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What is the difference between a Therapeutic Massage and relaxation massage?

Updated: Oct 15, 2019

Therapeutic Massage is designed to address a specific problem and create a positive outcome. For example, you may have shoulder pain and you want the pain decreased, and you want to be able to move your arm with decreased pain.

With this goal, the massage therapist will spend the majority of the time addressing this issue by using advanced techniques to help your arms move easier and to decrease your pain.

They may use deep tissue, trigger point, myofascial release, cupping and other advanced techniques to help with this concern. If you are suffering from an auto accident or job injury it is important that you get a therapeutic massage to ensure you are getting quality care.

Relaxation massage is designed to relax the entire body. For example, you had a stressful day and just want to relax your mind and body. With this goal in mind, the therapist will do a full body massage, working on each area for a short period of time in order to reach each area of your body to create relaxation. They may do a little deep tissue if you have a trouble area. For the most part, they will be using more swedish techniques to help relax you.

How do I find a therapeutic massage therapist?

There are organizations that help with finding qualified, licensed, and insured massage therapists. Association Bodywork Massage Professionals (ABMP) and American Massage Therapist (AMT) list their practitioners. These are the organizations that offer insurance so they guarantee their members are insured and licensed. Referrals from friends and co-workers is a good choice as well. You want to look for initials of LMT (licensed Massage Therapist) after their name to ensure they are licensed. You can also ask to see their license to show they are keeping up with current regulations. DORA, Department of Regulations Agency, has a list of Colorado licensed therapists as well. Healing Solutions Inc. specializes in therapeutic massage and is a great choice to get your therapeutic massage.

Relaxation massage is found at spas and other chain locations in your area like Massage Envy, Hand and Stone Massage, etc.

How to prepare yourself for a Therapeutic Massage

Preparing for your Therapeutic Massage can be very important in the way that your massage will help you in your overall well-being. Your pain management is important to us, and there are many ways that we can help you with this. The way that you prepare for your Therapeutic Massage can set the tone for your treatment and how you are able to continue to be throughout your healing process. To set yourself up for massage success, you’ll want to follow a couple of guidelines.

Wear clothing that is easy to manage, easy to slip in and out of, to your Therapeutic Massage appointment. It is important that you are able to comfortably get in and out of your clothing so your injury or pain is not aggravated. You will want maximum ease in doing so so that you are able to maximize your time in the massage itself.

You will want to either give yourself enough time to fill out intake paperwork when you arrive at your Therapeutic Massage appointment, or you are welcome to fill out your paperwork ahead of time. All of our intake forms can be found online at our website! Just download the form, print it out, and fill it out to have it when you arrive for your Therapeutic Massage.

Timing is important. First and foremost, you’ll want to come away from your Therapeutic Massage with the best possible result. In order for this to happen, you will want to schedule your massage, giving yourself enough time to show up, have your massage, and get to whatever you have planned next without rushing. When you are scheduling, make sure that the timing of your massage is right for you. If you have skin irritations, are not feeling well, or have some other ailment that will make it difficult for you to benefit from your Therapeutic Massage, and to receive the best pain management results, schedule for a time that you think these issues will not occur. Reschedule your Therapeutic Massage with 24 hours advance notice if you are having an acute skin issue like a sunburn where your pain is located or poison ivy irritations, etc.

Staying hydrated is always of great importance, but especially before and after your Therapeutic Massage. Staying hydrated reduces the soreness that can occur after your massage. If you know that you are prone to soreness, it is recommended to take a Tylenol, or your preferred over the counter (OTC) pain reliever about 10-20 minutes before your appointment. Proper hydration helps flush the toxins that are released by your therapist.

Allergies can be a big deal if you are not ready for them! If you have easily irritated skin, or are allergic to certain creams, oils, etc., please let your Massage Therapist know. You are welcome to bring in your own lotion, however, all of the products we use are 100% organic. We use Young Living Essential Oils and Zen Organics Massage Creme.

Here are a few resources to see what exactly is in the products that we use:

What to expect before your Therapeutic Massage

Your intake form and Health History:

When you arrive, you will need to fill out the intake form if you have not done so already. Our intake form is in depth so that your Therapeutic Massage can be as helpful to you as possible. Our goal is to relieve you of any undue pain you are experiencing, and the intake form is important in doing so. It is important for our therapists to gather enough information to be able to provide you with the most in depth, restorative experience possible.

