What do remedial massage therapists do?
Remedial massage therapists have the ability to discover soft tissue problems using their hands and fingers. Palpation is a special skill that allows a therapist to feel tissue changes and what needs attention. Trained for over 12 months, remedial massage therapists are knowledgeable in many techniques to help release tight muscles. The aim of the treatment is to re-balance muscle and soft tissue to its normal state. It will promote joint, capsule and bone alignment and increases blood and lymph flow to your tissue. Our bodies learn to move in certain ways through daily life and repetitive activities which cause pain. By releasing and removing adhesions and tension in muscles, this pain can decrease.
Some tools that your therapist may use include:
Trigger pointing: releasing tight, tiny sections of muscles that can refer pain to other areas causing pain and reduced range of movement.
Deep tissue: The use of firm and slow strokes to break apart adhesions in the muscles. This improves circulation and range of movement within the muscle and can also include cross-fibre friction for extra oomph.
Myofascial release: slow, steady pressure using little to no oil or balm targeting tight and inflexible muscles.
Joint mobilisation: a gentle movement of the joint within its normal range encouraging improved movement and reduced pain in the joint
More specialised techniques
Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) stretching: the therapist works with the client to increase the range of movement in the muscle by alternately contracting and then lengthening muscles
Muscle energy technique (MET): similar to PNF stretching, but easier and can be used for muscles that are injured. Encourages relaxation and lengthening of tight muscles
Myofascial Cupping: a gentle method using silicon cups designed to “lift” and “separate” layers of tissue which increases blood flow and texture in the fascial tissue.
Circulation pumping: Active joint movement by the client while the therapist works on specific soft tissue to aid fascia and muscular release.
Lymphatic drainage: a gentle technique designed to move lymph through its specialised system just underneath the skin
Ischemic pressure: Targeting an area of muscle and applying enough pressure to force blood out of the area, forcing nerves and muscle tissue to relax.
What happens in a remedial massage session?
Sessions are usually broken up into sections:
5-10 minutes for body assessment: This is the time when you tell your therapist what hurts, where, when and how it happened. Your therapist may want to do some musculoskeletal testing. They will give you an outline of their plan for the treatment and instruction for how to position yourself on the table and to cover yourself with towels and blankets and allow you to get ready in private.
45 minutes for remedial treatment.
5 minutes for evaluation of the treatment: your therapist may need to re-do any testing that they did at the beginning of the session to see if there has been any change. They will also give you advice for prolonging your treatment outcomes. This may be stretches, exercises or other advice.
I’ve been told it hurts!
Talking is key when having a remedial massage treatment. A pain scale of 1 to 10 is used to identify whether the therapist is working in your comfort zone. Your therapist will ask you if they are treating within your particular pain tolerance. Some parts of your body will be tighter than others, so it’s natural that some will hurt more than others.
How long does it last?
Like any other physical treatment, remedial massage is not a quick fix. Because results will depend on your problem, the ability of your body to heal itself and how committed you are to the treatments, you will have to commit to a few treatments, which your remedial therapist will outline. Your therapist will give you home-care tips to help prolong your treatment.
Have questions? Our fantastic remedial therapists at the Green Apple Wellness Centre can help you. Contact us now!