Visiting a Sarasota massage therapist offers many benefits, including better blood circulation, increased muscle flexibility, headache relief, and improved sleep. A massage can also reduce stress and tension, helping you relax!
Considering all these physical benefits, a client might wonder if a massage therapist is a medical specialist, similar to a physical therapist or chiropractor. While it’s vital that you discuss healthcare questions and concerns with a doctor, it’s helpful to note some details about massage therapists as compared to other professionals. You can then better appreciate why a massage might be just what you need for your health!
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Is a Massage Therapist a Medical Professional?
First note that a Sarasota massage therapist must be licensed by the state to practice legally. Incorrect massage procedures can result in injury, so a massage therapist needs training in body mechanics, anatomy, medical terminology, physiology, and similar studies. He or she also needs training in massage ethics!
Massage therapists in Florida typically need to meet one or more of the following requirements to qualify for a state license:
- Graduation from a state-approved school of massage.
- At least 500 clock hours of study (meaning the actual hours a student attends class or other instructional activities).
- Passing a state examination.
- Attending a ten-hour Florida Rules and Laws course.
While these requirements do not make massage therapists the equivalent of a medical doctor, these professionals are specialists in their field. A massage therapist will have some basic medical understanding of the body especially as related to muscle tension, headaches, poor posture, and similar conditions.
A medical massage especially will target certain areas of the body needing added flexibility or pain relief. A massage can even address specific conditions such as a frozen shoulder. A high-quality massage does more than just help you relax, as it can alleviate many serious physical concerns as well!
What Is the Difference Between Medical Massage and Massage Therapy?
A massage therapist working in a spa or similar setting typically concentrates on helping a patient relax, easing tension and even some pain and soreness. They might address minor complaints, such as lower back pain or sore shoulders.
Medical massage therapists have more advanced training and their work focuses on alleviating various healthcare concerns. This can include healing muscle or joint injuries, or improving a patient’s overall muscle function. Medical massage therapists often work in clinics, receive instructions from physicians for the type of massage a patient needs, and might be paid by a health insurance company.
What Is Massage Therapy Classified As?
A medical massage is typically considered integrative medicine. Integrative medicine or treatments refer to a healthcare approach that focuses on the entire person and not just one particular condition.
As an example, a doctor might prescribe a medical massage for a patient struggling with pain after surgery. The surgery addresses a health condition or injury, while massage improves blood circulation and helps muscles relax. In turn, a patient might better manage pain, feel less fatigued, and even sleep better, all of which assists with their overall healing!
What’s the Difference Between a Massage Therapist and a Physical Therapist?
While a medical massage therapist might address various health concerns, their first goal is to alleviate tension, increase flexibility, and help a client relax. Massage therapists focus on muscles and soft tissue of the body, including the skin.
Physical therapists typically have more knowledge of anatomy and physiology than massage therapists. These professionals help a patient recover from injuries, stroke, and other health concerns. They might also help a patient recover or increase overall mobility; for example, a patient who needs to relearn how to walk after a stroke might require a physical therapist.
As part of their work, physical therapists might administer certain types of massage, typically to help increase flexibility and encourage healing rather than for relaxation purposes. If you’re not sure which professional is right for addressing a specific health concern, consult with your doctor!
What’s the Difference Between a Massage Therapist and a Chiropractor?
Back pain is probably one of the most common reasons for clients to visit a massage therapist or a chiropractor! Knowing the difference between these two professionals can help you decide which might be right for your back issues.
The major difference between a chiropractor and massage therapist is that a chiropractor works to adjust hard tissue, meaning bones. A massage therapist works only on soft tissues, or your muscles and skin. Chiropractors also work to realign the spine so that your bones and nervous system are functioning optimally and working together as they should.
While both chiropractors and massage therapists offer unique services, note that they can work together for maximum results in many cases. For instance, if your back pain is caused by poor posture, a chiropractor can help realign your back and ensure proper posture. Massage therapy can then help relax overworked and taxed muscles, while alleviating pain.
Who Needs Massage Therapy in Sarasota?
Sarasota massage therapy is an excellent choice for everyone! A high-quality, professional massage can help you relax and sleep better, which often means increased energy during the day and fewer aches and pains overall.
Massage therapy is also helpful for anyone active, but especially for serious athletes or those who work in physically demanding fields. A high-quality massage can relax tense or overworked muscles, even encouraging faster healing after a workout, big game, or challenging day on the job.
A therapeutic massage is also an excellent choice if you spend several hours in the same position every day. Standing behind a counter or sitting at a desk for hours at a time can put added pressure and demands on various muscles, which might tense up and become inflexible. Massage can help those muscles relax, alleviating stiffness and pain.
Someone suffering with insomnia or chronic headaches might also find regular massages helpful. A quality massage is also a perfect “treat” for anyone, no matter your overall health concerns! To find out more about what a massage can do for you, why not book an appointment with a Sarasota massage therapist, so you can experience the benefits first hand.
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