According to the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA), massage therapy promotes health and well-being by way of soft tissue manipulation and movement of the body. At Cleveland Clinic, our massage therapists use massage techniques to treat disorders of the human body, promote healing, improve clinical outcomes and encourage higher levels of wellness.
Our professionally trained massage therapists use touch to manipulate the tissues of the body in a skilled, sensitive and compassionate way.
Many patients enjoy massage therapy as a regular part of maintaining wellness, while others may use it as a temporary treatment for specific injuries or conditions.
What We Treat
Massage therapy can help reduce symptoms of various ailments, diseases and injuries
Massage therapists use different techniques to address a variety of ailments, diseases and injuries. Some techniques help treat physical problems resulting from stress or emotional conditions. Others address physical problems such as injuries resulting from a car accident.
Specific techniques can help treat some diseases. For example:
- Respiratory disorders (such as sinus pressure) can be relieved through trigger point release
- Congestive chest symptoms can be relieved through tapotement, a percussion type of massage
- Neurological and muscular disorders (such as headaches, migraines, neck pain, tennis elbow, low back pain, frozen shoulder, and pain associated with osteoarthritis, tendonitis or menstrual symptoms) can be addressed through craniosacral release, Swedish massage, myofascial release and a variety of other techniques
- Digestive disorders (such as constipation) can be relieved through abdominal techniques
- Post-operative pain and lymphedema can be addressed with lymphatic drainage
Some people with pre-existing medical conditions may not benefit from massage therapy. If you have any of the following issues, please discuss them with your therapist and physician before treatment:
- If you are taking anticoagulants, blood-thinning medication which may contribute to bruising
- Blood clots in the leg
- Osteoporosis or disease of the spine (which may make you vulnerable to fractures)
- Weak skin
- Medical devices implanted or attached to your body
What Can I Expect?
A massage therapy session usually lasts about 50 minutes. The lighting in the room is low and subtle to help create a sense of relaxation before the massage even begins. Gentle, soothing music plays in the background throughout the massage.
More than 80 types of massage therapy exist. With such a vast variety of techniques and possible combinations, the way you’ll feel during treatment can be hard to predict. Some techniques use less pressure than the weight of a hand, while others press intensely into certain points to release muscle tension. Before treatment, discuss with your therapist which technique or techniques will be used and what they should feel like. During the course of treatment, it’s ok to talk to your therapist about what you feel and your comfort level. Some patients describe sensations that are painful in a good way, but if you experience any pain that causes you discomfort, please tell your therapist right away.
Benefits of Massage Therapy
Most patients feel more relaxed, especially if they have massage therapy sessions regularly. Research shows that massage therapy can help reduce pain, decrease autoimmune illnesses, depression, anxiety, and enhance immune function. Specifically, massage therapy can:
- Increase range of motion and flexibility
- Increase blood and lymph function
- Help people respond to and better tolerate medical procedures and other related therapies
- Reduce pain, depression, stress and anxiety related to illness
- Reduce muscle tension or soreness, and help restore muscle tone lost through long-term bed rest, stress and anxiety
Vickie studied Massage Therapy and Shiatsu at the National Institute of Massotherapy in Akron, Ohio, and has been licensed by the State of Ohio Medical Board as a Massage Therapist since January of 1997. She began studying at the Upledger Institute in 1996 and has completed training in Advanced Craniosacral Therapy including Pediatrics, Brain Health and Somato Emotional Release, which addresses illness, memories and trauma stored in tissues and organs of the body. She continues as a teaching assistant at the Upledger Institute several times per year. Vickie is also a reiki Master.
Vickie utilizes various massage modalities in her sessions including trigger points to treat complex issues such as lower back and plantar fasciitis pain. She has also studied Reflexology, Bodytalk, Energywork, Native American healing techniques, Traditional Chinese Medicine and holds an Associate Degree in Visual Communications from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. Vickie's bodywork relieves aches and pains as well as re-educates the body's perception of pain, resulting in relaxation and well-being throughout body, mind and spirit.
"I believe the body will always choose to heal itself given the right circumstances. By creating a safe, nurturing environment my intention is to listen to what your body needs and support a good healthy life by accessing the best in yourself. Your health is a priority."
Traci Sferra, LMT
Traci has been a Licensed Massage Therapist since 2003. She received her license from the State of Ohio medical board.
Traci specializes in many different modalities including therapeutic massage, sports massage, trigger point therapy, injury rehab, prenatal massage, oncology massage and post-surgery massage. She has worked in a fitness center, surgical office and physical therapy office. Traci is also certified in reflexology. She has completed many certifications which she incorporates into her therapy sessions, including stretching. Traci is passionate about learning, attentive to her clients and uses her skills to listen to the body’s needs.
Her primary goal is to help her clients perform better and find relief from pain.
In her free time, Traci enjoys cooking for family and friends, listening to live music, taking walks and working in her garden.
Nicole studied and has been licensed in Massage Therapy from the Cleveland Institute of Medical Massage since 2017. Her areas of focus are Myofascial Release, Trigger Point Therapy, Deep Tissue, Sports Massage, Scar tissue work, as well as experience with Oncology massage. She is passionate about patients understanding the techniques and knowledge behind each therapy and what type would work best for their needs. She works diligently with patients in helping them understand the time, patience and results of each session. Her main goal is for the betterment of patient's daily lives and encouraging them to feel relief with easing of pain.
We regret that these services are currently unavailable. Please check back as we hope to offer them again very soon.
