Medical Massage Therapy

Over the past few years, medical massage therapy has been discussed among practitioners and educators, as to what best defines this therapy. It is usually agreed that it is massage for those within a medical facility, and/or massage for those who are experiencing specific medical issues associated with disease, treatment or recovery.

Some in massage education believe there should be a minimum of a college degree, and many of hours of anatomy and physiology training beyond the degree.

Others believe, no matter how many hours of anatomy and physiology training, in-depth medical massage training is learned over time in medical settings, as specific medical issues are addressed during treatment.

For the most part, however, training programs teach students the medical approach to different common modalities like sports massage, pregnancy massage, Swedish, Hot stone and Hydrotherapy, enabling them to work in the hospital setting.

Many therapists who work in medical settings, think that if they address a pain syndrome or medical problem during the treatment, and the therapy is not relaxation, it is considered "medical" massage.

No matter how you see this therapy, the fact remains that massage is being used more and more as a healing therapy in many different medical settings.

In the hospital setting, this therapy is often used to help alleviate common pain issues and circulation problems, as well as help ease the pain associated with many chronic conditions.

From oncology massage in cancer treatment centers, to delivery rooms in many hospitals across the world, medical massage therapy is being used to help patients with painful medical problems, and is being seen by doctors and nurses as a way help patients relax and heal.

In addition, a growing number of doctors, physical therapists, and chiropractors are referring their patients to massage therapists for treatment, which means that therapists are proving (via "word of mouth" of already established patients) that their techniques in massage can help a patient in the healing process.

Although many medical conditions are very complex, with a little education of common medical issues, any kind of massage or modality can be incorporated into the medical setting to make a positive difference in a patient's health and well-being.

Muscle Energy Techniques Medical Massage Video 2 DVD Set - Volume 1 Pelvis Sacrum & Lumbar Back, Volume 2 Cervical Neck, Thoracic Spine & Ribs teaches massage approaches for different upper body clinical situations, as well as different medical conditions and how massage can affect the healing.

This is a clip of that DVD:

Maybe it's the interaction between the massage therapist and the patient that truly makes the difference in the use of massage in medical situations anyway!

There are many different massage therapy benefits for various pain syndromes and medical conditions that people experience, but the difference comes when the therapist has the knowledge, as well as the compassion, to help patients through a difficult time in their lives.

Schools with Specialized Medical Massage Training

  • Daymar College - in Kentucky and Ohio
  • Blue Heron Academy - in Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Body Therapy Institute - Siler City, North Carolina (classes provided by Ralph Stephens, LMT)
  • The Louisville School of Massage - Louisville, KY

Continuing Education Providers in Medical Massage

  • James Waslaski - www.orthomassage.net
  • Boris Prilutsky - www.medicalmassage-edu.com
  • David Morin - www.therapyedu.net

Medical massage therapy involves learning an outcome-based type of bodywork, in order to treat specific patient medical problems, often under the supervision of a primary care physician, and often with a therapist who has a strong background in pathology and an understanding of the process of disease, illness, or surgical recovery.


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Go back to Massage Techniques from Medical Massage Therapy


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