What is a medical massage?

If you are having a specific issue, such as nerve compression on the low back or another chronic physical or health-related ailment, your doctor may prescribe you a “medical massage.” 


While you will still be getting a massage, similar to what you’d receive in a spa, a medical massage has a difference focus than spa massages. The sole purpose of a medical massage is not to ensure that you are relaxed, but to help you resolve or heal a certain medical issue, such as a soft tissue injury. They will also be held in a clinical setting, instead of at a spa. 


A Medical Massage requires a prescription


A medical massage therapist, while still a licensed massage therapist, has had additional training for how to best serve individuals with certain injuries/needs. They will be able to expertly address your specific issue with a variety of techniques to target your healing and recovery.


A medical massage therapist will only work off your doctor’s prescription. They cannot diagnose specific conditions, but if, during the course of your session, they discover other issues, they can confer further with your doctor. Here at Malibu Medical Center, our medical massage therapists can confer directly with Dr. Lisa Benya. When both your massage therapist and doctor can work together, you benefit. 


A medical massage works well for soft tissue injuries or for addressing issues of chronic pain, especially in individuals with arthritis, sciatica, or other back or neck problems. They can also help with repetitive stress issues, such as from sitting or standing in the same position every day, migraines or cluster headaches, complications from whiplash, temporomandibular joint or temporomandibular disorder, sprains, and post-surgical scar tissue.


It can also help improve blood circulation, recovery for professional athletes, and drainage of the body’s lymphatic system. You can book an appointment at our office for Lymph Drainage here.


A medical massage can also help those with psychological issues. Individuals recovering from drug or alcohol addiction or struggling with anxiety and depression will find a medical massage both relaxing and helpful for their overall well-being. 


Medical massages are part of a plan for wellness

Your doctor will likely prescribe a medical massage as part of an ongoing treatment plan. You may receive limitations, such as decreased activity, a list of certain exercises or stretches to do, medicines to take, such as muscle relaxers or anti-inflammatories. You may possibly also be prescribed other therapies like cupping, which increased blood flow to target areas. 


All of that may be a part of your treatment as well as a certain number of medical massage visits. 


You will then have follow-ups to ensure your progress is on track and there have been improvements.


Types of massage treatments

Your medical massage therapist will use several kinds of massage therapies to achieve a specific outcome. 


They may incorporate:

  • Swedish massage (gliding strokes to help relieve points of tension),
  • Sports massage (specifically focuses on improving circulation and reducing inflammation to help an individual’s muscles recover and heal),
  • Neuromuscular release (also called “trigger point therapy,” applies firm pressure to specific areas until they soften and relax),
  • Stretching or stretch therapy (helps improve range of motion and flexibility),
  • among others.


Benefits of medical massage therapy

A medical massage and its benefits will differ based on the condition being treated, but the benefits of a medical massage are many. 


They include:

  • Relieving compressed nerves,
  • Decreasing pain and inflammation,
  • Softening and relaxing tight muscles,
  • Improving circulation
  • Aiding digestion,
  • Increasing flexibility and range of motion, and
  • Helping to prevent future flare-ups. 


Effectiveness of medical massage therapy

Medical massage therapy is highly effective at reducing pain and increasing the rate of recovery in individuals with injuries. Soft-tissue damage, such as from strain, trauma, or repetitive use, makes up a large percentage of chronic pain conditions, and appropriate techniques of medical massage by a licensed medical massage therapist can greatly help.


Here at CURE Daily, we offer a range of individual massage therapies including medical massages. Dr. Lisa Benya may prescribe a medical massage as part of a treatment plan for your condition and one of our certified trained massage therapists can help get you back on the path to wellness. She will oversee your treatment and ensure the best quality care. 


You’re also welcome to book a massage if you were prescribed by a doctor outside of Malibu Medical Group. One of our certified massage therapists can work off the prescription you have from your own doctor, though partnering with Dr. Benya with Malibu Medical Group would be best. 

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