the areas of the body related to the diagnosis. Medical Massage is typically billed in 15-minute increments. Reimbursement fee schedules apply based on the coverage your insurance company has determined.
Medical Massage requires a prescription
Massage Therapists are not permitted to diagnose and must work from a doctor’s prescription if they are claiming to treat a specific condition. Non-prescribed therapy may also be administered where a massage therapy professional’s assessment shows soft-tissue imbalances. When massage therapists and physicians coordinate their ability to diagnose and treat patients, the patient is the big winner. Medical massage can be an incredibly effective treatment for many soft tissue injuries as well as psychological disorders.Medical massage therapy can improve the general health and well-being of an individual. It has been found to relieve the symptoms of a wide range of conditions, including the ability to relieve stress and anxiety, to facilitate rehabilitation after injury, and to address depression.
A survey conducted in 2007 in the United States found that approximately 18 million adults and 700,000 children had used massage therapy for a range of conditions over the previous year. If you are considering medical massage therapy, there are a few things you should know first.
Medical massage is a complementary therapy
Medical massage therapy should be seen as complementary to the work of your medical practitioner – you should always get a medical diagnosis for any health problem before you use massage therapy. You should also tell your doctor if you are using complementary alternative therapies, including medical massage. This will help him or her to understand and track your progress and any improvements in your overall health.
Not all therapists are equal
Before you jump on the treatment table, you need to check that your therapist is trained and working in a hygienic way. You should also make sure that the therapist understands your condition and can address any concerns about the treatment you may have. You can use the MassageBook massage therapist directory to find qualified and reviewed medical massage therapists nationwide.
Not all treatments are equal
Medical massage is a general term that covers a wide range of techniques that have been found to have medical benefits and are used to achieve improvements in the individual’s well-being. While all types of massage are hands-on therapies and involve the manipulation of muscle and tissue, they achieve this in different ways:
- Swedish massage – uses long gliding strokes and gentle kneading to release tension in the muscles and surrounding tissues.
- Sports massage – similar to Swedish massage, this technique has been developed to meet the specific needs of athletes, particularly in terms of rehabilitation after injury.
- Deep tissue massage and trigger point massage – a technique that uses gentle pressure on specific points of the body to release knots or blockages in the tissues that cover and join the muscles.
Within these medical massage techniques, therapists use different therapies to achieve improvements in the condition diagnosed by the doctor, including:
- Muscle testing
- Rehabilitative stretching procedures
- Trigger point therapy
- Myofascial release
- Positional release
- Neuromuscular therapy
Benefits of medical massage therapy
The specific benefit of medical massage therapy depends on the condition that is being treated. However, benefits of the therapy can include:
- Releasing sore and tight muscles that can cause a lack of blood supply to soft tissues and hypersensitivity to touch; known as Ischemia
- Relieving nerve entrapment and compression
- Deactivating Myofascial trigger points
- Decreasing pain and inflammation
- Improving circulation and alleviating stress
- Aiding digestion
- Improving flexibility and range of motion
- Calming the nervous system
- Improving coordination and posture
- Helping prevent future chronic pain conditions
Effectiveness of medical massage therapy
Medical massage has been shown to be highly effective at reducing cases of future chronic pain conditions by dealing effectively with the base cause of the problem. Current studies have shown that the vast majority of pain in chronic conditions, over 80%, comes from soft tissue injuries and over 74% is directly related to trigger points. As well as eliminating the base cause of the pain and helping the individual to live a less painful existence, medical massage therapy is very cost effective. Less time is spent away from work or having to deal with the side effects of pain reducing drugs.
Posted September 7, 2015