What is Remedial Massage Therapy?
Remedial Massage Therapy is a massage based application used to treat a number of conditions affecting the muscles, tendons, and ligaments of the body. Remedial massage therapy is a great way to treat muscle tension and pain, commonly experienced in the lower back, shoulders and neck. It can also help to alleviate many other conditions such as headaches and jaw pain, chronic pain, sciatic pain, hip and foot pain, RSI and sports injuries. It is also great for general relaxation, stress relief and well-being. Remedial massage techniques can assist with the relief of knots and over-contracted muscle by manipulating the muscle tissue so it lengthens and relaxes. Massage can also increase range of motion and flexibility and can be used as a preventive therapy to avoid future aches and pains.
What does a Remedial Massage Therapist do?
A Remedial Massage therapist uses systematic assessment and treatment of the muscles, tendons, ligaments and connective tissues of the body, to assist in pain, injury and rehabilitation. To understand how to treat patients, a remedial therapist must know anatomy, physiology and pathophysiology.
Massage is simply the manipulation of the soft tissues of the body-the muscles, tendons and ligaments. A massage therapist’s hands are their most important tool, which they use to treat patients, and also to identify physical and bio-mechanical problems. The therapist palpates the patient’s body to determine the condition of the tissues and the source of any pain, and suggests the correct form of remedial treatment based on their analysis.
Techniques used for Remedial Massage Therapy:
- Deep tissue massage: The therapist will use deep, firm pressure to ease tension in problem areas. The therapist may use different techniques to achieve the appropriate pressure and depth by using their hands, elbows, knuckles or thumbs.
- Trigger point therapy: The therapist places pressure on specific areas of tension in the body called 'trigger points' by using cycles of pressure and release. This can be a very effective way to relieve tension and is beneficial when used in conjunction with deep tissue massage.
- Stretch therapy and joint mobilisation: Stretching involves the therapist assisting the patient with stretching various areas of the body, which helps to relieve pain, enhance flexibility, improve range of motion, and improve circulation. Joint mobilisation works by applying a low speed, passive movement of a joint, encouraging intracapsular movement, and improving stiffness and pain. It’s usually targeted at a specific problem joint.
- Myofascial release: Myofascial tissue is the fibrous connective tissue that supports and protects your muscles and bones. Myofascial release works by applying a specific, local stretch-based massage technique to knotted areas of the body, or other trigger points that help to relieve pain in the affected area.
- Thermotherapy and cryotherapy: Thermotherapy uses heated objects such as heat packs, hot water bottles, or hot baths to induce muscle relaxation, and promote blood flow. Cryotherapy uses cooled objects such as cold compresses, ice packs, or cold baths to decrease blood flow, which reduces inflammation and the risk of tissue damage.
What are the other benefits of Remedial Massage that are not just associated with muscle or joint pain?
Remedial Massage is not only great for relieving muscle and joint pain, but it is also really beneficial to aid relaxation and reduce stress, reduce anxiety and depression, improve sleep quality and provide a better sense of wellbeing.