Benefits of Massage Therapy within the field of Occupational Therapy
By Cary Kauk, COTA

Through my experience of occupational therapy I have found numerous instances in which the desired outcome would have been unachievable without the benefits of massage therapy. These benefits include decreased pain, increased range of motion and reduction of scar tissue. Often the desired results can also be achieved through tens units, ultrasound machines or electric stimulation, but these technologies are not always accessible in the rural areas where I work. They also lack the element of human touch.

In the treatment of carpal tunnel and rotator cuff injuries, the shoulder and forearm encompassing techniques of massage are imperative to decrease swelling, sensitivity and pain. With contracture treatments the encompassing technique is a great foundation to use before performing myofascial release and neurodevelopmental techniques, as it provides relief from pain. Arthritic pain can be controlled through teaching the client self massage and energy conservation techniques.

Both massage therapy and occupational therapy deal with treating the individual holistically. Through experience this is achieved best though a hands-on style rather than having the client plugged into another machine or performing another ten repetitions with the weights.