How Can Therapeutic Massage Help Me?

Benefits of Therapeutic Massage

Do you suffer from chronic pain, recurring headaches, or unwanted stiffness?

Would you like to release the tension in your muscles naturally? Well, you’ll be pleased to hear that a specific form of massage called therapeutic massage can help you with all those things and more. But how? Let’s find out.

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Massage was once (and in some circles still is) considered nothing more than a self-indulgent luxury to help you relax. Massages – particularly the spa kind complete with aromatherapy oils – are gloriously indulgent and deeply relaxing. Of course, they are.

I mean, who doesn’t want me-time in a spa with no phone, no email, and no demanding children (or partner) while being massaged with skin-pampering oils?

Imagine that? That is indeed a luxury.


However, therapeutic massage is entirely different – used to treat various injuries, mobility problems, medical conditions, and muscle and joint stiffness.

Outside of the realm of traditional spa-style Swedish massage, therapeutic massage is manipulation via pressing and rubbing soft tissues (muscles, tendons, and ligaments). There are various therapeutic massage therapies, some for the complete body and others for isolated muscle groups.

The Benefits Of Therapeutic Massage

Physical Therapy Massage


Massage is probably one of the most relaxing and soothing experiences to undergo. Still, when the masseur is a Physical Therapist or another Therapeutic Massage specialist, the benefits go way beyond basic relaxation.

As per a survey conducted by AMTA (American Massage Therapy Association), 50% of individuals who visit licensed massage therapists did it for medical conditions, with just 28% resorting to it for relaxation.

Here are some of the most common reasons why people in the US and all over the world are turning to therapeutic massage therapy for its related health benefits:

Relief From Aches and Pains

Alongside physical therapy, therapeutic massage is the best complementary therapy for relief from stiffness, joint pain, body aches, headaches, and many other ailments. From rheumatoid arthritis of the hands, feet, or joints to osteoarthritis of the knee, chronic pain in the lower back, therapeutic massage diminishes pain and improves functionality and mobility.

Reduce Lower Back and Neck Pain

Along with modernization and the dawn of the digital age, average activity levels have reduced dramatically. This reduction is because we’re spending more and more time sedentary – sitting at our desks or in front of the TV.

When you consider the time you spend peering into your laptop or smartphone, it is only natural for our necks and backs to bear the brunt of this.  As a result, many women suffer from chronic back and neck pain, and modern medication offers little relief.

The good news is that therapeutic massage is one of the best ways to treat chronic lower back and neck pain and help prevent future problems.

Alleviation of Stress

Stress is a significant part of our modern lives. It’s inescapable, especially for women leading hectic professional lives in big cities, busy social lives, and children or aging parents to care for too. But what’s important to remember is that stress can be a silent but significant factor in chronic pain. Massage is one of the most effective ways to relieve psychological stress on your physical body.

Research indicates that a therapeutic massage promotes the release of endorphins like dopamine and serotonin. In turn, these chemicals help to decrease high blood pressure and cortisol levels. Improve circulation, and balance the heart rate, all of which contribute to the modern-day stressed- and burnt-out state.

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Better Sleep

To remain in good health and overcome chronic pain, it is necessary to get sufficient sleep. Research in the field of sleep clearly shows that massage therapy can significantly improve the overall quality of sleep and decreases levels of insomnia.

In addition, massage therapy has comprehensive benefits for people of all age groups. For example, research indicates that even infants as young as six months gain sleep-related benefits from massage therapy.  The primary reason massage is so beneficial for sleep is that it helps in serotonin release, which relaxes the body and promotes restfulness.

Helps Release Muscle Tension

Living a modern life with its stresses and strains takes a physical and psychological toll. Consequently, stiffness in the joints, having a sore lower back, and neck pain are common maladies – as we all hunch over smartphones and laptops and get less exercise.

Unfortunately, we expect there to be an even more remarkable rise in the number of people suffering from muscle tension. One way to deal with this type of muscle tension is a therapeutic massage to relieve the stiffness and get rid of tension.

