What is Massage Therapy?

Massage Therapy is when a licensed therapist uses hands-on gliding techniques to move body tissues (mostly muscles) for a specific purpose. These purposes range from relaxation, pain reduction, lymphatic drainage, & improve flexibility just to name a few.

There are endless types of massages & massage techniques a therapist may use. The key to a good massage is knowing how to communicate with your therapist so they know your goals for the session. (Commonly used:)

  • Swedish: 1, 2

  • Deep Tissue: 1, 2

  • Rolfing (deep tissue): 1

  • Myofascial Release (deep tissue): 1

  • Lymphatic Drainage : 1, 2

  • Hot Stone (often an add on to Swedish): 1

The benefits of a massage range from immediate pain & tension relief to long-term tissue flexibility, & reduced anxiety & depression. Massages long-term effects are only attainable when massage becomes part of your wellness routine. Your therapist can help you identify the best protocol for your needs.

For simplicity, a massage every 2 weeks can help manage life's stress & anxiety, decrease pain & tension, & improve your range of motion.

You don't have to take my word for it!

Evidence from a systematic review shows "60-min weekly massage might be optimal for pain reduction and improvement of functional outcomes in those with osteoarthritis of the knee"(1). From another systematic review there is clear evidence supporting the efficacy of massage therapy & should be offered to a patient/client for pain management (2). Don't be afraid to take charge of your health & get the quality care you deserve.


  1. Nelson NL, Churilla JR. Massage Therapy for Pain and Function in Patients With Arthritis: A Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials. Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2017 Sep;96(9):665-672. doi: 10.1097/PHM.0000000000000712. PMID: 28177937.

  2. Cindy Crawford, BA, Courtney Boyd, MA, Charmagne F Paat, BS, Ashley Price, BS, Lea Xenakis, MPA, EunMee Yang, MA, Weimin Zhang, PhD, Evidence for Massage Therapy (EMT) Working Group, The Impact of Massage Therapy on Function in Pain Populations—A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials: Part I, Patients Experiencing Pain in the General Population, Pain Medicine, Volume 17, Issue 7, July 2016, Pages 1353–1375, https://doi-org.ezproxy-v.musc.edu/10.1093/pm/pnw099