Therapeutic massage is massage which is offered with the goal of obtaining a therapeutic benefit. It differs from relaxation massage, performed to help someone relax. While therapeutic massage is often relaxing, the end goal of the session or series of sessions is not relaxation. This type of massage is offered at a number of spas and massage studios, and many massage schools teach therapeutic techniques to their students.
Therapeutic goals can vary considerably between massage therapists and clients. In some cases, massage is recommended by a health professional and may be performed as part of a larger treatment plan. For example, someone in physical therapy for an injury might have regular therapeutic massage to loosen muscles, improve muscle tone, and increase flexibility. Likewise, therapeutic massage can be used to supplement wound care, cancer care, and a variety of other treatments.