What Type of Massage Patient Are You?


Would therapeutic massage benefit you?

Short answer, yes!

Anyone, really, would benefit from a massage in today’s hustle-and-bustle, technology-based, stressful world. Fortunately, the therapists at APD Integrative Medicine specialize in multiple modalities to meet the needs of clients.

People with Chronic Pain

If you’ve done everything you possibly can to relieve chronic pain, maybe it is time to try massage.

“Chronic pain can be associated with limited mobility or muscle tension because of repetitive stress,” said Matthew Harrington, massage therapist at Integrated Medicine at APD. “Over time, you won’t be able to move as much and, when you do, it is painful. Massage can increase the range of motion.”

Chronic pain doesn’t just happen after an injury; it also includes long-term conditions such as fibromyalgia, arthritis, nerve damage, and migraines.

Pre- or Post-Operative Patients

If you’re going in for surgery, you might be a bit stressed. Massage can relieve some of that anxiety and increase circulation before surgery, which will help ensure blood and oxygen are reaching vital organs.

After surgery, massage will help the body heal. Harrington provides an example: “If a client has had knee surgery, I’ll start with therapeutic massage on the surrounding areas: hips, calves, ankles and feet. Once you can get those areas to relax, there’s less tension on that knee and it will heal cleaner.”

High-Stress Daily Living

Do you feel the tension in your shoulders at the end of the work day? Relaxation massage therapy can reduce stress, anxiety, and muscle tension.

“We live in a high-stress society. We’re always in our heads. Even 10 to 20 minutes of massage can bring you back into your body, help re-root yourself, and start self-healing,” said Harrington.

He points to cortisol (the stress hormone) as the source of anxiety, poor sleep, and depression. “Massage can increase serotonin and dopamine levels, providing that ‘win-a-game’ feeling, and decrease cortisol. By balancing out hormones, massage can have far reaching health benefits,” he said.


“A massage before activity can help athletes reach their peak performance. It increases the productivity of muscles, tendons, and joints,” said Harrington.

If there’s an injury or you overdo it in exercise, massage can help reduce recovery time.

Expecting Mothers

Prenatal massage reduces pain and anxiety to bring peace and comfort to expecting mothers.

“Massage ease tension and balance the changes happening in the body,” said Nancy Rizner, a massage therapist at Integrative Medicine at APD. “Even if it is a just a hand or foot massage, it will help with the anxiety new moms might feel.”


Massage can help Veterans with PTSD, chronic pain, anxiety, depression, and insomnia.

“Human touch can be great, but it can also trigger trauma,” said Harrington. “Veterans need a light touch so they can relax, both mentally and physically.”

Rizner, who combines Eastern philosophies with Swedish massage techniques, notes veterans respond well to her gentle, full-body technique. “Craniosacral massage is helpful for those with difficult pain, nerve pain, or chronic muscle tension,” she said.