Knowing your health history is important in allowing our therapists to provide you with proper healing techniques. Setting goals based on what you have experienced and where you have been, health-wise is useful and can help your therapist adapt to your specific situation. We want you to feel better. We want your pain to subside, and this will help your therapist know what to do and what not to do to make that happen.

Interview/Review of your Intake Form:

Once your intake form is filled out your Therapeutic Massage therapist will review your information and asks you specifics about what you are needing during your visit. Your Therapist will review your goals and will want to understand the amount of pain you are in before starting your massage, where you are experiencing pain, and what you would like to achieve during the session. Please tell your therapist anything you would like them to know at this stage. If it is important to you, it is important to us. Once the therapist is clear on your goals they will leave the room so you can get on the table. They will let you know whether to lay face up or face down to start. Typically they will pull out the face cradle if you are to lay face up. The massage table is like a bed so you will get between the sheets and be fully covered before the therapist enters the room again.

You may want to go to the restroom prior to treatment since the massage will be flushing your system and will increase your chances of needing a restroom shortly after treatment.

What to expect during your Therapeutic Massage


Therapeutic Massage is great to relieve stress and pain. Therapeutic massage therapy combines different styles of massage and bodywork that best fits your individual needs. The therapist will discuss your specific needs before each session and assess what Therapeutic massage techniques will work best for you. Therapeutic massage styles include Swedish, Deep Tissue, Myofascial Release, Reflexology, Trigger point therapy, Aromatherapy, and other healing modalities. The therapist will touch base with you during the massage to make sure that the pressure that is being used is not causing you more pain, and will make sure you are seeing a change in your pain levels before moving to another focus area. We do not believe in “no pain, no gain.” We find that muscles will tighten down, even more, when they experience more pain and will only cause additional pain. Our trained professionals will warm the muscles up so we are able to work deeper without additional pain. If you are feeling pain please let the therapist know immediately so we can use other techniques to address your concerns.


You will have privacy while preparing to disrobe and get under the covers on the massage table. Your therapist will leave the room to allow you full privacy so that you are completely comfortable getting on the table. The therapist will knock on the door to ensure that you are on the table and under the covers to respect your privacy. You will be laying face up or down depending on your goals. If you are not in the right position then the therapist will help you flip over. You will be covered during your Therapeutic Massage Therapy session. It is important that you feel comfortable with your massage therapist, and this is one way that your comfort is taken care of while still allowing for your therapist to reach anywhere they may need in order to give you your optimal Therapeutic Massage. You are welcome to keep your underwear on if you wish, but you are also welcome to remove them as you will be covered, and your privacy will be respected. Most clients who need glut work will choose to not wear underwear so it is easier for the therapist to work those muscles. The important part is for you to be comfortable and the therapist is trained to work in either situation.


Your comfort and relaxation are very important, and your music likes and dislikes will be taken into consideration during your Therapeutic Massage Therapy session. Music sets the tone of your Therapeutic Massage session and affects your state of mind. It can put you in the right mood for becoming completely relaxed and comfortable, which will improve the overall ambiance, and allow you to relax into a place where your pain management can be truly effective.

Essential Oils:

During your session, if you are congested from laying face down the massage therapist may use peppermint to help open sinuses by putting the oil on her hands and putting their hands over your nose and mouth. Suzette uses Essential Oils to enhance her Therapeutic Massage experiences. Recent research suggests that aromatherapy has an effect on the way we heal, not just the way we think and feel. Aromatherapy includes the use of plant based materials, aromatic plant oils, to impact psychological and physical well-being.. Essential Oils are made from parts of a plant including herb, flower, bark, roots, peels, and petal. The oils from the plants are extracted and used to create essential oils. Use of Essential Oils is safe, with very few mild side effects, including mild allergic reaction and irritation of the nasal mucous membranes, eyes, and skin when used topically.

Aromatherapy activates smell receptors in your nose that carry information to your brain by way of the nervous system. Once there, the essential oils have an effect on your limbic system and hypothalamus, parts of the brain that affect your emotions and serotonin levels, making you feel better. Topical use can have an effect on the skin and joints. We use Peppermint, Botswala, and Arnica, all of which are widely regarded as assisting in pain management. General health benefits of practicing aromatherapy include stress reduction, relaxation, improvement of sleep quality, quality of life improvement for people with long-term health issues (dementia, etc.), easing of certain types of pain, fighting bacteria, and the easing of symptoms of certain diseases such as cancer and osteoarthritis.

