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tcm-shanghai  >  Blog   >  Medical Massage v. Relaxing Massage

Medical Massage v. Relaxing Massage

There are many spas and health centers in Shanghai offering relaxing massages, which in skilled hands can provide relief from the stresses and strains of daily life and a chance to pamper yourself and unwind. Apart from feeling great, a good relaxing massage have many health benefits which shouldn’t be underestimated, such as relieving minor aches and strains and giving the body a bit of much needed care. A relaxing massage can prepare you to face the busy world again with new energy.

When is medical massage helpful?

Whereas a relaxing massage is primarily concerned with relaxing the body, a medical massage therapist is primarily concerned with restoring health. Usually a person consults a medical massage therapist when they have a particular injury or health concern. Medical massage can help with a wide variety of muscular skeletal conditions such as low back pain, repetitive strain injuries or frozen shoulder.

While it is extremely effective in rehabilitation and pain management, it can also help play a supportive role in the treatment of a variety of health conditions, working in conjunction with other health professionals and treatments. Medical massage is especially useful in difficult-to-treat chronic health conditions, which have previously been unresponsive to just one modality of treatment.

The Foundations of Medical Massage

Medical massage applies a detailed understanding of applied biomechanics, functional anatomy, physiology and the concept of health. This vital concept of health draws from both eastern and western medicine to provide a unique and balanced approach to pain and health management. By understanding the relationship between the muscular skeletal system and central nervous system with the body’s vital functions, such as the cardio-respiratory system, immune system and digestive system, we can see how dysfunction or imbalance in one can mirror or cause suboptimal health/dysfunction in the other.

Medical Massage Techniques

Medical massage uses a wide variety of techniques to provide care and support. With the awareness that most people are in pain or distress, techniques are usually gentle and slow. Techniques used in each treatment are tailored to suit the individual’s body type, general health, personality and nature of condition but typically involve a combination of gentle, massage, articulation, stretching and mobilization.

Understanding the Body: Key to Treating (and Preventing) Chronic Conditions

The most important aspect of medical massage is its understanding of the philosophy of vital health, on which all medical message techniques have their foundations. Over a person’s lifetime, injuries and illnesses are a natural part of life. Usually the body’s self-healing ability takes care of these problems satisfactorily with no medical intervention and without a person even noticing. However, sometimes this fails to happen. In the consultation, a medical message therapist attempts to understand why this failure has happened and seeks not only to try to reduce pain and restore health, but also seeks to restore this self-healing mechanism back to the body.

This is why medical massage is particularly effective at treating chronic health problems, as it strives to release chronic stress patterns of dysfunction which have built up in the body. Releasing these patterns serves to restore the body’s vital self-healing capacity; improve mobility, alignment, posture and flow of energy through the body; and boost long-term physical and emotional wellbeing. Medical massage is also effective in treating acute conditions/injuries to prevent chronic dysfunction.

Medical massage has been likened to “muscular skeletal (or manual therapy) psychology”. This is because, much like psychology’s approach to emotional healing, it doesn’t force a change that the body is unable or unwilling to make. Rather, it seeks to make lasting changes that only the body is able to make at a particular time.

With medical massage, many patients find relief from long-standing pain and chronic health conditions, and are better able to heal in conjunction with other medical treatments.

Contact Body & Soul to make a consultation appointment with Matthew Stevens and to discuss how medical massage could benefit you by clicking here.

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Body & Soul is your solution for wellness in Shanghai, with over 13 years successfully treating patients with a holistic blend of TCM and Western therapies. We also offer Shanghai’s largest team of multi-disciplinary pain management and rehabilitation experts.