There is much confusion regarding the different types of massage. Many people interchange deep tissue, sports and remedial massage but they are not one and the same. We’ll outline the difference for you here and over the next couple of weeks we will be outlining the benefits of a regular deep tissue massage - or what we call, a Maintenance Massage.
But let’s start with the basics.
Remedial Massage - a true Remedial Massage will start with a thorough assessment of your current posture, any pain points as well as investigating your history. This will take anywhere from 5 - 10 mins depending on your background. From this the therapist can identify what is required to be addressed. Some Remedial Bodyworkers will use a structural integration approach to realign your fascia and soft tissues for better overall function. A Remedial Therapist will work on what is required, as opposed to providing a full body treatment. With Muscle Medicine you can expect to receive a treatment plan and recommendations for at home care (exercises, postural cues etc). Your therapist will want to know what the pain or discomfort is holding you back from and what your goals are, so they can help you achieve them together.
Deep Tissue Massage - Deep tissue is more of a technique than a massage style. It refers to the pressure the therapist uses and if they are treating the deeper muscles in your muscular skeletal system or just those on the surface. Generally a therapist who offers Deep Tissue Massage as a type of massage is providing a full body treatment which will provide general soft tissue release. The pressure is stronger than a more relaxing style of massage as the therapist is aiming to release the soft tissues at a deeper level. A more relaxing or therapeutic (spa) massage works on the more superficial muscles.
Sports Massage - A Sports Massage is generally a Deep Tissue massage for a sports person! Or for someone who has been doing a lot of a particular movement or exercise. You will often find a Sports Massage therapist will focus on particular parts of the body to provide release, rather than a full body massage. You can also build a pre & post event program with a sports massage therapist.
So what is a Maintenance Massage? At Muscle Medicine we offer Remedial Massages to help you achieve specific goals and improvements in your soft tissues and Maintenance Massages, which are a combination between deep tissue and sports massage. Our therapist will discuss what you are wanting as well as providing an initial, broad assessment. They will work at the pressure you feel comfortable with and relieve the soft tissues required to provide you relief and relaxation. Our Maintenance Massages also provide a release for the central nervous system, allowing your body to retreat from the fight or flight (parasympathetic nervous system) mode we are too often in during our ‘switched on’ lifestyles.
Our Maintenance Therapists also work in conjunction with our Remedial Therapists to provide a collaborative treatment plan. They will be briefed by your Remedial Therapist to release the soft tissues that will benefit your next Remedial Treatment.
So if you experience general aches and pains, tightness from sitting at a desk for long hours or sore muscles from exercising or need to provide some calming influences to your nervous system - Maintenance Massages are for you!
Regular massage treatments are like going to the gym for your soft tissues. You know you should do it, you know you feel better when you do and it makes a difference to your overall health when you do it regularly.
So what are the benefits to regular massage treatments? Over the next few weeks Areta will delve into the 8 benefits in our blog series. Each blog will address one of the following benefits;
Improve circulatory system
Improve Immune System
Release of Happy Hormones
Increase Range of Movement
Calm the Nervous System
Improve the Digestive System
Improve Respiratory System
Now that you know the amazing benefits a maintenance massage can provide you with, you may be thinking how often should I be getting them? It all depends on your lifestyle;
Muscle Medicine Recommendations:
High-Performance Lifestyle | Weekly - Fortnightly
If you're an athlete who trains/exercises almost everyday or your job requires you to move a lot this is recommended for you. Basically - if you use your muscles a lot, you should maintain them for the use you are putting them through.
Active/High Function Lifestyle | 3 weekly - monthly - 5 weekly
If you’re an individual who exercises 3 - 4 times a week, has a busy work schedule, wanting to get back into training or starting a new training regime or a mum running around after the kids we recommend between 3 - 5 week intervals. Your body needs to be looked after as you are still putting it through a lot of work!
Life Care | every 6 to 8 weeks
If you are mostly sedentary or aren’t as active as you used to be, a treatment to keep your system functioning at its best level is recommended every 6 - 8 weeks.
If you are working with one of our Remedial Massage Therapists, the Maintenance Massages are the next step after graduating from your treatment plan.
If you want to know more about the benefits listed above, keep an eye out on our website and instagram as we release our blog series over the next couple of weeks.