Remedial Massage by definition is a massage treatment aimed at remedying an issue that is affecting the daily life of a client. Be it back ache, shoulder pain, headache, restriction in a particular movement (eg can’t turn to look over shoulder while driving), or any other irritation, pain or discomfort felt in the body.
Our therapists are trained to listen to the client report on what is affecting them, then to use their training, knowledge and experience to assess what is going on in the client’s body. This can involve using observation of movement and posture, range of motion testing and palpation.
Importantly, skilled assessment lets us know when NOT to massage and when a referral may be required. People have presented with back pain that we have identified as a cracked rib or disc bulge, and obviously massage would not help either scenario, and could even harm. This is one of the benefits of using trained and qualified Diploma Level Remedial Massage Therapists.
Once an assessment is made treatment can involve multiple hands on techniques depending on the situation and the individual client themselves. For example we would not treat an 80 year old with neck pain the same way we treat a 20 year old front row forward due to the obvious difference in body type and considerations required.
We can combine any or all of the treatments listed below in a Remedial Massage treatment and rest assured the treatment will be tailored to the clients individual issue, their sensitivity and their level of irritability.
Often depending on the situation, Remedial Massage treatments will incorporate some relaxation elements as an overall means to set up a better healing environment.
Swedish or Relaxation Massage
Some people seek a relaxing massage treatment that does not involve too deep a pressure. Something that will open up circulation and make them feel better generally and more calm and relaxed. Some people use the term “Swedish Massage” or “Relaxation Massage” for this kind of treatment.
If this is requested it is usually a more formulaic, flowing sequence of strokes. Often, but not necessarily, covering most of the body (ie, back, neck, legs, feet, arms, hands, and head). Sometimes it may involve face or head massage but this is always by request as it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. Having said that, if you have never had a head or face massage it is wonderful for relaxation.
Massage of the feet and hands can also be incredibly calming to the nervous system due to all the sensory nerve endings in those areas.
A regular relaxation massage can be beneficial for stress management.
Deep Tissue Massage
Deep Tissue Massage is a term that is not really used by remedial massage therapists as such as we will work on the tissues we feel need working on in a way we think will get the best result within the client’s tolerance (which does not always need to involve deep pressure). It is more of a term used by people who are trying to find a treatment that is not too light for their needs as they have been left disappointed previously.
If you are looking for a firm treatment, no problem, most of our therapists can accommodate this. Just mention it when you contact us to book in.
With so many people involved in gyms and exercise these days everyone is an athlete to some degree!
Sports Massage will be specific for athletes depending on what the purpose of the massage is, and what level of activity and stage of their training program they are at. It can be for recovery after an event, maintenance during the training or performance cycle, or in preparation for an upcoming event (pre-event).
Sports Massage is tailored to the specific sport the client is involved in and involves using remedial massage and often relaxation massage elements.
Knowledge of movement and biomechanics comes in handy here and often sports massage is used as a support when recovering from injury or returning to higher performance levels. We have connections with local physiotherapists who we can coordinate with with individual athletes.
Please note there’s a reason Olympic and other elite athletes require regular massage to perform at their peak. Massage helps the muscles and the athlete perform at their best!
Myofascia and Fascia are difficult terms to explain to the layman. There are thin sheets of connective tissue (collagen) called fascia that separate organs, bones, nerves, vessels and muscles in the body to allow movement between structures and provide support. They also separate muscle fibers (myofascia) inside muscles and travel matrix-like throughout a muscle to form tendons to eventually join the muscle to bones. The fascial lines are continuous and form an important part of our structure. Fascia can adapt to dysfunctional loading. It can become dehydrated, adhered, stiff, thickened or even over stretched and weak.
When we say Myofascial Work, we mean we are considering the nature of all these characteristics when we apply our massage/bodywork treatment. It can involve prolonged stretching, positional placement of joints to reset the balance of fascia around those joints, and other tissue manipulations.
Myofascial work is less invasive than some remedial massage or deep tissue techniques, yet can be very effective for restoring movement and function to joints.
All massage is myofascial work essentially. However the distinction is one of semantics and there are particular ways to address the connective tissue itself rather than the contractile elements of the muscles. Most Remedial Massage sessions will involve some myofascial work.
Trigger Point Therapy
Trigger Points are areas in muscles that are highly neural or exited. They can give referred symptoms to another area without actually being painful themselves. Often sciatica symptoms come from a referral from a trigger point for example.
Trigger Point Therapy (TPT) involves using sustained pressure on these points at a level that is comfortable for the client but enough to induce a therapeutic response from the nervous system. Can be a less irritating way of releasing pain as some people react to over-stimulation of a painful area if the treatment is too aggressive. Less is more, and treating like with like are terms used when explaining the effects of this.
Trigger Point work can be incorporated into a remedial massage treatment.
Remedial Massage using Essential Oils*
Some of our therapists use therapeutic grade, natural and pure essential oils in the treatment upon request. This can be combined in a remedial massage or relaxation treatment.
Traditional aromatherapy treatment is the practice of using natural oils extracted from plants to improve psychological and physical well being. These essential oils used during massage are absorbed through the skin, and travel through the bloodstream to provide health benefits. The odour molecule passes through the nose and straight into our brain, which is believed to assist in improved human moods and emotions.
Aromatherapy helps to relieve neck, shoulder and back pain; reduces inflammation and associated pain; and is widely believed to stimulate brain function e.g. stress, anxiety, insomnia.
Whilst our therapists do not hold Diplomas of Aromatherapy, some have training and experience with oils and can prepare an essential oil treatment if you request it with notice.
*Not all therapists offer this treatment. Please confirm when booking.
*Essential Oils used in massage treatments may incur a small surcharge.
Postural Assessment and Correction Work
Considers the nature of posture and movement in relation to being a cause or a factor in a patient’s pain or problem. With overuse, fatigue or carrying old injuries the client may have developed compensation patterns of movement or poor posture they are unaware of that can overload certain muscles and joints and cause pain. This is extremely common.
We can use visual assessment skills, dissection of the client history (to identify origins and other factors related) and Range of Motion Testing to confirm issues of compensation. And then Muscle Energy Technique & Myofascial Work alongside general massage therapy to help people re- align.
Corrective exercise and simple postural advice may be incorporated.
Massage for Pregnancy
We get asked often, “Do you do pregnancy massage?”. My answer is always, “We massage pregnant people all the time”. We just don’t really call it pregnancy massage as such. What the client wants out of the massage treatment is assessed and we take it from there using our professional judgment.
Prenatal massage is a great support to the expectant mother as pregnancy at different stages places different loads on the body. Physically the change in body shape and weight distribution as the baby grows can force muscles of the hips, legs and lower back to over work and ache. Also the changes in upper body positioning and breast size can lead to shoulder, spine and neck muscle tension. All of which benefit from massage and myofascial techniques..
Mentally and emotionally the calming benefits of massage are wonderful for nurturing the expectant mother and aiding in a relaxed pregnancy.
All our therapists are Diploma Level Remedial Massage Therapists and are trained to deal with the pregnant client and note any contraindications. Some therapists have seated options for back work and others will lay the client on their side and treat that way, bolstering up the body with extra pillows for comfort. We do not use tables with holes in them.
Postnatal remedial massage is also of great benefit. The load on the shoulders and arms during breastfeeding is immense and coupled with the extra laxity of the joints associated with pregnancy (not to mention the relentlessness of being a new mum!) muscle tension release is a great strategy to adopt.