Essential Oils are such an important part of Therapeutic Massage, as well, because they continue working on you long after you have left the massage table. Towards the end of your session, Suzette will put peppermint on your body to help with any inflammation and to create additional pain relief. This also helps to awaken the client so they are not groggy after their session and will be able to drive.

The therapist will leave the room so you can take 3 deep breaths and get dressed. Once you are ready, open the door and the therapist will provide you with a cup of water to help wake you up and to make sure you can drive safely. This is a great time to schedule your next appointment and to pay for services rendered.

What to expect after your Therapeutic Massage

Therapeutic Massage is goal oriented so you will feel less pain, increased range of motion (ROM) and in some cases a little soreness or tenderness from getting work done in a painful area. The essential oils may make the area we worked hot or cold depending on inflammation in the area. Some folks feel tingling as the peppermint and other lotions are working to help decrease the pain in the area that was worked. Overall, the therapist will have focused on the goals you set so you will feel better and start to see a change in your pain levels.

The therapist will also recommend when you may want to book another appointment to continue the work. Sometimes it takes a couple of sessions to relieve the pain and get you back to enjoying life again. You may also get some ideas on home care to help continue your journey to being pain-free.

Common Questions:

What if I haven’t shaved for my appointment? A therapist is not focused on whether you have shaved or not. They are much more focused on relieving your pain.

What if I have calluses on my feet? Therapists can work with callouses, and if it makes you more comfortable, your feet can be avoided.

What if I am ticklish? The therapist will add more pressure to the area to help not create a ticklish reponse. If that doesn’t help, they can avoid the area or try a different technique.

What if the therapist is hurting me? Tell them to stop immediately. This is your session and you are in control. We do not believe in causing additional pain.

Do I have to talk during my session? In some instances, the therapist will need to ask questions to make sure they are meeting your goals. This is your time and a therapist is happy to listen or be silent depending on what you need for that session.

What if I have dry skin? The lotion we use will help to hydrate your skin.

Please remember we are here to help and you are in charge. Our job is to help relieve your pain and to create a positive experience.

We are here to explore the benefits that Therapeutic massage has to offer.

Many people seek Therapeutic massage therapy for straightforward reasons, including relaxation and feelings of caring, comfort, and connection. Think about it. How often are you able to disconnect and let yourself relax? It has been proven that Therapeutic massage assists the body in entering relaxation and recovery mode, and the effects last long after the actual massage has ended. Therapeutic Massage is a key factor in finding the perfect balance in a healthy lifestyle.

We focus on Therapeutic Massage techniques on assisting in Pain Relief! Our massage therapists are skilled in practicing techniques that assist you in living your best life by providing you with ways to live free from pain.

Therapeutic Massage can be a powerful tool to help you take charge of your health and well-being, whether you have a specific health condition or are just looking for a quality massage. Studies of Therapeutic massage benefits demonstrate that the therapy is an effective treatment for reducing stress, pain and muscle tension, and suggest many other health benefits. Even one Therapeutic massage session has shown significant results in lowering the heart rate, cortisol, and insulin levels (all of which reduce stress). This means that massage can help you battle anxiety or stress related insomnia that you cannot get past. Therapeutic massage also plays an important role in relieving respiratory issues, and in training the body to relax again.

Some studies have found Therapeutic massage may also be helpful for the following issues:

1. Therapeutic Massage for Anxiety-Anxiety and other such lifestyle and stress related mental disorders are quickly plaguing a majority of the population. Regular massage therapy sessions can prove helpful. Women diagnosed with breast cancer who received massage therapy three times a week reported being less depressed and less angry, according to a 2005 study published in the International Journal of Neuroscience. And, a study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, found that patients who were depressed and anxious were much more relaxed and happy, and had reduced stress levels after the massage.

2. Therapeutic Massage for Digestive Disorders-relief of stress and anxiety results in helping with symptoms of IBS. Also, relaxation of the abdominal muscles helps other digestive issues as well, such as stimulating sluggish digestion and relief of bloating.

