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All the Deets on Medical Massages

Lauryn Evarts, fitness blogger, health blogger, and diet blogger talks skinny tips and tricks for weight loss.OMFG.

Recently I had the best massage ever.

Like, honestly ever.

I’m biggggggg on massage & was really blown away by this one…

Come to find out: it was a medical massage. Not just a regular massage.

The therapist, Lisa, addressed my neck, foot, & lower back pain. And here’s the rad/insane thing: I’m still ( after a month ) pain free.

So. Naturally I booked my grandma AKA ‘The Nanz’ a little massagey-poo with Lisa.

Because The Nanz deserves a medical massage, right?!


So The Nanz had her massage & was OMFG-ing with me.

Anyway— point: instead of a resort-like, plain, old rub down that takes away the pain for five seconds, try a medical massage next time. Address/fix the actual issues!

Ok!!! Now meet Lisa Hassler:

+ Introduce yourself.

Lisa Hassler: Hi Lauryn, my name is Lisa Hassler. I’m a certified medical/sports massage therapist in San Diego, California with over twelve years experience. I have a business called San Diego Medi Massage in the Bankers Hill area.

+ Ok, so what the heck is the difference between a massage & a medical massage?

LH: If you get a massage at a day spa or while staying at a hotel, you will get a massage by someone who is usually unwilling to address injuries or any health issues you may have. They are instructed to stay away from injured areas. It’s likely they won’t know the difference between a healthy muscular structure & an injured or compromised area. Although we’re not allowed to diagnose an injury, a medical massage therapist will have the experience to feel the difference & suggest you talk with your trainer or doctor.

A medical massage is done by a certified therapist who has a background working with physicians, chiropractors, physical therapists, &/or anyone in the medical field who has a greater knowledge of injuries and after surgery care like me. They’re striving for lasting effects, corrections, pain management, etc.

+ Who needs a medical massage? 

LH: Everyone can benefit from medical massage. While massaging, I go over your body, finding any possible unknown injuries, tears in the muscles, problem areas or anything that makes you susceptible to injury!

If you’re pregnant or unable to move regularly, medical massage is great for circulation which helps keep water weight and edema ( swollen tissue- usually in ankles ) at bay.

If you’re an athlete, it helps keep you at your peak performance and if injured, it gets you back on the field faster by flushing out the tissues from swelling, etc.

Younger, “wiser” ( older ), active, inactive, pregnant, stressed out office people- everyone needs a massage to be at their peak health.

+ Benefits of massage?

LH: Medical massage is useful in addressing conditions such as:

Carpal tunnel syndrom, rotator cuff injuries, pain associated with bulged or injured spinal disks ( medical massage cannot ‘fix’ the disk, but can help alleviate much of the pain associated with the injury ), migraines/headaches, constipation, range of motion issues, Plantar fasciitis ( foot pain ), repetitive use injuries such as tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow, TMJ, pain associated with restricted fascia, sports/exercise injuries, auto/work injuries, edema (swelling), PTSD ( Post Traumatic Stress Disorder )

Massage also promotes circulation & hydration by releasing your stuck fascia. It lengthens and stretches muscles. It flushes out left over ‘gunk’ & residue from inflammation, allowing proper blood flow for faster healing time, leaving your body feeling free & more fluid.

+ How do massages effect hormones?

LH: According to Researchers at the Group Health Center for Health Studies in Seattle, Washington, “massage works better than common treatments including chiropractic therapy and acupuncture. It’s not clear why, but several studies show massage reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisol while boosting the feel-good hormones serotonin and dopamine.”

This helps slow your heart rate, reduce blood pressure, & block the nervous system’s pain receptors. It’s amazing how many ways massage therapy can replace the prescribed pills we take on a regular basis!

+ What does massage do for the lymph system ( I’m so curious about this— see why here )?

LH: Tiffany Field, Ph.D., director of the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine reported in Health Magazine says: “massage helps ward off bugs by boosting your natural killer cells, the immune system’s first line of defense against invading illness. We know that cortisol destroys natural killer cells. Therefore, since massage decreases cortisol, your immune cells get a boost. Massage even seems to boost immunity in those people with severely compromised immune systems, such as breast-cancer patients.”

+ Best at home product to give your man a massage: 

LH: Okay- I really like Sensual Black Currant Vanilla Massage Oil from Bath and Bodyworks. It lasts a long time and doesn’t absorb into the skin too quickly and the scent is lovely.

+ Ok, let’s get real: can massages really help with cellulite?

LH: Cellulite is pockets of fat cells lying underneath the skin. They press against the underlying connective tissue called fascia. When the fat cells fill up, it limits the space under the skin, which pushes the connective tissue out causing that ripply appearance we all despise. Medical Massage improves the circulation which carries out the excess fluid and fat from the cells that cause the ripple affect. I do this by using a myofascial release and vigorous friction massage and a few other techniques I have learned. It will reduce the skin dimpling appearance…which is why many clients come see me before their wedding, pool party, summer beach days, etc!

How often do you recommend a massage?

LH: Dr. Oz C. Mehmet, M.D. ( CNN ) says it best: “all of our surgery patients are offered the treatment [massage] — I call it ‘service with a smile’ — and it’s a mandatory weekly prescription I give myself.”

