There are two different types of massage available in different settings: Rehabilitate and Recreational Massage.
Rehabilitate Massage: This type of massage is focussed on medical treatment for pain. You can find this medical massage therapy in clinical settings such as pain treatment clinics, sports clinics, hospitals and offices of the medical community. This type of massage can also be called medical massage, clinical massage or therapeutic massage.
Recreational Massage: Most individuals enjoy the relaxation that results from a massage, even if they are not suffering from chronic pain. Recreational massages can be found in spas, at wellness centers, cruise ships and in many holiday resorts.
On the surface, the two types of massages may seem very similar, but in fact, they are very different.
- Focus of the Treatment: Medical massage therapy focusses on patient-specific therapeutic goals while recreational massage is more generic. Medical massage therapy is often just one part of an entire treatment regime for many of the clients. It is usually combined with physical therapy, injections, and other techniques. The focus is on functional outcomes such as less pain, or more mobility. The focus of recreational massage is on patient satisfaction.
- Type of Massage Technique: In a spa, you will delight in a Swedish massage that will relax you. In a clinic setting, there are more specific techniques used for clinical massages such as Trigger Point Therapy, or Myofascial Release.
- Length of Treatment: Your medical massage treatments are goal oriented. Your visits will follow a schedule for treatment and will continue until you reach your goal. Spa massage is much more haphazard.
- Record Keeping: In a spa setting, the massage therapist will record basic information such as the time and place of the session. In medical massage therapy, it is essential to document detailed information about the progress of the patient. For example, the range of motion may be documented with each session. The medical records are then shared with the pertinent pain physician. There is a team approach for treatment in most clinical settings.
How Effective is Medical Massage Therapy?
There have been a significant number of studies about the benefits of massage for a variety of conditions including pain, cancer, mental health, fibromyalgia, headaches, HIV/AIDS, and infant care. The conclusion is that massage can be beneficial especially if the treatments are ongoing.
Who Are Medical Message Therapists?
Both recreational massage workers and medical massage therapists have completed a degree or diploma program that includes such areas of study as Anatomy and Physiology, Principles of Medical Message Therapy, Kinesiology, Hydrotherapy, Pathology, Ethics, and Business practices as well as engaging in clinical practicums.
The basic training for both recreational and therapeutic massage therapy is similar, but a recreational massage practitioner will not be working in a clinical setting. Additional specified education is required for medical massage therapists.
Medical massage therapists usually work in combination with a pain doctor to alleviate pain in a specific area of concern. Consult with a pain doctor in New York pain doctor in New Jersey to find a qualified therapist to assist you with your treatment.
What are the Regulations for Medical Massage Therapy?
The American Medical Massage Association (AMMA) has developed an exam for certification of therapists, but there is no regulation to acquire this accreditation before practicing massage. However medical massage therapists in a clinical setting will have passed this exam and additional continuing education courses as well.
It is essential for the client to inquire about the level of education before undergoing treatment for medical reasons.
Is Medical Massage Therapy Eligible for Health Insurance Reimbursement?
Only some states have confirmed that it is eligible for health insurance. The Affordable Care Act does not name medical massage specifically, but it does make provisions for massage. However, the situation is constantly changing. Contact your insurance provider to learn about your coverage.
Where Can I Find a Medical Massage Therapist?
- Recreational and rehabilitative or medical massage are very different.
- Medical massage therapists are better trained, use different massage techniques, document your progress and work as a team member with your doctor to alleviate your pain.
- Medical massage therapists work in pain treatment clinics, hospitals, sports clinics and other treatment settings.
- Patients report that medical massage is effective in relieving pain, discomfort, and anxiety.
- Medical massage treatments may be covered under your insurance policy.