Do you picture scented oils, ethereal music, candles, and complete, bone-melting relaxation when you think of the word “massage?” This is true for therapy at your local spa. However, in another environment, this type of treatment goes beyond being a luxury. Therapeutic body relaxation therapy after surgery or injury can help speed up the healing process.
The Differences Between Therapeutic & Relaxation Massages
A therapeutic massage is also known as a “medical massage.” It’s a component of occupational or physical therapy that is prescribed by a professional therapist. In contrast, spa therapies are something that you might schedule on the weekend.
Active stretching and strengthening are combined, for the most effective and long-lasting results after therapeutic tissue manipulation, according to Ahhley Mundenar, a physical therapist with a doctorate in orthopedic clinical specialization who works at Geisinger Healthplex CenterPoint in Pittston, Pennsylvania.
What Are the Benefits of Therapeutic Massages?
Therapeutic massages heal your body. According to Dr. Mundenar, blood flow is required for effective healing. Massage and manual therapy can hasten the healing process by increasing blood flow to the painful or injured area. Your blood carries oxygen. It controls inflammation and infection and also promotes collagen and new capillary growth.
Such massages can also help improve your pain management. There are times when a person can only tolerate massages and hands-on methods of pain management. This is especially true in cases of acute injury. Even a light touch or lymphatic bodywork can help you manage localized swelling and alter how pain is perceived.
One more benefit of medical massages is that they can help you find your flexibility. Patients who have chronic injuries or those who have had a limited range of movement for long periods of time, can benefit from manual therapy and help mobilize joints, connective tissue, soft tissue, and muscles. Whether it’s your shoulder, back, ankle, or another body part, loosening up each part of it helps to regain its full range of motion.
Reasons to Get Therapeutic Massages
If you just had surgery, have been immobilized for some time, or have a limited range of motion while experiencing difficulties managing your pain, it’s best to reach out to a professional therapeutic massage therapist. When you don’t use a muscle, it gets weaker, smaller, or even atrophies. By improving blood circulation, massages can encourage muscle growth.
If you are in pain and experience stiffness as a result of an injury or surgery, discuss the possibility of receiving a therapeutic massage with your doctor. In certain circumstances, when the pressure is at its peak, massages can provide much-needed relief.