Your Body in Balance: How Orthopedic Massage Can Help You Move Better

Massage therapy can broadly be divided into two categories: personal care and healthcare. Swedish relaxation massage and deep tissue massage are two examples of personal care that focus on overall relaxation or maintenance wellness. They can be an important component of your self care plan, helping you to increase your awareness of your own body and decrease stress and anxiety (to name just a few benefits!).

Healthcare massage focuses on assessing and addressing compromised health conditions, and requires your therapist to have specialized training. Clinical massage, also called ‘orthopedic’ or ‘rehabilitative’ massage, includes oncology, geriatric, sports or orthopedic massage.  It’s an outcome based practice with an individualized therapeutic plan created in consultation with the client and, if needed, other healthcare professionals.

What is Orthopedic Massage?

Orthopedic massage is “a specialized form of clinical massage focusing on the tissues of the musculoskeletal system, with techniques designed to treat musculoskeletal pain, injuries, and dysfunction specifically. It borrows its name from medical orthopedics. Its scope is narrower than clinical or medical massage because it specifies the types of health conditions it addresses.”

Whether from a lifetime of wear and tear or a traumatic injury, our joints and the surrounding tissues may fall into a pattern of dysfunction and pain that can often be alleviated through skillful manual therapy. Many of our clients come to us for treatment of their shoulders and knees, joints that experience lots of use throughout our lives.

The shoulder joint is the most flexible joint in our body. Think of all directions in which you can move your arm! However, this flexibility can also compromise stability. While it’s great for reaching, stretching, and everyday activities, poor posture, repetitive motions (like swinging a tennis racket), and injuries can disrupt the delicate balance between these two aspects in the shoulder joint.

The knee joint is another area where we often see injury. While we cannot access the deeper soft tissues through our hands-on work, we can effect change in the muscles surrounding the joint to either strengthen or decrease hypertonicity (tightness) and thereby reduce the push and pull on the joint itself.

Some common conditions we see in our practice that impact the shoulder and knee are frozen shoulder, bicipital tendinosis, IT band friction syndrome and patellar tendinosis, as well as multiple muscle strain and ligament sprain conditions. Each client condition is unique and therefore our skilled therapists customize each treatment plan accordingly, starting with a thorough intake interview and assessment. At Heaven and Health, all of our therapists bring different skills, training and experience to our massage treatments. Whatever background or training we come from, we are all committed to work with you, our client, to tailor each massage session to your specific health conditions and desired outcomes

  • Rebecca has 15 years of experience in massage therapy and is certified as a Medical Massage Practitioner.
  • Alice has been a nurse for over 25 years (including cardiac care) and is very comfortable seeing clients with advanced and medically complicated conditions
  • Naomi holds an Orthopedic Medical Massage Therapist certificate through the Academy of Clinical Massage and has trained under several other programs and experts in the field of orthopedic and clinical massage.
  • Geraldine’s background in physical therapy provides her with a strong foundation in anatomy, physiology and biomechanics, all crucial aspects in orthopedic and rehabilitative massage.


Call or email us today to start your journey toward a life of less pain and more function. 

We are here to help improve the way you move!