Massage is one of the oldest healing arts. Dating back thousands of years, it has been documented in ancient writings from China, Japan, Egypt, Greece, Rome and Arabic nations. It is described today as the manipulation of soft tissues - muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia, and skin - by the fingertips, hands, fists, elbows and sometimes feet.
There are more than 250 different kinds of massage. The most common areSwedish (focuses on skin and superficial layers of muscle), Deep Tissue(targets sub-layers of musculature and fascia), and Myofascial Release (targets the fascia that surrounds the soft tissues). Additional modalities offered at the University of Maryland Center for Health and Healing include several with clinical applications: Craniosacral Therapy (a gentle touch therapy which reduces biomechanical and soft tissue stressors on the Central Nervous System – brain and cranial nerves, spinal cord and root nerves, and flow of cerebral-spinal fluid), Lymph Drainage Therapy (a very light touch therapy which improves efficiency of the lymphatic system in reducing inflammation, cleansing of lymph fluid, and immune response), Oncology Massage (advanced applications to support people living with cancer from diagnosis through treatment and recovery), and Pre-natal and Post-partum Massage (care through the childbearing year).
Clinical Massage Therapy at the Center for Integrative Health & Healing
A clinical massage therapy session begins with an assessment of your medical/physical conditions. Based on this assessment, a plan is developed using one or more clinical modalities. The plan is designed for what your body needs, the diagnosed conditions you are experiencing, and treatments that you are undergoing, including specific symptoms as well as side-effects of treatments, and each individual session will also address your goals for the massage that day.
Since no two clinical massage plans or massage sessions are alike, your therapist will begin each session by talking to you about your desired outcomes for the session and briefly reviewing your medical history to tailor you plan and sessions to your present conditions and needs. The massage therapist will recommend and discuss which types of massage and bodywork may serve you best, and work closely with your other practitioners at the Center to ensure the massage and bodywork plan integrates into your overall care plan for the best results for you.
A gentle oil or lotion is typically used with Swedish, Deep Tissue and Orthopedic techniques. Myofascial Release and Lymph Drainage Therapy generally do involve disrobing, but are done with dry skin, no oil or lotion. Craniosacral therapy does not require disrobing or the use of oils or lotions. Sessions may include multiple modalities to accomplish multiple goals, or a series of sessions may sequence modalities by prioritizing goals.
If you’re interested in basic stress management, we can do that, too! An hour session of typical relaxation massage, generally addresses the back, neck, shoulders, arms/hands and legs/feet. The percentage of time on each varies based on your needs and preferences. If you prefer to not have a certain area worked or would like an entire session to be spent on a particular area, indicate that to your therapist at the beginning of the session. Your preferences are important and a top priority for us, whether you’re coming for stress management or clinical massage therapy!
Current research indicates that massage has shown effectiveness in:
- Reducing pain
- Reducing headache severity and frequency
- Reducing muscle soreness
- Reducing post-operative inflammation
- Lowering blood pressure
- Boosting the body’s immune system functioning
- Decreasing pain and fatigue in cancer patients
- Decreasing the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome
- Lessening depression and anxiety
- and much more!
Consequently, we recommend clinical massage for conditions such as:
- Migraines and headaches
- Acute and chronic pain
- Stress and tension related disorders
- Motor-coordination impairments
- Brain and spinal cord injuries
- Central Nervous System disorders
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Chronic Inflammation and Arthritis
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Orthopedic conditions
- Edemas and chronic swelling
- Voluntary and involuntary muscle hypertonus conditions
- Scar reduction and mobilization
- Immune system and auto-immune conditions
- Cancer care
- Sensory processing concerns
- Autism Spectrum
Center for Integrative Medicine Clinic
University of Maryland Rehabilitation and Orthopaedic Institute
2200 Kernan Drive
Baltimore, MD 21207
For more information, please call the clinic at 410.448.6361.