Therapeutic MassageRelieves Anxiety

After a therapeutic massage, you feel a calm sense of wellbeing and elation. Studies have shown that massage does have a psychological impact on those that have experienced emotional trauma, have PTSD, or generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).

This positive effect is because we're able to send a signal to your body's nervous system that you're safe. Similarly, massage is also known to help those suffering from high anxiety levels.  As per a 2004 Journal of Psychosomatic Research study, breast cancer survivors reported declining anxiety levels after therapeutic massage.

Treatment of Depression

Living in the information age has its perks, but the flip side is that depression is on the rise. However, medical research has conclusively found that therapeutic massage benefits those suffering from depression. One of the main reasons for this is that therapeutic massage helps release anxiety, anger, and pain, which are factors leading to depression and low mood.

Improves The Circulatory System

A lack of oxygen to the brain and other organs can lead to brain fog, sluggishness, and other symptoms, making it harder to concentrate and "get things done."

Therapeutic massage improves the circulatory system by directing nutrients and oxygen to all the vital organs—this in turn aids in improved blood circulation and quicker healing and recovery from physical ailments and injuries. Scientific studies have proved without doubt the benefits of therapeutic massage in overall blood circulation within the human body.

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Helps In Recovery from Sports Injuries

Long before therapeutic massages gained popularity with the masses, professional athletes, NFL Players, and other professional sportspeople were already using massage therapy as part of their fitness programs.

That’s why they seem to be able to get back on the track or field in record time. In addition, detailed studies in the recovery of sports injuries confirm the effectiveness of therapeutic massage in speeding up the recovery process in sports-related injuries.

The good news is that the benefits don't stop there. Therapeutic massage benefits extend into all areas of health and wellbeing. Whatever your current health issues or ailments, therapeutic massage can help.

Even if it doesn't 100% fix your issue, it'll most certainly assist in recovery and healing when combined with physical therapy. For example, it has proven benefits for the cardiovascular system and lowering high blood pressure. In addition, it can reduce your chances of suffering from a life-threatening event like a stroke, brain hemorrhage, or cardiac arrest.

It’s a natural wonder drug!

Therapeutic massage is safe for just about everyone. Still, there are a few instances when it's advisable to check with your doctor first. These include:

  • You have a fever, viral infection, or another contagious disease
  • You suffer from blood clots, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), or varicose veins
  • You have cancer or are undergoing chemotherapy or radiotherapy treatment
  • You’re pregnant
  • You have skin abrasions/infection, cuts, or open wounds
  • You have inflammation – where the skin is hot, red, and sore
  • You have a problem with your liver or kidneys


FAQ About Therapeutic Massage

FAQs About Therapeutic Massage

What Happens During A Therapeutic Massage?

When you book a therapeutic massage, your therapist will run through a consultation with you first to check whether you have any of the contraindications listed above. Next, they will ask you questions about what you're hoping to get out of the massage and ask you to pinpoint any areas of pain or stiffness that you have. Then they’ll leave the room while you underdress and cover yourself with a towel – before coming back to begin the massage.

Do I need to wear anything special?

No, you can wear your everyday clothes to attend the appointment.

How long does a therapeutic massage last?

Because we focus on a specific area, the sessions tend to be up to 30 minutes to give the client relief to neck, back, or a specific joint or muscle area.  This session may include a variety of techniques like fascial release or cupping as well, which is done by a therapeutic massage specialist and not found in traditional spa settings.

Does therapeutic massage have any side effects?

You may feel a little more tired after a massage. This increase in tiredness can last from a couple of hours to a couple of days, depending on how stressed and tense you were before you had the massage. You may also need to go to the toilet more often for a couple of hours afterward. This increase in urination happens because of the increased blood and oxygen flow and lymphatic drainage.

We offer all new patients a free consultation, so you can find out whether therapeutic massage is right for you. You can do this online, on the telephone or in person at our Encinitas office. The choice is yours.

Book yours now!

Dawn Andalon, DPT, MTC, CPI

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