We all have different ideas about what a “therapeutic massage” is. Some people use the term to mean deep tissue or sports; for them the connotation is more corrective or medical. Others relate therapeutic massage to mean relaxation, stress relief and recovery. Which one is correct?
I think BOTH!
It is my understanding that the term “therapeutic” became popular out of a desire for massage therapists to separate themselves from the unsavory side of the industry. Massage therapists can take specific classes on therapeutic massage and receive special therapeutic massage certifications, but at the end of the day the term is a general descriptor of professional massage therapy.
The professional massage associations often use the phrase “professional therapeutic massage” when referring to goals agreed upon between therapist and client. A public education site powered by Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals (ABMP) has a great article about the benefits of massage – regardless of the category of therapeutic, relaxation, rejuvenation, etc. And I think that is the most important message! You can read that article and much more here.