Therapeutic massage is 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 Rejuvenations, our massage therapists use 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.
Deep tissue/therapeutic massage uses a variety of modalities to achieve the goal, including (but not limited to) Swedish, trigger point, and myofascial techniques.
Because the therapist is working so deeply, it is not uncommon to feel a little sore after the massage, and in some cases to experience bruising. Often the therapist won’t know if they’re working too deep unless you say something. Open communication is critical. Every day your body is different, so what feels good one day may hurt the next. And, what one person calls deep tissue another will call light. The most important thing is that you feel comfortable during your massage.
Most people do well on a monthly schedule for their therapeutic massage, but how often you should do it depends on what is going on with you physically and your budget. We often see clients who come in weekly for a few months to address a specific problem, and then switch to a monthly schedule.
What we do know is that once or twice a year is not frequent enough for you to see the long-term, positive benefits of incorporating massage therapy into your wellness routine. To see sustained benefit, six weeks is really the maximum amount of time you should go between massages.