Remedial Massage is the systematic assessment and treatment of the muscles, tendons, ligaments and connective tissues of the body to assist in rehabilitation, pain and injury management. It’s performed to create favorable conditions for the body to return to normal health after injury and is defined by the premise that the treatment can reasonably reverse certain physical effects a client may be presenting.
If a client has suffered a moderate injury resulting in structural pain and/or loss of function, then remediation is required to reduce or eliminate pain and restore that function.
It helps to balance muscle/soft tissue length, tension, tone which will in turn promote the return to normal joint/capsular/bone position; increase the flow of blood and lymph, particularly in the injured areas, thus removing blockages, damaged cells, scar tissue and adhesions resulting from injury.
Remedial Massage is provided by highly skilled professionals who have had training in anatomy, physiology, kinesiology and pathology. It involves a wide range of investigative techniques that can treat specific health issues, injuries, soft tissue dysfunctions and musculoskeletal imbalances.The therapist collects history and information from the client pertaining to the injury at hand and performs a postural analysis to confirm which muscle or muscles are implicated. This allows the therapist to devise a treatment plan according to observations made.
Massage therapists cannot diagnose any injuries or conditions.
Sports massage was originally developed to help athletes prepare their bodies for optimal performance, recover after a big event, or function well during training. Sports massage emphasizes prevention and healing of injuries to the muscles and tendons.
But you don't have to be in the Olympics to benefit from sports massage. Sports massage is also good for people with injuries, chronic pain or restricted range of motion. The massage therapist generally concentrates on a specific problem area.
When is best to have a sports massage for events:
- Pre-event sports massage: Usually a Sports Massage prior to the event will depend on the type of treatment you require. If you want a corrective massage and working on the deep tissue this can be day 4-5 days prior to the event. Massage can be done right up to the day of the event but the treatment may vary. A gentle flush out of the muscles is advised with some stretching to loosen the tissue before the event.
- Post-event sports massage: A post event massage is always advised to help flush out the acid build up within the muscle tissue and reduce swelling, also helps with your recovery.
- Restorative sports massage: Forms part of an injury prevention program and is usually given during training to allow the athlete to train harder and with less injury.
Vacuum cupping, second only to massage is one of the oldest treatments known to medicine. It is not known when or where the technique originated, however one of the oldest medical textbooks records it was used by the Ancient Egyptian priest/doctors.
We use cupping to treat muscular aches and pains, spasms and trigger points. It has been found that cupping affects circulation as deep as four inches below the surface of the skin which enables the therapist to treat deeper. When applying the cups they stretch up the skin increasing blood flow to the area to repair the tissue.
Usually, after the cupping session is completed you may notice a different colour of the skin. It does look like bruising but rest assured it is not, as we have not damaged the tissue. What it is, is discoloration from the toxins being brought to the surface of the skin. This should dissipate up to 7 days later depending on the severity of the issue. It is a very effective treatment and great to use when manual therapy feels too sore.
Trigger Point Therapy
A myofascial trigger point is a hyper irritable locus within a taut band of skeletal muscle. It is located in the muscular tissue and/or its associated fascia. Clients usually present with it as referred pain. I use this method mainly in Sports and Remedial Massage.
The aim to alleviate this pain is to de-sensitize the trigger point, getting the muscle back to functioning properly.
The main reason we get trigger points is because of the rise in pain, which in turn activates a spinal reflex mechanism. This causes localized muscle spasm, a decrease in blood flow and an accumulation of the byproducts of tissue damage. Adhesions then form in the muscle fibres, giving rise to the formation of the trigger points with outlast the initial protective muscle spasm. I work within a pain scale from 1-10 and it should not exceed a 7 or 8. So communication through this kind of treatment is necessary because some areas can be quite tender and your body will respond to the pain by tensing up. You do not want to tense up because it will not help the soft tissue to improve.
PNF stretching is an acronym of proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation. When performing PNF stretching the therapist is passively stretching the client. There are many different types of stretching but this is used quite often to obtain maximum results as the results are shown straight away.
In this stretching the therapist puts you into a stretch in which you hold the stretch and after 10 seconds the therapist will ask you to contract the muscle for 8 seconds. Afterwards you will relax and take a deep breath so the therapist is able to put you into a stronger and deeper stretch. This is repeated up to 3 times to obtain maximum stretch gains.
The aim of stretching is to increase flexibility, reduce post activity muscle soreness, to reduce excessive strain on the body’s tissues and to help recovery or rehabilitation and preventing injury.
This modality is done as part of a treatment. Mainly in a Sports or Remedial Massage.