Therapeutic massage has a broad definition. Massage is the manipulation of superficial layers of muscle and connective tissue to enhance their function and promote relaxation and well-being. There are more than 80 recognized massage techniques, from Ayurvedic to Swedish.
So what does getting therapeutic massage mean? Therapeutic massage is designed to relieve severe tension in the muscle and the connective tissue or fascia. The massage focuses on the muscles located below the surface of the top muscles. Deep tissue massage is often recommended for individuals who experience consistent pain, are involved in heavy physical activity, such as athletes, and patients who have sustained physical injury. At My Massage in Seattle, Nancy Newman, LMT uses a variety of massage techniques to help the client work on a specific problem, whether it’s a sore hamstring, frozen shoulder, or intense stress. This may differ from a relaxation massage, where the therapist uses lighter pressure to help reduce stress and will likely provide a general, all over massage rather than targeting specific problem areas. Both are great; it’s a matter of what you want or need that day.
Therapeutic massage uses a variety of modalities to achieve the goal, including (but not limited to) Swedish, trigger point and myofascial techniques.