I agree with Dr. Oz, but not everyone can get a weekly massage. If you have an area that needs attention ( shoulder or neck pain, etc. ), I would suggest weekly but every other week is still effective in treating the area. It’s likely it took a long time to get huge knots or whatever the problem is in your back or neck.

Chronic pain sufferers know it doesn’t usually happen overnight- so it will take a few corrective massage sessions to correct an issue to provide lasting relief. If you don’t have injuries, then I suggest every three weeks or once a month for stress relief, proper circulation, & injury watch care.

It’s much easier to maintain a healthy body while getting regular massages verses wait until you get an injury to get medical corrective massage.

+ To book an app with Lisa, e-mail her at:

++ Use the code ‘SkinnyMassage’ for 10% off the first treatment ( redeemable for new clients only ).

  1. Wow what a great gift to give Grams mine could surely use this treatment as well. I need to find a real massage parlor asap mine are great with thai massages but since I workout so much I have sore tendons. Thank you for sharing! Have a great week love and shine courtstar

  2. I wish I could get one everyday. I love love love massages. Im heading to London in a couple weeks and my friend and I are getting a couples massage! can’t wait! Hopefully we can find a medical massage place!

    Hilary x

  3. Great interview! I could really use a massage right now. I know I have circulation problems because my arms and legs constantly fall asleep, so it would be interesting to see if regular massages would help. Plus, I’m a stress case, so frequent massages would definitely help with that!

  4. I’m desperate to have a proper massage, i’m a complete massage virgin! My back and neck are in need of some serious TLC so medical massage may have to be something i look into xx

  5. My boyfriend gets unbelievably bad headaches. They are chronic and sometimes they make doing anything impossible. He has had them for three years…gah! It’s torture to watch because I feel so helpless being unable to take his pain away.

    I appreciate this post…I’ve always loved massages myself so I’m wondering if a medical massage could help him even if it only takes the head pain from a 10 to a 4. Thanks for posting this!!


  6. My husband has had a disc fusion and all types of neck and back pain and issues. Would he b a good candidate? Do u think insurance covers??

  7. I’ve been getting then for back pain for a few months now and they are Amazing! Some insurance companies pay for weekly medical massages.

  8. WOW this sounds amazing! i have tried soooo many different types of massage and none have given me the benefits i would have hoped for. I am unable to find a ‘medical massage therapist’ near where i live and was wondering what the closest would be…e.g..sports, deep tissue or remedial to suggest a few. I would much appreciate your advice. Thank you.

  9. Thank you for sharing this awesome article! It sounds like a medical massage can do a lot of good for anyone. I have chronic back pain and I think a medical massage might help. Have you heard of hi-dow massages? It’s another type of medical massage, and I heard it relieves a lot of pain as well.

  10. Regular chiropractic visits may help maintain bodies at the high level of activity to which they have become accustomed and even aid in function allowing the body to self-heal when proper alignment is achieved and maintained.

  11. I am a massage therapist myself and I don’t agree with everything that is said in that article but always make sure that you ask your massage therapist what he or she is trained in. There are many different schools out there where the education is between 300h or up to 3000h if you have a 3000h of education then you should know about all the common differnt conditions which are out there.Also not to forget that North America depending on where you live the regulations are different.
    I enjoyed reading your article

  12. I also agree that point….Massage also promotes circulation & hydration by releasing your stuck fascia. It lengthens and stretches muscles. It flushes out left over ‘gunk’ & residue from inflammation, allowing proper blood flow for faster healing time, leaving your body feeling free & more fluid….Thanks for sharing…

  13. Great article!
    I’m a massive fan of massage and get one at least every week.
    I was wondering if there were any disadvantages to getting a massage!
    Heard some people talking about this but wondered what your opinion was.
    Keep up the fantastic work;-)

  14. Great content on Massage benefits. I have also some content related to benefits of massage and especially massage chair benefits.

  15. Great benefits you have described.It was great how you pointed out that massages are beneficial to the body because it improves blood flow and brings nutrients to the different parts of the body.

  16. Hi Lauryn,

    I am a fan of your beauty secrets. I have been following your blog a couple of months but never have time to comment before. But today while I reading this post, I dare to comment. I have been trying to get body massage regular basics. But being a GEEK, it’s been tougher for me, so I get a full body massage chair last month. I take 25minutes every day, now.

    And I found a medical massage center near me as well. Am planning to go there once a week.

    Have a great day!

  17. I think we all should get body massage every now and then and older people need more than youngsters. Thanks for sharing this amazing article, hopefully soon I will book an appointment with Lisa 🙂

  18. I suffer from back pain from sleeping on a bad mattress a few years ago. I am also dealing with si joint pain which is really frustrating. Maybe it’s time I tried out medical massage. A friend once recommended it but I guess I was just ignorant. Had no idea it had so many benefits compared to regular body massage.

    Will be sure to try it out.

    Thank you so much for sharing !

  19. Massage is very beneficial for our health. It gives relief to our body and we get relief from stress also. Great post, thanks for sharing!

  20. Massage has a lots of health benefits. And there are many health issues that can be resolved or relive by body massage only. I am familiar with many types of massage and medical massage is one of them. Anybody here can tell me how a massage chair helps us as a medical massage?

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