If you believed that massage therapy would improve your physical/mental ailment such as migraines/headaches, rotator cuff injuries, sciatica, depression, or anxiety would you seek massage for pain relief? Better yet, if you knew that medical massages would be covered by your health insurance instead of you having to pay out-of-pocket, would this increase your chances of seeking massages for pain relief? Well, massage therapy has proven to be effective for treatment of soft tissue injuries, mental health issues, and other pain related conditions; so much so that most health insurance companies will cover medical massage.
Medical Massage is an outcome based massage applied to a patient with a specific diagnosis who has been prescribed massage by his/her physician to treat the patient's condition.
-Requires a physical or mental diagnosis and treatment plan
-Requires a prescription and a referral from your physician
-Requires a specific number of treatments specified by your physician
-Payment for services are paid by your insurance
-Specific techniques are used to address the dysfunction or pathology
-Requires a higher level of competency and understanding through education by you Medical Massage Practitioner
Certified Medical Masage Therapists utilize Myofascial Release to shut off the contraction of the muscle(s) affected, increase blood and lymphatic circulation, and stimulate the stretch reflex in musles to break up any muscles adhesions of the fascia. Fascia is a sheet of connective tissue primarily collagen that forms beneath the skin to attach, stabilize, enclose, and separate muscle. It creates a tough, elastic protection of the muscles and can also be found covering every bones, nerve, artery, vein, and even our lungs, heart, brain and spinal cord. Its primary function is to support and protect the tissue. When it is functioning optimally, fascia allows for great flexibility in range of motion. However, when it has been exposed to injury/illness, it can harden, thicken, tighten, and form scar tissue. This scar tissue creates adhesions and limits range of motion (decreased flexibility) and can also cause increased pain if it compresses surrounding nerves (nerve entrapment).
Who can benefit from medical massage?
If you suffer from the following, you can benefit from medical massage:
Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ)
Restless Leg Syndrome
Worker's Compensation Injuries
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Rotator Cuff Injuries
Pain associated with bulging or injured spinal discs
Pain associated with Pregnancy
Range of Motion Issues
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
These are only a few conditions that are indicated for medical massage. There are many other conditions that may be appropriate. Conversely, there are several conditions that are contraindicated, or not appropriate. Medical massage is not designed to replace a medical treatment prescribed by your physician, such as medication, but rather applied to compliment any treatment your physician has already prescribed. A brief consultation with your Medical Massage Practitioner could help determine whether your specific medical condition would be appropriate.