Massage is the application of systematic manipulation to the soft tissues of the body for therapeutic purposes. Although various assistive devices and electrical equipment are available for the purpose of delivering massage, use of the hands is considered the most effective method of application, because palpation can be used as an assessment as well as a treatment tool.
Massage therapy, including effleurage, petrissage, and/or tapotement (stroking, compression, and/or percussion) may be considered medically necessary if at least one of the following conditions is present and documented:
- the patient has paralyzed musculature contributing to impaired circulation;
- the patient has excessive fluids in interstitial spaces or joints;
- the patient has sensitivity of tissues to pressure;
- the patient has tight muscles resulting in shortening and/or spasticity of affective muscles;
- the patient has abnormal adherence of tissue to surrounding tissue;
- the patient requires relaxation in preparation for neuromuscular re-education or therapeutic exercise; or
- the patient has contractures and decreased range of motion.