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Backed by Science: Heather Motter, Licensed Massage Therapist

When you think of a massage, you probably associate it as a way to help you relax and relieve stress. A soothing and gentle massage can work wonders on relieving muscle aches, improving your mood, reducing tension and anxiety, improving your sleep…the list goes on and on.

That being said, a lesser-known fact is that massage also has benefits far beyond mere relaxation. A medical massage can help you with more serious medical issues too!

We sat down with Burick Center’s very own licensed medical massage therapist, Heather Motter, to learn more about her work and the many benefits a medical massage provides.

How long have you been a licensed massage therapist?

I’ve been a licensed medical massage therapist for 12 and a half years now.

How long have you been with Burick Center?

I’ve been with Burick Center for 3 years. I live in Carlisle, PA so I was very familiar with the center prior to applying and knew this was a place I wanted to take my talents. It has been tremendously fulfilling!

This is a great segway to my next question! What do you love most about working at Burick Center?

There are so many things to love! I think the biggest thing I love most is working with people who value what I do, as well as working with people that make it part of their life and who value getting a massage. I also enjoy having the ability to work with different types of patients. Whether a person has cancer and needs a very light touch massage or someone with an injury that requires having to do a hand-stand and putting my elbow in their shoulder (haha!) – the beauty of it is that I get to use all of my knowledge in a variety of ways and Burick Center really provides me the freedom to do that. From day one I have felt valued. Not to mention, I get to work with some really great people! We’ve become somewhat of a family here and work very well together.

What massage therapies do you like the most for your clients and why?

Another question that’s hard to just pick one answer! It really depends because it’s different for each person. I like to individualize each treatment for every patient that I work with. I love working with the type of person who is going to invest in their health and is coming to me because they know the massage is going to help them and be of value. Whether they have an injury or chronic pain, they are coming in because they value the benefits of a massage.

Why did you decide to dedicate your career to massage therapy? What excites you the most?

Ah, what excites me the most is I get to help people heal! I get to listen to people, get to know them and create new relationships. I give them a listening ear that sometimes we don’t have in our lives. I love to help people and make them feel better because I know what it’s like to want to feel better. My biggest goal when working with patients is that they come into this safe space of healing and allow them to heal and I love that I am a part of that journey.

What exactly is a medical massage?

A medical massage is typically prescribed by a physician and intended to resolve conditions that have been diagnosed. In other words, this type of massage therapy is more treatment and goal-oriented, working towards something (disease or injury) and your therapist will help come up with a treatment plan. This type of massage therapy is very much individualized, and will be centralized on parts of the body that have been identified as areas of concern, instead of massaging the entire body.

What kinds of conditions can be treated with medical massage therapy?

Oh my gosh that list is ongoing, but here are a few of the most common conditions that medical massage therapy can treat:

  • Acute pain
  • Chronic pain
  • Sports injury
  • Post surgery
  • Range of motion
  • Insomnia
  • Carpal tunnel
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Asthma and bronchitis
  • Hypertension
  • Cancer recovery
  • Migraines
  • And so much more!

What are the benefits of a medical massage?

The benefits of a medical massage vary depending on the individual and their current health condition. That being said, individuals seeking this form of therapy can expect to benefit from:

  • Pain relief
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Increased range of motion
  • Reduced inflammation
  • Improved blood circulation
  • Increased energy
  • Improved digestion
  • Treated injury
  • Alleviated heachaches

What techniques are used in medical massage therapy?

The type of technique used in medical massage therapy will really depend on a patient’s condition. Some of the more common approaches include:

  • Craniosacral therapy
  • Orthopedic massage
  • Oncology massage
  • Lymphatic massage
  • Trigger point therapy
  • Stretch therapy
  • Myofascial release
  • Neuromuscular therapy

If there’s one thing you want patients to know who are considering massage therapy, what would you want that to be?

My philosophy on massage is that we all need to heal from something – whether it’s physical or mental or emotional, massage can help that. When you are in a space where you are comfortable and you feel safe, not only are you releasing that emotion, but you are healing physically to. That is more powerful than anything! Being able to release what you’re holding on to emotionally but also getting a physical connection is a glorious thing. All of our emotions and thoughts manifest physically and massage can help that and help us release that tension in our body to help us function better, live a more relaxed life and be happier versions of ourselves overall!  Mind and body are absolutely connected and treated one is treating the other one.

At the Burick Center, a variety of medical massage services are offered to meet your medical needs. Check out our full menu of options. Individuals must be 18 or older to receive any impactful therapies.


Customer Testimonials:

“My name is Dan Boarman and have been a member patient of The Burick Center for 12-years.  I have suffered with chronic neck and upper body pain for most of my life.  I have tried physical therapy, chiropractic, met with Neurosurgeons, used every imaginable device and tried dozens of massage therapists in an attempt to mitigate my pain.  Once I started working with Heather, I was impressed by her ability to find the root sources of pain and her commitment to making a difference.  She always listens to my concerns so that she was able to maximize my results.  When Dr. Burick mentioned she was planning to offer massage therapy, I made sure to suggest Heather for the position.  Heather is a true professional, always respectful and kind- truly wants to make a difference in her patients lives.  That’s why I see her once a week for 90-minutes!  You cannot go wrong with Heather- especially when combined with the stress-free environment that The Burick Center provides.”


“Heather is an exceptional massage therapist.  Her skillfully blended mix of physical strength, expert dexterity, intuitive sensibility, and empathetic personality combine to provide an extremely effective massage experience.  Whether a deep tissue treatment is required to work out a spasm, or a soothing Swedish Massage after a long travel day, Heather gets the job done with impeccable quality and professionalism.   No matter what the treatment I am certain I will “nod off and snort” when on the table.   My wife and I have had the good fortune to work with Heather over the past several years.  She has been a critical member of the Burick team to help us transition, as gracefully as possible, into the next phase of our lives.  I’ve been getting massages for over 40 years and can attest to the fact that on the Massage-Snort scale, Heather is a guaranteed ‘3 snorter’ in a 60-minute session, and a ‘5 snorter’ if I choose the 90 minute option.  She’s that good.”

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