Let’s clear the air: remedial massage is a form of therapy. It isn't a bland caressing of your back to make you purr. If that's what you want, check out our relaxation massage.
Remedial massage, as the name implies, wants to fix a problem and help the body return to normal health.
It is used to treat any injury where the skin is intact. The massage increase the flow of blood and lymph in the injured areas, removing blockages, shifting damaged cells, loosening up scar tissue and adhesions left after an injury.
Often the injury is not a sudden lesion, caused by a fall or a sharp movement, but the result of a misuse of the body over the long term: typical are conditions created by lifestyle - for example, repetitive strain injury and back pain often are the result of a sedentary lifestyle, nailed to the computer. Massage is often successful where other forms of treatment have failed.
But remedial massage is also very effective in speeding up recovery after exercise, as any athlete knows. Sportsmen and women also get regular massages to make sure small injuries such as strains and small tears are treated before they reduce performance and become debilitating.
The massage therapist needs a robust knowledge of anatomy and physiology to determine how and where to treat each patient, and knowledge of a range of techniques including trigger point pressure and myofascial release, either by pressure or by using cupping - see our video.
During treatment, the therapist uses the patient’s feedback to pinpoint the damaged tissues and to adjust pressure. The result is usually immediate relief, although certain conditions may require a number of treatments. A recent injury will react and recover more quickly than a long-term injury - don’t leave it too long!
Having said that, it is true that remedial massage has particular success with long-standing back and compound injuries that have resisted previous treatment attempts. Once a serious injury is properly healed, further treatment is only needed if another injury is sustained.
Remedial massage works well as a preventive tool. People prone to conditions such as tight neck and upper back muscles often find that a periodical treatment - sometimes as little as one hour a month - keeps them healthy and in good form.
We said at the beginning that remedial massage does not set out to relax the patient; the intention is more to fix a mechanical problem. However a nice by-product of the treatment is an all-round health improvement, which may include a general feeling of wellbeing, better sleep, increase in vitality and alertness levels and better performance at many everyday tasks.