3. Therapeutic Massage for Fibromyalgia-One technique called Myofascial Release is utilized well to treat fibromyalgia. This type of fibromyalgia massage treats muscle pain and stiffness by relaxing contracted muscles, improving blood flow, and stimulating the “stretch reflex" in the muscles.

4. Therapeutic Massage for Headaches-Those who suffer from migraines have found that massage helps cut them out of their life, as well as provides more restful sleep (which helps to prevent them) Research from Granada University in Spain found that a single session of massage therapy immediately effects perceived pain in patients with chronic tension headaches

5. Therapeutic Massage for Insomnia Related to Stress-Massage therapy brings

your body under a spell and lets it fall into deep relaxation. This leads to sound

and proper sleep for patients suffering from sleep disorders. A session after a

long hectic day is sufficient to eliminate the exhaustion in your body and

guarantee a good night’s sleep to replenish your energy.

6. Therapeutic Massage for Pain Relief from many Ailments-Those who suffer

from chronic soft tissue pain, such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, and degenerative

joints have found relief after a few massage sessions. A 2011 study published in

the Annals of Internal Medicine, found benefits of massage therapy as effective

as other methods of treatment for chronic back pain

7. Therapeutic Massage for Soft tissue strains or injuries-Sports massage is a

great way to reduce pain and swelling in soft tissue injuries. These are the most

common injuries in sports and can be greatly relieved by a massage therapy


8. Therapeutic Massage for Sports injuries-Reducing chronic pain and/or pain

from exercise. Research shows that massage therapy helps to reduce

inflammation of skeletal muscle that gets damaged through exercise. It is also

known to enhance exercise performance. Massage therapy, in fact, has shown

to reduce any type of inflammation providing relief.

9. Therapeutic Massage for Temporomandibular joint pain-Massage therapy

is useful in reducing the swelling and pain caused by TMJ issues. Massage

reduces the swelling and lessens the pain as a result, and also assists in stretching

out the muscles.

10. Therapeutic Massage for Boosting Immunity-A 2010 study published in the

Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that massage boosts patients’ white blood cell count, which plays a large role in defending the body

from disease. Our bodies require a strong immune system to tackle various

types of infections and foreign body attacks. It can help in building protective

cells in the body to neutralize attackers like infection-causing viruses and bacteria.

11. Therapeutic Massage for Beating PMS symptoms-One massage can help

to rid your body of mood swings, bloating, headaches, weight gain, and other

PMS symptoms.

12. Therapeutic Massage for Counteracting all of the sitting you do-Desk

workers, beware. More advanced forms of postural stress show up as pain or

weakness in the low back and glutes caused by prolonged periods of sitting.

And considering the benefits of massage therapy a quite unexpected, luckily,

massage can counteract the imbalance caused from sitting.

13. Therapeutic Massage for Diabetes Management-Massage helps in

controlling the level of sugar in the blood, especially in the case of children. This is the reason for recommendations of massage as a curative as well as a

preventative practice among children suffering from diabetes.

14. Therapeutic Massage for Improving Heart Health-Massage is capable of

returning your heart to its normal functional levels so that there are no threats to

your life due to a malfunctioning cardiovascular system.

15. Therapeutic Massage for Stimulating the Nervous System-Massage takes

away the tension that is dissolved in the human body’s nerves. Thus, our nervous system is recharged by massaging and put back to its normal functionality.

16. Therapeutic Massage for Skin Care-Consistent sessions of massage therapy can result in an impressive glow on your skin. This simple-to-follow

the practice is considered one of the most effective approaches to take proper care

of your skin and save it from early signs of aging as well.

17. Therapeutic Massage for Increasing Blood Circulation-If a person is able to

indulge in a massage, he or she can end up with improved blood circulation inside the body. The massaging sessions help the blood to carry the necessary amounts of oxygenated blood throughout the body at an improved speed. Also, the healing power and speed of our body are increased after a massage. A head massage can also help increase blood circulation in the scalp and nourish it, helping in boosting hair growth and even reducing greying of hair strands.

18. Therapeutic Massage Supporting Cancer Therapy Care-Patients receiving

chemotherapy may experience side effects such as anxiety, fatigue, nausea,

pain, and even depression. A 2007 study published in the journal Current

Oncology suggests that massage may help reduce these symptoms in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy and may help improve the overall psychological well-being. Cancer Council NSW and Cancer Research UK suggest that massage helps the cancer patient in coping up with pain, headaches, fatigue, stress, and anxiety.

