What is the difference between a Therapeutic Massage
and Clinical Massage?
The massage therapists at Pirollo Chiropractic offer massage and modalities that help to relieve acute and chronic pain. Our massage therapists focus primarily on offering clinical massage and therapeutic massage.
You can continue reading below to find out the very important difference between the two. This will help you know what to expect from our massage therapists and to better understand what makes our massage therapy services stand out as superior in their quality, professionalism, and effectiveness.
Therapeutic massage is an intuitive, nurturing, massage that focuses on increasing relaxation, relieving pain, stiffness, and helping to restore range of motion. There are multiple types of therapeutic massage. We offer;
- Hot Stone Massage Therapy – Uses a variety of hot, smooth stones to ease muscle tension
- Deep Tissue – Multiple techniques and deeper pressure may be used to release tightness in the muscle and surrounding tissues. This massage is usually focused on a specific area of tightness, and done slowly.
- Neuromuscular Massage – Advanced massage techniques are used to effectively treat chronic pain and injuries. Used often to treat postural and muscular imbalances.
Another type of therapeutic massage is Swedish relaxation massage. The difference between a Swedish relaxation massage and other therapeutic massages is that a Swedish massage will be a more gentle approach, where lighter pressure is used and done at a slower pace. There is less emphasis on working out trigger points and adhesions (knots), and more focus on bringing the nervous system into a deep state of relaxation, most people even fall asleep! Swedish relaxation massage also aids in decreasing blood pressure, decreasing heart rate, increasing circulation, stimulating and flushing the lymphatic system, and digestive activity.
While clinical massage is most definitely therapeutic, it is different from therapeutic massage in that it is focused on treating injuries and working with patients with medical issues.
It is highly customized to a patient on that day, following an assessment and palpation that is used to create a treatment plan. The work is more focused on the “why” and not as much on the “what”, which means a patient’s treatment plan can change as progress is made with each session. Sessions can range anywhere from 15-30 minutes and more, with a specific functional outcome in mind. A massage therapist working with a patient during a clinical massage will use their assessments, the doctor’s assessments and diagnosis, and a systematic application of multiple advanced massage techniques to help injuries heal, improve range of motion and increase muscle function.
Essentially, clinical massage is more rehabilitative, whereas therapeutic massage is more restorative.
Benefits of Massage
Relaxation is essential to our health. A few of the many benefits include:
- It protects our heart from problems such as heart attack and high blood pressure
- It lowers our risk of stroke
- It helps strengthen our immune system so we don’t get colds as often
- It helps to boost our memory by relaxing our prefrontal cortex
- It keeps us safe from depression by allowing our feel good hormones like dopamine and serotonin to rise
- Being relaxed helps us to make better life decisions and choices by allowing us to think things through instead of acting out of compulsion
You receive the benefits of relaxation from a clinical massage as well, however during a therapeutic massage the primary focus is to help you reach the deepest level of relaxation possible during your massage, and/or restore general soft tissue function to the body, where
a clinical massage will use a specific treatment plan and a variety of advanced techniques to focus on a specific problem area with a specific outcome or goal in mind using a diagnosis or assessment, such as treating Whiplash, TMJD, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, or Sciatica.
Massage therapy is also extremely restorative. Have you ever; Had a stiff and painful lower back after a long day of yard work? Felt stiff and sore after a long day at your desk? Had stubborn soreness after a workout that just won’t seem to go away? Then massage therapy can help you.
Some of the restorative properties of massage include:
- Reduction of spasms/cramps
- Decreased pain and stiffness in arthritic conditions
- Increased joint flexibility
- Stretching of tired, weak and atrophied or overworked muscles
- Headache relief
Clinical massage therapy is especially effective as a rehabilitative tool. Someone with a condition such as, TMJD, Whiplash, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Tennis or Golf Elbow and Migraine sufferers can greatly benefit from the rehabilitative properties of clinical massage.
Rehabilitative effects of clinical massage include:
- Reduction of scar tissue/adhesions
- Relief of Migraine and Headache pain
- Increased range of motion
- Prevention and reduction in the pain associated with Repetitive Stress Syndrome (Injury)
- Relief of chronic and acute neck and back pain
- Quicker and more effective injury recovery
So, you see, anyone and everyone can benefit from massage.
The massage therapists at Pirollo Monroeville Chiropractic Center are here to help you in any way we can to get you out of pain and back to your life. Whether you need to just let go and relax for awhile and take a break from your busy schedule, or you have a condition that has affected your quality of life, we can help.