Freya Weston-Barry – Remedial Massage Therapy
Lets kick this off with a post about Remedial Massage in case you have ever wondered exactly what it is and what it involves!
Firstly, the term ‘Remedial’ is defined as “giving or intended as a remedy or cure”. A remedial action is intended to correct something that is ‘wrong’ or to improve a ‘bad’ situation.
Remedial Massage is a very thorough, precise massage designed to iron out any areas of tension or knots. It can be an all over general massage where the therapist works you head to toe, finding and releasing tension as they go, or it can be a very focused session, targeting a specific area or region.
A quality massage therapist will have an array of massage tools and techniques to assist you. These can include the following:
- Longitudinal Gliding is a basic but effective massage technique administered in the direction of the blood flow. It aids the fluid dispersion from the injury site, and thus helps reduce inflammation and swelling. It’s also very useful in relaxing tight muscles.
- Kneading can be performed in different ways and is described by the part of the hand used to accomplish the massage, e.g thumb kneading and palm kneading. The pressure used must vary according to the purpose of the massage and the bulk of the tissue under treatment.
- Myofascial Release (MFR) is a manual technique applied to stretch the fascia with the aim to balance the body. Fascia is located between the skin and the underlying structure of muscle and bone; it is a seamless web of connective tissue that covers and connects the muscles, organs and skeletal structures in our body. The goal of MFR is to release fascia restriction, which is often caused by injuries, stress, trauma and poor posture.
- Trigger Point Therapy is a bodywork technique that involves the application of direct pressure to tender points within the muscle tissue, in order to relieve pain and dysfunction. Trigger points are active centres of muscular hyperactivity and are common sites of muscular ‘knots’.
- Rhythmic Compression into muscles is used to improve blood flow and create a softening effect in the tissues. It is generally used as a warm-up for deeper, more specific massage work.
- Cross-Fibre Friction (CFF) techniques are applied in a general manner to create a stretching and broadening effect in large muscle groups or on specific muscles and connective tissue. CFFs use an osciallating pressure applied across the direction of the tissue fibres to help break down thickened, pain-producing scar tissue.
- Active Release Technique (ART) is a hands-on treatment in which muscle, ligament, fascia or tendon is held in a shortened position with pressure applied to the tissue involved. The structure is then actively lengthened through a full, comfortable range of motion until the pressure is no longer felt. ART promotes faster recovery, restoration of normal tissue function and can prevent injuries.
- Deep Tissue Massage (DTM) is aimed at the deeper tissue structures of the muscle and fascia. It’s a more focused type of massage that aims to release chronic muscle tension or ‘knots’. A quality DTM helps to:
– loosen muscle tissue
– release toxins from muscles
– improve blood and oxygen circulation
- Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) is a gentle, rhythmical massage treatment performed to stimulate the circulation of lymph fluid around the body. This helps to rapidly speed up the removal of wastes and toxins from a ‘sluggish’ lymphatic system and aims to increase it’s overall efficiency. MLD can also aid in the prevention of swelling after injury or surgery and is thought to provide a major boost to the immune system.
- Pregnancy Massage is a combination of relaxation massage and DTM however the therapist adapts their techniques to address the changes a woman goes through during her pregnancy. Pregnancy massage can help by targeting specific areas of the body that need to be relaxed and can benefit the following:
– stress and anxiety about the pregnancy
– sore back and hips
– headaches associated with pregnancy
– restless legs
– sleep deprivation and tiredness
- Relaxation Massage is a smooth, gentle, flowing style that promotes general relaxation, relieves muscular tension, improves circulation and range of motion.
- Sports Massage is a treatment given with the understanding not only of anatomy and physiology, but also of the particular demands placed upon the body by the client and their specific sport. It’s done with the primary aim of returning each client to their desired sports activity with the same or an even better level of function. Sports massages can include more aggressive techniques that approach muscles more deeply and will often utilise a variety of modalities. Benefits include:
– reducing the chance of injury
– improving power and performance by increasing muscular flexibility and joint range of motion
– increasing vascular flow to tissues, maximising nutrient and oxygen supply
– improving the elimination of lactic and carbonic waste products, which result from muscle contraction during physical activity
– shortening recovery time post event
– decreasing fatigue
- Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF) techniques combine passive stretching and isometrics, with the muscle involved alternatingly stretched passively and then actively contracted. The technique targets nerve receptors in the muscles to extend the muscle length.
- Muscle Energy Technique (MET) is a manual therapy that uses the gentle muscle contractions of the client to relax and lengthen muscles and normalise joint motion. It is a direct manipulative procedure that uses an active contraction of the client’s muscles against a controlled counter-force from a precise position and in a specific direction. MET is usually applied to individuals who have a limited range of motion or to treat chronic muscle pain, stiffness and injury.
I know that was a lot of information I bombarded you with but thanks for sticking with me! I hope you now have a better understanding of what encompasses Remedial Massage, please don’t hesitate to ask any questions!