19. Therapeutic Massage for Neck Pain-"Massage of the neck itself may

exacerbate symptoms at first, but gentle massage of the arms, chest, legs and

back proves to reduce pain in the neck," says Elaine Calenda of the Boulder

College of Massage Therapy. "Myofascial release and thorough massage of all

the neck, face, jaw, head and throat muscles, promote full healing and

restoration of function."

20. Therapeutic Massage for Back Pain-Most episodes of acute lower back pain are caused by muscle strain, such as from lifting a heavy object, a sudden movement or a fall. The low back pain can be very severe and last for several hours, several days or even a few weeks. When back muscles are strained or torn, the area around the muscles can become inflamed. With inflammation, the muscles in the back can spasm and cause both severe lower back pain and difficulty moving. The large upper back muscles are also prone to irritation, either due to deconditioning (lack of strength) or overuse injuries (such as repetitive motions). Upper back pain may also be due to a specific event, such as a muscle strain, sports injury,

or auto accident. Massage can help work out the spasm/irritation and improve the range of motion.

Osteoarthritis of the spine. Spinal arthritis is the breakdown of the cartilage between the aligning facet joints in the back portion of the spine. The facet joints become inflamed and progressive joint degeneration creates more frictional pain as bone rubs on bone. Therapeutic massage can help reduce osteoarthritis pain by improving circulation and reducing stress and muscle tension. However, it is important to find a professional who is specifically trained in treating people with arthritis. (Spine Health)

21. Relieve postoperative pain-Research indicates that massage can decrease

postoperative pain, decrease postoperative pain intensity, decrease

postoperative pain unpleasantness/distress, decrease sympathetic responses to

postoperative pain, accelerate the rate of decline in the intensity of postoperative

pain, and accelerate the rate of decline of the unpleasantness of postoperative


22. Increased range of motion-In addition to its other benefits, massage is a great

way to maintain or even increase your flexibility, which increases your Range of

Motion drastically, and aids in pain management. Massage relaxes and softens body tissues, elongating them. Additionally, some massage techniques involve

passive and active stretching techniques which target the flexibility of specific


Scheduling a Therapeutic Massage near me with Suzette:

There are a few different ways to schedule a Therapeutic massage with Suzette at Healing Solutions Inc.

You can book a massage online at by following these instructions:

2. On the top right of the page, click on ‘Book Appointment’

3. Select which service you would like to book using the menu.

First-time customers book the Intro to Therapeutic Massage

Medical Massage requires a prescription

Return customers choose from the menu, i.e. Therapeutic Massage, Raindrop, etc.

4. Review the information you have entered so far, and select the date you

would like to book your massage.

5. Select the time you would like to book your massage, then select “Next’.

6. If you are registered, type in your email and password, then select


If you are not yet registered, create an account with us by selecting ‘Create Account’.

7. After you have created your account or signed in, review your appointment


8. Type any extra information you would like your massage therapist to know

in the ‘Notes’ section, then select ‘Next’.

9. Review and agree to the Cancellation Policy, then select ‘Next’.

10. Select your payment option, then select ‘Next’, and you will get a ‘Booking

Complete’ message and an email reminder of your appointment.

11. You will have the option to add your appointment to your Google Calendar,

iCal, or Yahoo Calendar.

You can fill out our Contact us page ( at the bottom of the page!

12. If, for any reason, you would like to contact Healing Solutions Inc for a

Therapeutic Massage, you may fill out the ‘Contact Us’ form at the bottom of the page or You can Email email an admin directly at You can also call us at 720-696-0124!

We would love to help you!


“Suzette is very knowledgeable in her skill and so personable! She listens to what you need and provides the therapy. Her different techniques accomplished the different goals and made an incredible improvement with my troubled back. I have gone to different massage therapists for many years, and Suzette is truly at the top of the list for knowledge, quality, intuition, and compassion.”

- Alanna B


Good Health Magazine, Fall 2018, SCL Health Good Samaritan

WebMD, Aromatherapy and Essential Oils, January 2018, Reviewed by Nayana Ambardekar, MD

The Essential Edge, Young Living News, December 2018

The University of Minnesota, Taking Charge of your Health and Wellbeing

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