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Massage Therapy

What Is Massage Therapy?

  • Massage therapy is a broad term encompassing several different techniques.
  • The main objective of massage therapy is to relax a person and relieve muscle tension and knots.
  • Swedish, deep tissue, trigger point, and myofascial release are common forms of massage therapy.
  • Massage therapy has the potential to influence the body in many ways. When a person begins to relax and release muscular tension, there is easier access to a meditative state, lowered levels of stress, decreased pain, and an increased feeling of well-being.

What Is the Background of Massage Therapy?

  • Massage therapy is one of the oldest health care practices.
  • References to massage are found in Chinese medical texts that are 4,000 years old.
  • Modern scientific massage therapy was introduced in the United States in the 1850s. Its health benefits are just beginning to be investigated using Western methods of scientific inquiry.

What Are the Indications for Massage Therapy?

Massage therapy is often used for general relaxation. The Center is involved in ongoing research into the benefits of massage therapy for the following disorders:

  • Myofascial pain
  • Post-traumatic stress disorders
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ)
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Headache
  • Sciatica
  • Insomnia
  • Edema
  • Anxiety
  • Neck pain
  • Lower back pain

What Are the Contraindications for Massage Therapy?

  • Open skin lesions
  • Some types of cancer in which mobilization of lymph may contribute to metastases

​Contact Us

UPMC Center for Integrative Medicine
Shadyside Place
Suite 310
580 S. Aiken Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15232

For general information or to schedule an appointment, call 412-623-3023.


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