Therapeutic Massage vs. Massage Therapy

While often used synonymously, massage therapy is different than therapeutic massage. Massage therapy uses light to medium touch, always includes oil or lotion, and is often found in spa settings. (At Gifts of Healing, we call this type of massage the "fluff and buff.") 

Therapeutic massage helps your body heal itself. While relaxation and stress relief are often a result of therapeutic massage, they are not the primary goal. Instead, therapeutic massage works to relieve pain in the body such as a stiff neck, sore back, or chronic tension headaches.

Therapeutic massage techniques may or may not use oils or lotions. A session may include stretching, specific movement of joints, neuromuscular re-education, and techniques that relieve tension in the fascia.

Everyone benefits from therapeutic massage

Therapeutic massage encompasses a wide number of massage styles, ensuring that one or more will work for you. Therapeutic massage benefits:

  • Office workers who spend their days hunched over a computer keyboard

  • Those with high-pressure jobs like business executives, doctors, and lawyers

  • People suffering with migraines, arthritis, and fibromyalgia

  • People who are on their feet all day like nurses, surgeons, chefs, and servers

  • Athletes of all kinds, from runners to golfers to triathletes

  • Special populations like senior citizens, pregnant women, and new mothers

  • Physical laborers like construction workers and mechanics

I’ve had stress headaches for years. My regular massage therapist went out on maternity leave and a friend recommended Gifts of Healing. I thought I would see Gailey on a temporary basis. That was over a year ago!

Since I started seeing Gailey, I can count the number of stress headaches I’ve had on one hand. I used to get them at least once a week and sometimes several days in a row. Gailey has a way of finding your problem areas and getting you the relief that you need. I would highly recommend her to anyone. She’s the best!
— Patty, Bloomington, MN


What to expect from a therapeutic massage session at Gifts of Healing

When you arrive, you will complete a brief health history and Gailey will ask you questions to understand your massage needs. Your massage will take place in a private massage room. You will be instructed on how to get on the massage table and then you will disrobe to your level of comfort.

A few minutes later, Gailey will knock on the door to check if you are ready to begin. If so, she will enter the room and begin the massage. Throughout the session you will be covered with a sheet and blanket to maintain your privacy. Gailey will work on one area of your body at a time, covering each area before moving to another.

At the end of the massage, Gailey will let you know that the massage is over and will leave the room. You will get up from the table slowly, get dressed, and meet Gailey in the lobby.