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Medical massage is outcome-based massage, primarily the application of a specific treatment targeted to the specific problem(s) the patient presents with a diagnosis and are administered after a thorough assessment/evaluation by the medical massage therapist with specific outcomes being the basis for treatment.
Massage has been considered to be 'medical massage, since the mid 1800s. In 1886, William Murrell, an English Physician wrote a book Massage as a Mode of Treatment. In 1902, Douglas Graham, MD of Boston Massachusetts wrote Manual Therapeutics, A Treatise on Massage which focuses on the treatment of specific diseases and disorders by the method of massage. In During the nineteenth century, massage in Europe was described in the medical literature and was taught at institutions and also offered by lay practitioners. In Russia, M.Y. Mudrov, MD used massage and movement exercises in his medical practice with adults and later applied it to the development of children. Professor Silas Weir Mitchell, (1829-1914) was a neurologist in Philadelphia, PA in the US was thought to be the first to bring massage to the attention of the US Medical Community. In 1985, Dr Harvey Kellogg published the classic textbook The Art of Massage,Its Physiological Effects and Therapeutic Actions. [The History of Massage by Robert Calvert, 2002]
Medical Massage has been popular in Russia since the late 1700.
Until 1997, "Medical Massage" was referred to as "Massage Therapy" or Treatment Massage. Since then, the term "medical massage" has gained in popularity.. Prior to this time, several people helped advance massage to a medical level, but the term first gained popularity with the public in America after Pete Spairring, owner of Cedar River Medical Massage(1997), put "medical" in his business name on a main street corner in Renton, WA and the term "medical massage" started gaining popularity. He used the term medical massage with the intent of lifting massage therapy to a higher standard and to improve outcomes for clients. He also had the intent of making it easy for patients to distinguish between practitioners which did massage as a treatment, not just for relaxation. Relaxation massage does have many medical benefits but should not be confused with medical massage unless it is prescribed for stress relief or hypertension. According to Cedar River Medical Massage, until a specific symptom is treated with a specific set of procedures to bring about a specific outcome, then massage is not "medical massage".Cedar River Medical Massage
The American Medical Massage Association (1998) and The United States Medical Massage Association (1999) followed with similar goals of lifting the profession to higher standards and, in turn, giving patients a better outcome. The AMMA has worked [according to whom?] with the standard medical community to massage therapy into the mainstream; they have done this through a board of advisors that includes massage therapists, physicians, chiropractors etc.
The term medical massage has grown in popularity because of its unique ability to bring massage therapy into the mainstream and present massage therapy in a positive way to doctors. More good massage therapists are raising their education levels and integrating the term medical massage into their routines. Massage therapists can bill for massage as long as they are licensed in massage therapy and are able to show improvement in the condition of the patient/client.
The term medical massage was birthed out of:
Medical massage is useful in addressing conditions such as:
Any massage therapist can claim to be a medical massage therapist. Massage customers should evaluate the training that their therapists has received to make sure the therapists are qualified to treat specific conditions. Washington State is one of the only states that mandates that Massage Therapists be allowed to be contracted providers with health insurance companies. Currently, the Affordable Healthcare Act of 2010 does make provisions for every type of provider to be covered in insurance plans. It is possible that massage will be covered by insurance under this new Act. The Affordable Healthcare Act and the Massage Profession