What is Medical Massage?

massage-therapyMedical massage is a result oriented treatment and is specifically directed to resolve conditions that have been diagnosed and prescribed by a physician. The therapist may use a variety of modalities or procedures during the treatment, but will focus only on the areas of the body related to the diagnosis and prescription.

As Licensed Massage Therapists, we strive to incorporate our massage training to aid in the recovery of our patients with acute and/or chronic pain. Our ultimate goal is to share medical massage techniques with our patients in their health and well being alongside the doctors of North Hills Family Medicine.

We believe Massage Therapy plays an important role in the healing process by focusing on your wellness, helping alleviate the effects of a broad range of health conditions, including pain, stress and muscle injury. The healing power of touch initiates a reflexive relaxation, helping your body to let go and surrender, allowing more space for healing to take place.

More specific physical benefits of massage are:

  • Increased circulation - Massage increases blood flow to tissues. The movements in massage pull fluid through blood and lymph vessels. By increasing the pressure in front of the stroke, a vacuum is created behind. This is especially important in tight or damaged muscle tissue as a tight muscle will squeeze blood out like a sponge, depriving the tissues of vital nutrients and energy to repair.
  • Increased tissue permeability - Deep massage causes the pores in tissue membranes to open, enabling fluids and nutrients to pass through. This helps remove waste products such as lactic acid and encourage the muscles to take up oxygen and nutrients which help them recover more quickly.
  • Improves tissue elasticity - Assisted isolated stretching (AIS), proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) stretching, and advanced myofascial techniques stretch tissues that could not be stretched by usual methods. Bundles of muscle fibers and fascia are effectively stretched in specific directions changing muscle memory and improving a balanced range of motion.
  • Breaks down scar tissue - Scar tissue is the result of previous injuries, repetitive movements, inactivity or trauma and can effect muscle, tendons and ligaments. This can lead to inflexible tissues that are prone to injury and pain.

In general, Massage Therapy helps to:

  • Maintain optimal health
  • Prevent injuries and loss of range of motion
  • Restore mobility to injured soft tissue
  • Boost performance
  • Reduce blood pressure
  • Reduce physical and emotional stress
  • Reduce pain, tension and stiffness