To Remedial Massage regulars therapeutic massage has often been seen as the ‘soft option’ of more of a luxury than an essential service. Often associated with candles, soft music, and downtime - which is not a bad thing, we could all do with some ‘me time’. But there are more benefits to a good therapeutic massage than you may know.
We’re sure you’ve experienced a range of massages, from those that make you feel like you are floating in the clouds, to those that provide pain relief and put you on a journey towards improved movement. Then there are massages that leave you totally underwhelmed or like you’ve been beaten up. So how do the styles of massage differ, what do they offer and how do you know if you have a good therapist?
Styles of Massage
Let’s do a quick review of the styles of massage you’ll find when you start googling!
Myotherapy | involves the assessment and treatment of soft tissue and muscular-skeletal dysfunction, injury, or pain. A myotherapist is taught a range of techniques within the studies to allow them to draw on during treatments. These techniques include Remedial Massage, Dry Needling, Trigger Point Therapy, and Active Movement & Exercise Therapy.
Myotherapy sessions focus on identifying where the dysfunction, pain, or injury originated and treating to provide immediate relief and ongoing, sustainable changes in the body for long term solutions.
Remedial Massage | As in its name, a true Remedial Massage is remedial in nature; “given or intended as a remedy or cure”. There is an objective & subjective assessment and treatment is focused on rehabilitating the causes of biomechanical dysfunction or injury.
This style of massage incorporates a number of modalities to provide solutions for a client's pain or discomfort. Deep Tissue and Fascia Release are techniques that your Remedial Therapist will use.
A Remedial Massage Therapist who engages in continued education seeks to continually find tools to add to their arsenal. Often your Remedial Therapist will also be trained in dry needling, cupping, trigger point, and movement therapy. These additional techniques allow them to provide multifaceted treatment plans to ensure sustainable results. This allows your therapist to treat in a myotherapy style.
Deep Tissue Massage | This is a technique rather than a style of massage. This technique talks to the strength of pressure the therapist uses during your massage.
Sports Massage | This is another term often interchanged with Remedial Massage, as the client is looking to remedy a particular pain or discomfort. As many people who compete in sport have regular massages, this term became popular as a descriptor. Sports Massages do use specific techniques to assist with pre or post-event/sports rehab, though these techniques are also used as appropriate in our Remedial Massages
Trigger Point Massage | This is another technique utilised by Remedial & Myotherapists to provide relief. The Trigger Points, also known as ‘knots’ are the focus for the therapist to loosen and provide tension relief.
Fascia Release | This term was used within the industry and has recently become used more colloquially used. Fascia is the connective tissue that surrounds the muscles and gives them structure. Your therapist will work the fascia as well as the muscle tissue during the treatment.
Lymphatic Drainage Massage | The lymphatic system is the body's waste removal system. Metabolic waste is moved out of your tissues via the lymphatic system, to your lymph nodes which then remove them from the body. The lymph is moved through the lymph system via the movement created by the muscular system. Therefore lack of movement can cause lymph to build up in the system, resulting in fluid retention, swelling and lymphodema. This lack of movement may come from prolonged surgery, bed rest or a person may have a sluggish lymph system that needs assistance. Our lymphatic system is also important in our immune function, a healthy lymphatic system will support a strong immune system.
A lymphatic drainage massage engages soft gentle strokes along the lymph system encouraging the lymph towards the lymph nodes. It also encourages blood flow and the removal of toxins into the lymph system to be moved along.
Therapeutic Massage | Therapeutic massage is focused on the full-body, promoting relaxation, relief to muscle aches or DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness), and improved blood circulation. This type of massage can also engage deep tissue techniques, depending on how much pressure the client prefers.
Therapeutic Massage, or as we call it at Muscle Medicine, Maintenance Massage is ideal to help maintain healthy soft tissues as part of a training program, a remedial treatment plan, or simply as a life maintenance plan.
Within the Therapeutic area, there are also a number of treatment styles such as Hot Stone, Sweedish, Aromatherapy, and Shiatsu to name a few, which you will find at day spas.
So as you can see, there are really only a couple of Massage Styles with many techniques that can be engaged. At Muscle Medicine, we engage Remedial, Myotherapists, and Therapeutic Therapists. This allows us to ensure we can provide treatments for your soft tissue injuries and discomfort as well as providing solutions for general soft tissue health.
All our remedial therapists are curious life-long learners, who have upskilled to allow them to treat in a myotherapy style - that is, engaging a number of modalities to provide solutions.
Our therapeutic therapists are remedially trained and mentored under our in-house mentoring program. This ensures they are of the highest quality and can identify if your pain or discomfort requires a greater assessment with a remedial therapist.
Each of our therapists will work with you to outline the treatments that will provide you with the ability to reach your goals and sustain those results.