Today, any professional massage is therapeutic, with real health benefits. But the phrase “therapeutic massage” is also sometimes used to indicate that the massage will be a little more intense than a pure relaxation massage and perhaps deal with long-term or chronic issues. The most common examples would be a deep tissue massage or sports massage. The therapist uses more pressure and cross-fiber friction in order to get knots (also known as adhesions) to release.
Therapeutic massage is primarily a way to indicate to the client that the massage has therapeutic purposes and health benefits.