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Why Choose Us

What is a Certified Medical Massage Practitioner?

The American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) reports 50% of Americans seek massage therapy for health reasons such as pain management and to treat specific health conditions. As more people are recognizing the health benefits of massage it is no longer just a time to relax. It’s a time to heal.

Choosing a Certified Medical Massage Practitioner is an important step to improving your overall health. If you’ve experienced an injury, have chronic pain, or are recovering from an illness for which your doctor prescribes massage therapy, don’t just go to any run-of-the-mill spa or massage therapist. You’ll want to look for some specific qualifications.

Understanding Specific Medical Concerns

Whether your physician prescribed massage or you have made the decision to use it as a method to treat your symptoms, be sure that you understand the basic physiology and underlying causes. Then, be sure to interview potential therapists and assess their understanding of your particular needs.
Typically, a Certified Medical Massage Practitioner will have, and be able to demonstrate, an advanced understanding of anatomy, bone structure, kinesiology and physiology. Their understanding of musculoskeletal and medical terminology enables them to develop a treatment plan that is based on your doctor’s diagnosis or your underlying medical condition. They understand a doctor’s orthopedic assessment, terminology and recommended treatment protocols, and are trained to identify contraindications and pathologies.

Setting Expectations for Medical Massage

Unlike traditional therapeutic massage, where goals are often simply to relax tense muscles or release tension, medical massage treatment often focuses on more specific results designed to heal and prevent future harm or injury. Your medical massage therapy plan may focus primarily on relieving ischemia, improving atrophy, releasing adhesions and old scar tissue, alleviating nerve compression, decreasing inflammation and/or deactivating trigger points, which all may be responsible for chronic pain.

Be sure that you have a plan that outlines the specific results you want to achieve. While, with any medical service, there is never a 100 percent guarantee of success, a plan will help you and your therapist remain focused on your goals, especially if you encounter unexpected hurdles along the way. The road to recovery sometimes takes an unexpected turn and soft tissue injuries can take a long time to heal. Understanding this, in relationship to your health plan, will help you maintain confidence in your treatment and your Practitioner.

Differences Between Massage Approaches

While traditional therapeutic massage should not be underrated as a very effective method for improving overall health and well-being, it is important to make a wise choice between wellness-based or medical-based massage therapy when embarking on a journey toward improved health. Here are some basic differences between the two to help you make an informed decision.

Medical Massage works from a scientific paradigm and focuses on solving specific issues over a time period with goals and long term result-based treatments that will evolve as your treatment plan continues. Traditional wellness massage therapy is more focused on lessening client’s symptoms at the current appointment and providing nurturing. Because we strongly believe in the benefits of both types and have many different clients with varied needs, we provide both types of therapies at Body Balance Massage & Spa.

* Wellness massage focuses on a few primary treatment techniques, including Reiki, reflexology and Swedish. The techniques commonly used by Certified Medical Massage Practitioners in each session include deep tissue, lymphatic, myofascial, cross-fiber friction, trigger point therapy, cupping, TENS unit, and numerous others.

* Documentation of medical massage therapy is typically more extensive than with wellness therapy, providing a thorough record of treatment and results that a patient can reference when visiting their doctor or other medical practitioners.

* Medical Massage Therapy is typically prescribed by a Doctor and the Certified Medical Massage Practitioner is working on specific goals for specific areas of your body. Wellness Massage Therapists are more likely to perform full body massages for their clients for overall health benefits.

At Body Balance Massage & Spa we are the only Certified Medical Massage Practitioners within the Dubuque area and take this responsibility very seriously. We have been extensively trained in creating treatment plans for our clients with chronic, as well as acute conditions. In addition, we recognize the numerous benefits of non-medical massage so we are always able to combine both into one session if your treatment is not doctor prescribed. Body Balance Massage & Spa is set up as a medical office so we are able to accept all Health Savings Account cards, as well as provide coded billing invoices for you to submit to your health insurance company for reimbursement (if they cover massage therapy in your benefits). Call/text/message today to set up your first treatment and see why we have a loyal base of clients who have been with us for years. ~ SindiJesse