Treat or treatment? Massage therapy provides real health benefits

Woman getting massage therapy.
Marilyn Burke
     Marilyn Burke

Our UK Integrative Medicine & Health program compliments traditional medicines and therapies to help treat the whole person, with an emphasis on healing and wellness.

One way we do that is through massage therapy, a practice that nurtures the mind-body connection and fosters a sense of peace, comfort and relaxation.

What is massage therapy?

Massage therapy involves structured touch, holding, pressure and manipulation of the soft tissues in the body to promote healing and a sense of well-being. There are different approaches to massage, all of which emphasize personalized, one-on-one care that can be tailored to the needs of the individual.

What are the benefits of massage therapy?

Studies have shown that massage therapy has a positive impact on the mind and body and can be beneficial in managing the side effects of many medical conditions.

In general, massage relieves muscle tension and stress, reduces anxiety and fluid retention, improves sleep, and restores hope. But exactly how massage affects the individual depends on the type of therapy administered. We offer several different types of massages here at UK HealthCare.

Types of massages we offer

Relaxation: A relaxation or Swedish massage helps reduce stress and soothe and calm the body. Treatment consists of flowing strokes, kneading and gentle manipulations of the muscles performed at a lighter pressure. Benefits include reduced inflammation, stress, soreness and blood pressure. Relaxation massage also enhances sleep, circulation and overall well-being.

Therapeutic: A therapeutic massage incorporates firm, focused movements to help address a specific problem, such as pain or tightness, by manipulating muscle tissue to promote structural changes within the body. Benefits may include improved range of motion, less pain and reduced swelling.

Oncology: Oncology massage therapy is designed for those undergoing cancer treatment or those who have had cancer treatment in the past. It helps relieve short- and long-term side effects of chemotherapy, radiation and surgery. Our licensed therapists are specially trained in cancer massage and will adapt massage techniques to each patient’s unique health situation.

Prenatal: Prenatal massage can help manage the side effects of pregnancy, such as pain and discomfort in the back and shoulders, joint and muscle strain, fluid retention, and anxiety. Prenatal massage is suitable only for women in their second and third trimesters of pregnancy.

Reiki: Reiki provides a sense of calm and relaxation, reduces pain, and improves sleep. The practice involves a gentle placement of hands above the body, using life-force energy to facilitate the process of healing. Reiki can be added to any massage session.

Aromatherapy: Aromatherapy is the use of fragrance to improve physical or psychological well-being. Scents such as lavender, citrus, ginger and peppermint have been shown to relieve some of the side effects of illness, including nausea and pain. Aromatherapy can be added to any massage or Reiki session for an extra fee.

Massage therapy at UK HealthCare

Patients and their family members as well as UK HealthCare staff members can all take advantage of the massage services we provide. If you have any questions or concerns about physical limitations that may affect your ability to receive a massage, please talk to your physician and consult our massage therapy staff.

Prices for massages vary depending on the type of massage requested and the length of the session. We accept cash, check or credit card for payment. See the full price list here.

For more information about pricing and to schedule a massage, call 859-323-HEAL(4325). To speak to a practitioner about massage therapy, call 859-323-1797 or email me at

Next steps:

  • Looking for a great holiday gift for a patient or staff member at UK HealthCare? Call Marilyn Burke at 859-323-1797 to purchase a massage therapy gift certificate.
  • Find out more about UK Integrative Medicine & Health, which focuses on the treating the whole patient using all appropriate therapies, healthcare expertise and disciplines to achieve optimal health and healing.
This content was produced by UK HealthCare Brand Strategy.

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