Which Treatment? Knowing the Difference



With the rise of Natural Therapies, it is important to know the difference between the therapists that can help you be the best version of yourself, and live pain-free. As well as knowing which modality is the most appropriate, knowing if you should be on a treatment plan or maintenance plan is also important.


At muscle medicine, we focus on soft tissue health, so this excludes therapies such as chiropractic, which focuses more on joint health and skeletal manipulations.


Our key therapies are Massage Therapy, Remedial Massage Therapy, Myotherapy, and Osteopathy, all of which are founded on creating changes in soft tissues in order to improve postural health and eliminate or reduce pain.


All three types of therapy are stand-alone therapies and have their own roles, but they all have one goal which is to holistically heal the body through manual therapy or hands-on therapy.


What is Massage Therapy?


A massage therapist must be educated to a certificate IV level. They have a basic understanding of human anatomy and are taught how to release tension in muscles. This is the entry-level for massage therapists. Many therapists continue at this level and perform very good full-body massages to relax and reduce stress in their client's soft tissues. Massage Therapists cannot offer health fund rebates.


Some massage therapists continue their education and skill development with additional short courses or mentoring allowing them to perform excellent Sports or Deep Tissue Massage, an overall massage with a focus on knots and muscle tension.


Muscle Medicine employs the best Massage Therapists who are curious learners and wish to continue to grow their skill base. They are engaged in a mentoring program where they work with our Senior Remedial Therapists to continue to learn, in the meantime are able to offer fantastic relaxation and full-body massages.


What is Remedial Massage?


Remedial Massage Therapy addresses the relief of pressure or pain presenting from the musculoskeletal and soft tissues within the body. Remedial Massage can also aid in healing through a holistic approach to soft tissue health.


Remedial Massage Therapists must complete a Diploma of Remedial Massage which is a minimum of 12 months study. They have advanced knowledge of human anatomy and how muscles, tendons, ligaments and soft tissues relate and respond to each other.


Many Remedial Massage Therapists specialise in general Sports or Deep Tissue Massage, though some will continue their education to add additional modalities to their offering.


At Muscle Medicine, our Senior Remedial Massage Therapists are all educated and experienced in a number of additional modalities such as;

  • Cupping

  • Gua Sha

  • Dry Needling & Electro Dry Needling*

  • Kinesiotaping

  • Lymph Drainage*

  • Fascia Release

  • TMJ Techniques

  • Corrective Exercise

  • Treatment Plans for pain management and corrective actions


*Specific therapists only


These extra qualifications allow a Remedial Massage Therapist to work in a similar fashion to Myotherapists.


What is Myotherapy?


Myotherapy focuses on addressing musculoskeletal and soft tissue issues with a broad scale of techniques such as massage, fascia release, dry needling, cupping, corrective exercise, taping, and provides prescriptive advice on how to manage muscle pain.


Myotherapists have completed a Bachelor course in Human Sciences or similar, providing them with the qualifications of all the additional modalities that a Remedial Massage Therapist would need to complete post their diploma.


Remedial Massage Therapists and Myotherapists are not able to diagnose injuries or conditions. They are able to assess and provide a working diagnosis to allow them to provide suitable treatment plans but may require a scan to confirm diagnosis. As they are unable to refer you for scans, they would need you to see your GP for a scan referral.


As you can see, there can be large discrepancies between therapists who are educated and categorised to the same level. It is important that you know the knowledge and skill level of the therapist you are seeing. With the additional training, our Senior Remedial Therapists & Myotherapists have undertaken, they treat whilst keeping the full body in mind so they are able to quickly identify the best path of treatment - including referral.


What is Osteopathy?


Osteopathy holistically focuses on how joints, muscles, nerves, skeleton, and circulation work together. It looks at the body as a holistic unit and links everything together to create support and balance for the body to self-heal. It includes techniques such as manual therapy, neurological/orthopedic testing, corrective exercise, stretching, and joint manipulation. Osteopaths are considered primary health care practitioners which means that they are able to diagnose a condition or injury and give in-depth health advice for their clients.


How can they all interact with each other?


Since all three types of therapies are used to holistically heal the body, it is very easy for an osteopath, myotherapist, and remedial massage therapist to work together to create a more effective treatment plan for a client.


Osteopaths may refer to massage for in-depth soft tissue work which they cannot provide in their shorter appointments, Massage Therapists may refer to Osteopaths for diagnosis or treatment of a more acute injury or condition involving skeletal adjustments.


At muscle medicine our therapists are all highly educated, due to this, there is much more cross-over with our practitioners. One of our core values is curiosity, everyone who works with us is curious and engaged in continued learning, the more knowledge and skills they develop the more they can identify underlying issues and provide you with treatment and corrective action options - or refer you to a therapist who will be able to assist you.


It is always best to know which treatment is right for you, so by asking advice from one of these practitioners you can get the idea of what support your body needs.


It is our promise to our clients that we will deal with clear, honest communication. We will provide you with advice on what is required for you to get to a better place in your body. We will recommend a treatment plan, maintenance plan, or for you to see a different therapist who can provide you a service or treatment that we aren’t able to.

As you can see it is important that you not only understand the differences between the modalities but also the difference between practitioners within each modality, so you can ensure you are seeing the right therapist for your requirements


If you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to give us a call. Even our receptionist Emma is a Myotherapy Student and able to help you make the right decision for your initial consultation.


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