Clinical massage is the application of massage techniques with specific intent and purpose, emphasizing the treatment of myofascial injury and chronic pain, structural and postural distortions, and biomechanical soft tissue dysfunction. It focuses on the entire body with emphasis on restoring pain free range of motion throughout the body and complete structural balance. It also addresses chronic pain and injury conditions with emphasis on the underlying causes and pathology of each condition.
In clinical massage the therapist sees a symptom as a signal that something else is wrong. When a symptom alone is eliminated, it is most likely being suppressed. Unless the original cause has also been eliminated, the symptom may return later in a chronic form. Rather than looking at symptoms as entities in and of themselves which must be "fixed" the clinical massage therapist looks for the cause of dysfunction rather than just treating symptoms.