Therapeutic massage therapy is different from the non-therapeutic (relaxation) massage that one might receive at a spa or similar setting. Relaxation massage focuses on more immediate comfort and tends to be patient passive, leading to relatively short-lived benefits.
The therapeutic massage offered by the Osher Clinic relaxes the patient, but, more importantly, aims to improve the patient’s overall health. Therapeutic massage changes soft-tissue structure in order to improve function and circulation, which can lead to significant long-term benefits. The patient is also active in his or her self-care, contributing to the greater effect our type of massage tends to produce.
What are the benefits of therapeutic massage?
Therapeutic massage can help improve joint flexibility, relieve lower-back pain, and stimulate the release of endorphins — the body’s natural painkiller. Since therapeutic massage manipulates the body’s soft tissue, it can sometimes stimulate the body’s natural lymph flow, thus improving the body’s natural immunity. When received soon after surgery, therapeutic massage can help reduce post-surgery swelling or adhesions. Your initial consultation with a licensed massage therapist will help us to more accurately predict the course your treatment may take.
Can anyone be treated with massage?
Although massage therapy is not recommended for certain conditions or certain regions of the body, the Osher Clinical Center massage therapists have the knowledge and experience to adapt treatment to almost any condition. By changing location, pressure and technique, benefits can still be attained without compromising the patient’s safety and comfort. Your massage therapist will be the best person to help you set reasonable expectations for your own specific recovery or improvement.
How long does a massage session take?
Our massage sessions generally take 1 to 1.5 hours, depending on the patient’s needs. The number and frequency of sessions will also vary according to the patient’s needs.
Who practices therapeutic massage at BWH and what are their specialties?
Below is a list of all the therapists at the Osher Center - all of whom are licensed to practice in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts - along with a brief description of their diverse disciplinary backgrounds.
Arthur Madore, LMT, specializes in Neuromuscular Therapy (NMT), a muscle-specific treatment that creates balance among muscle groups to correct postural strain patterns. The treatment is based not only on pain patterns, but also on an assessment of how a patient’s muscle tension is producing twists or other alignment problems. NMT is very effective for any soft tissue pain. Although Art practices what can be called deep tissue massage, he also blends in a tissue-relaxation approach called Positional Release Technique, which eliminates any trauma.
In addition to structural bodywork, Art is certified as a practitioner and teacher of Core Integration, a movement analysis and treatment therapy based on the Feldenkrais Method. Core Integration is a system of body awareness that allows the subject to track his or her core muscles around the pelvis during everyday activities such as sitting, standing, walking, running or lifting.
Art was certified as a therapeutic massage practitioner in 1994 for the St. John Method and was later certified as an instructor in 1996.
Thomas Jacobson, LMT, has professionally practiced and taught massage therapy, yoga, movement and integrative health care for over 25 years. He graduated from the New England Institute of Musculo-Skeletal Therapy in 1983, and is certified in Musculo-Skeletal Therapy (a form of Hoshino Therapy). Tom specializes in deep tissue/structural massage therapy, and body awareness therapy, a hatha yoga-based form of movement education which can be a powerful tool for moving with more ease and comfort.
Whom should I contact for more information or to set up an appointment?
To get more information about our therapeutic massage services or to set up an appointment with any of our licensed massage therapists - Art Madore or Tom Jacobson - please call the Osher Center at (617) 732-9700. The Osher Clinical Center is located in the Brigham and Women’s Ambulatory Care Center in Chestnut Hill.