Remedial massage, together with a bit of self-care can do wonders for your overall health & wellbeing. Does this sound like something you would like to incorporate into your life? Read on to find out what exactly remedial massage is, how can it help you and what self-care options work well alongside massage therapy.
What are the Benefits of Remedial Massage?
Remedial massage is a complementary therapy that aims to treat muscles that are tense, knotted and immobile – it is even useful for treating damaged tissue. This particular type of massage can be really effective for managing common complaints such as stress, anxiety, headaches, insomnia and chronic pain.
There is a wide array of physical benefits that remedial massage therapy can help with including:
● Reducing or alleviating pain, whether short term or chronic
● Increasing overall flexibility
● Improving energy levels and vitality
● Releasing muscle tension and tightness
● Releasing nerve compression (eg. sciatica and carpal tunnel)
● Improving posture
● Releasing toxins from the body
● Lengthening muscles and bringing the body back into balance
The mental benefits of remedial massage therapy are also vast and include:
● Reducing stress levels
● Assisting with depression and anxiety
● Improving the quality and duration of sleep
● Releasing endorphins
● Boosting the immune system
● Calming and clearing your mind
● Improving your overall mood
Now that you have read all those amazing benefits, are you sitting up straighter or rolling your sore neck just thinking about how remedial massage could help you?
How is Remedial Massage Different from Other Massage Types?
Remedial massage focuses on the parts of the body that require rehabilitation, so that may be the point of an injury, joint pain or muscle stiffness. This type of massage uses a range of techniques to treat muscles, tendons, ligaments and connective tissues to achieve the desired result.
A consultation with a trained therapist would begin with a physical examination to identify the cause of any pain or discomfort. The actual treatment involves techniques specific to the concerns and may include trigger point therapy (pressing or rubbing on the knots and tight spots) and gentle stretching to relax and soothe tension in soft tissue.
The number of treatments required will depend on the severity of the issues but in a lot of cases it should only take a session or two to feel some relief. Initially you may need a massage every week or two but depending on how your body responds, sessions can be stretched out to every few weeks.
A qualified sports physiotherapist specialising in massage will be able to offer a range of different types of massage treatments, including remedial, and relieve any pain or discomfort in no time.
Self-Care & Remedial Massage
Such an important part of looking after your body or reducing pain, whether due to injury, or soreness from poor posture, is self-care. Some self-care practices that are recommended by sports physios are:
● Stretching: Improving flexibility and keeping your body moving well is vital and daily stretches ensure that your body will really benefit. Following a massage, stretching is great as it maintains length throughout your muscles.
● Gentle self-massage: With or without oil, you can massage the affected area yourself if possible. Just go slow, and gradually increase pressure. Using a spikey ball or foam roller to work on specific areas can help for those hard-to-reach spots.
● Using a heat pack: A warm compress or wheat bag increases blood flow and helps reduce pain – use one on the necessary site for short periods.
● Regular exercise: Any type of movement is good for you, particularly those that focus on strengthening your body and keeping it flexible. Give yoga, pilates or the gym a try.
● Take regular breaks: Firstly, if you sit at a desk or drive long distances, evaluate your ergonomics and ensure it works for you. Don’t stay sedentary for too long, so take regular breaks, ideally every 30 minutes, to move around and do some simple stretches to keep your body supple and pain free.
To make it easier to work self-care into your routine, set some goals and make it convenient and effortless – for instance, leave the massage oil on the coffee table, or download an app and set reminders to pop up on your phone.
You can begin these self-care techniques immediately, and your remedial massage therapist or physio will be able to provide further advice more specific to your pain or injury, to optimise the benefits of your massage and keep you relaxed and comfortable between appointments.
If you’ve decided to have a remedial massage to kick start your new self-care routine, contact an excellent therapist like one of the team at Melbourne Sports Physiotherapy – they will not only treat you at the clinic but give you practices to do at home to nurture your health and wellbeing. You know you deserve it!