What is Medical Massage?

Onondaga School of Therapeutic Massage takes pride in being a school that provides students a well-balanced curriculum to provide student’s exposure to a multitude of modalities. One of
the most unique of those modalities is. Massage therapy provides many different career opportunities, and we strive to train our students to be ready for anything. Medical massage continues to increase in popularity and can provide job security for massage therapists for many years to come.

What is Medical Massage?

Medical massage is any massage treatments that are performed to alleviate conditions that have been diagnosed and prescribed by a physician. An example of this would be if someone was seeing a psychiatrist for anxiety, and that psychiatrist wrote a prescription for massage to reduce stress in their patient. The massage therapist could then perform massage services to treat a specific condition. Medical massage therapists can use a variety of modalities or techniques during the treatment, but the focus remains on treating the prescribed condition. Medical massage sessions are also often shorter than relaxation massage, taking as little as 15 minutes, which can help clients save both time and money.

What Can Massage Therapists Treat?

Anyone that works in a trade or profession, especially in the medical world, has what is called a “scope of practice.” A scope of practice describes all the things a professional can do. For example, providing relaxing massage, deep tissue massage, and therapeutic massage with a prescription are all things that are within a massage therapist’s scope of practice. Massage therapists, however, cannot diagnose illness or injury, administer medication, or write prescriptions. This is why massage therapists and medical professionals often work together to provide the best healing solutions for their clients. A doctor, chiropractor, or other licensed medical professional can write a prescription for massage, and then a massage therapist can give the prescribed treatments to help heal patients.

Why is a Prescription Necessary For Medical Massage?

A prescription is needed for medical massage to protect everyone involved. The patient needs the prescription so that they can show that their doctor approves of the treatments. Massage therapists need the prescription because it protects them from from negative consequences of treating something that wasn’t approved by a medical doctor. It helps protect the massage therapist in case the client’s symptoms do not improve or worsen, and it can help them preserve their massage therapy license.

What Types of Massage Are Considered Medical Massage?

All types of massage can be considered therapeutic when used by a trained massage therapist as directed by a medical professional. This means that medical massage isn’t limited to any types of techniques or treatments. As long as the massage therapist has a prescription to treat the patient, it counts as medical massage.

What Are Common Medical Massage Treatments?

Medical massage therapists can work in nearly any medical field or specialty. Here are just a few of the medical professionals they can perform massage for:

  • Chiropractor’s offices
  • Physical therapist offices
  • Orthopedics offices
  • Sports medicine & rehabilitation centers
  • Senior care/ residence centers
  • Psychiatric care facilities
  • Addiction treatment centers
  • and many more

These facilities can prescribe massage as a treatment to their patients, so massage therapists can choose the exact setting they want to work in utilizing their massage training. Some of these offices and centers will hire their own massage therapists to work in-house because of the demand for massage services. Massage therapists even have the option of switching between medical massage specializations at any time, because their license allows them to perform massage for any specification.

Learn Massage With OSTM

Onondaga School of Massage Therapy can help you get your start in a flexible and fulfilling career as a professional massage therapist. If you’ve always had a passion for helping other people and want to work in a medical setting, massage therapy can give you the freedom you’re looking for. Learn about our different massage therapy programs and how they can help you prepare for your career. Schedule a tour to see what we’re all about, or contact our admissions staff at our Syracuse or Rochester locations to learn more today!


We Are Here To Answer Your Questions!

Our campus is open during COVID. We’re scheduling virtual and on campus tours to answer any questions you may have, and to help you learn about your potential future in massage therapy. Please complete a request for information, or give us a call to learn more.