Javaria Jabeen, D.O.
Primary Care & Aesthetics Med Spa located in Flower Mound, TX
Medical Massage In addition to stress relief and relaxation, a medical massage focuses on medical needs. It is often used to manage pain,reduce inflamation, improve circulation, relieve nerve compression, improve digestion, increase flexibility or treat other health care concerns.
Types of Massages
Swedish massage is a gentle full-body massage that’s great for people who:
- are new to massage
- want to release tension
- desire gentle touch
It can help release muscle knots, and it’s also a good choice for when you want to fully relax during a massage.
For this massage, you’ll remove your clothes, though you may choose to keep your underwear on. You’ll be covered with a sheet while lying on the massage table. The massage therapist will move the sheet to uncover areas that they are actively working on.
The massage therapist will use a combination of:
- long, flowing strokes in the direction of the heart
- deep circular motions
- vibration and tapping
- passive joint movement techniques
Deep tissue massage uses more pressure than a Swedish massage. It’s a good option if you have muscle problems, such as:
- chronic muscle pain
During a deep tissue massage, your massage therapist will use slow strokes and deep finger pressure to relieve tension from the deepest layers of your muscles and connective tissues. You can be naked during this massage or wear your underwear. While deep tissue may be more intense, you shouldn’t feel any pain or soreness.
Sports massage is a good option if you have a repetitive use injury to a muscle, such as what you may get from playing a sport. It’s also a good option if you’re prone to injuries, because it can be used to help prevent them.
Sports massage can:
- increase flexibility
- improve athletic performance
- relieve pain
- reduce anxiety
- release muscle tension
A sports massage can be done as a full-body massage or on specific parts of the body that need the most attention. Deep pressure may be alternated with soothing strokes, depending on your needs.
You can have a sports massage while clothed or naked. If you prefer to wear clothing, make sure it’s thin, loose, and allows the therapist access to your muscles. Loose shorts and a tank top are options.
Trigger point massage is best suited for people who have injuries, chronic pain, or a specific issue or condition.
Sometimes, areas of tightness in the muscle tissues, known as trigger points, can cause pain in other parts of the body. By focusing on relieving trigger points, this type of massage can reduce pain.
A 2018 review found that treatment of head and neck muscles with trigger point therapy may reduce frequency, intensity, and duration of tension and migraine headaches, though more research is needed.
Trigger point massage uses alternating levels of pressure in the area of the trigger point to alleviate tension.
The massage will include work on your entire body, though your therapist will focus on specific areas that need to be released. You can wear lightweight clothing for the massage, or you can be fully or partially undressed.
Lymphatic drainage massage, also known as manual lymphatic drainage (MLD), is a type of gentle massage that encourages the lymph fluids to circulate through the body.
The lymphatic system helps remove toxins, and improved circulation can help with a number of conditions, including:
- skin disorders
- digestive problems
According to a 2014 research, lymphatic drainage massage was more effective at improving the quality of life of fibromyalgia patients compared with connective tissue massage.
You shouldn’t receive lymphatic drainage massage if you have any of the following conditions:
- congestive heart failure
- history of blood clots or stroke
- current infection
- liver problems
- kidney problems
Myofascial release therapy is another type of bodywork that involves releasing stiffness in the fascia, the connective tissue system that contains each muscle in the body. Your therapist will massage and stretch any areas that feel tense with light pressure.
Specific conditions that may benefit from myofascial therapy include:
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