Craniosacral Therapy (CST) is a gentle hands-on treatment that may provide relief from a wide variety of dysfunctions and pain including headaches, neck pain, side effects of cancer treatment and many others. A primary focus of CST is using a gentle placement of hands to assist release of the body’s connective tissue, often referred to as “fascia” (pronounced “fash-ee-uh”). Fascia, the Latin word for band, is a covering or encasement found throughout the body including organs, glands, nerves, muscles, blood vessels, brain and spinal cord all of which form a body-wide connective network.
A fundamental principle of CST is based on the idea that our body is structurally and functionally interrelated, which means that one area can affect another. Fascial clearance and tension relief could lead to improved form and function of an organ or body system it encases. CST is thought to improve efficiency of biological processes through boosting inherent self-regulation, self-correction
Craniosacral Therapy can be used successfully for children and adults.
What happens during a Craniosacral Therapy session?
A craniosacral therapy session is much like a massage therapy session, with the exception that the patient remains fully clothed. The treatment session begins with a consultation with the specially trained therapist. Soft music and low lighting will help you relax and enjoy the session even more.
What are the benefits of Craniosacral Therapy?
The therapist will uses light pressure techniques to assess disruptions and restrictions in the fascial system and in the flow of the cerebrospinal fluid. Fascia is a layer of tissue which runs throughout your entire body and surrounds every structure. Restrictions in the fascia can indicate disruption within the central nervous system. By relieving the tension in the nervous system tissue the related muscles and organs naturally release stress which, in turn, improves function. Patients often feel a sense of deep relaxation.
What conditions may benefit from a Craniosacral session?
Because Craniosacral Therapy is so gentle, people of all ages can benefit from it. CST may help relieve:
- Autism spectrum disorder
- Chronic pain
- Complex regional pain syndrome
- Fascial adhesions
- Migraine headache
- Multiple sclerosis
- Neurodegenerative diseases
- Post-concussion syndrome
- Speech impairment
- Temporomandibular joint syndrome / TMJ / TMD
- Traumatic brain injury
What happens during a Craniosacral session?
A Craniosacral Therapy session is similar to massage therapy, except the patient remains fully clothed. The treatment session begins with a consultation with a trained therapist to identify troubled areas. Soft music and low lighting are often used to increase the state of relaxation.
The therapist uses gentle pressure techniques to assess the existence of possible disruptions and/or restrictions in the fascial system. Light touch and fascial release may help muscles and organs naturally relieve stress which improves function. Patients often report feeling a sense of deep relaxation.
Is Craniosacral Therapy right for everyone?
CST can benefit almost everyone. There are a few conditions, however, when Craniosacral Therapy may not be appropriate or would require discussion with your CST practitioner and physician.
Your session would need to wait if you have experienced any of the following and have NOT been released for treatment by your physician: recent concussion, cerebral swelling, structural defects in the cerebellum such as Arnold-Chiari malformation, brain aneurysm, traumatic brain injury or blood clots. Any disorder that causes instability of cerebral fluid pressure, flow or build-up.
Is Craniosacral Therapy covered by insurance?
Craniosacral Therapy is not covered by insurance. An out-of-pocket payment is required prior to treatment.
To schedule an appointment for Craniosacral Therapy or other forms of integrative therapies, call 216.448.4325.
Lymph Drainage Massage
We regret that these services are currently unavailable. Please check back as we hope to offer them again very soon.
The body's lymphatic system includes an extensive network of lymph vessels and lymph nodes. Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD) massage can reduce swelling and detoxify the body using a light technique that helps move lymph from one area of the body into another. A slow, gentle, rhythmic skin stretching technique is used because the lymph vessels lays just beneath the skin’s surface. A deeper pressure would press the vessels closed, blocking the flow of the lymph.
What is the lymphatic system and why is it important?
The lymphatic system is part of the immune system. It helps move good nutrients and white blood cells through your body, and remove waste products like bacteria, proteins, excess water and fat cells out of your body in a fluid called lymph. Unlike your circulatory system, which has your heart, the lymphatic system has no pump to help circulate the lymph. It relies on muscle movement, respiration, and gravity to help move fluids from one area to another. When lymph enters the lymph nodes it can be filtered of the unhealthy waste and toxins carried out of the corresponding area.
Sometimes a buildup of lymph fluid will collect in an area when lymph vessels, lymph nodes, or other structures of the lymphatic system have been compromised.
What conditions does Manual Lymph Drainage help?
- Chronic sinus and ear infections
- Chronic pain
- Diabetes related disorders: wounds, chronic venous insufficiency
- Dermatological issues: scars, acne, eczema, wounds, burns
- Chronic fatigue (or shortness of breath)
- Edema due to pregnancy
- Genital Lymphedema
When should Manual Lymph Drainage be avoided?
There are times when Manual Lymph Drainage is not recommended, such as: an infection, serious heart problems, acute Congestive Heart Failure, acute Renal Failure, cold or flu with fever, aortic aneurysm, internal bleeding, active cancer or undiagnosed spot or suspicious area, acute Deep Vein Thrombosis, any acute compromise of the cardiovascular or renal system, and/or arterial insufficiency. However, other forms of therapy may still be warranted.
How do I schedule an appointment?
A physician or physical therapist may evaluate your needs and refer you to our department for treatment or maintenance services. The services will be performed by Licensed Massage Therapists who are certified to perform Manual Lymph Drainage therapies, including decompression wrapping.
- Self-pay, 60-minute treatment session at $125
- Treatments are located at Cleveland Clinic Lyndhurst Campus
- Call 216.448.4325 to schedule