Remedial massage is an assessment and treatment technique that targets muscles and other connective tissues. It aims to decrease pain, improve tissue blood flow, alleviate muscle tightness, improve muscle flexibility and promotes relaxation.We tend to differentiate remedial massage into two broad categories: relaxation and deep tissue massage. The key difference between the two is pressure.
Relaxation massage, as the name suggests, aims to fully relax you using long, flowing light strokes and kneads on different body parts. Relaxation massage is gentle and soothing. However, it can also target tight areas (“trigger points” or “knots”) on your body such as aches in your neck and back after a long day of work. It is not uncommon that one may fall asleep during a relaxation massage session.
Deep tissue massage
Deep tissue massage works on your whole body using deeper pressure to target dense muscle layers and their surrounding tissue.The idea of utilising deeper and firmer pressure is to break down scar tissue to improve muscle blood circulation, improve muscle flexibility and improve the efficiency of muscle contraction. Hence for this reason, deep tissue massage may aid rehabilitation and improve sports performance when it is had regularly.
In addition to feeling rejuvenated, research evidence supports remedial massage as an adjunct treatment for many long-term musculoskeletal conditions. Studies suggest massaging surrounding soft tissues in conditions such as neck pain, shoulder pain, tendon problems, back pain and knee and hip osteoarthritis are effective in reducing pain when accompanied with rehabilitative exercises. Remedial massage, like any form of physical treatment, requires clinical expertise. This is why you always need to consult with your physiotherapists to decide whether or not remedial massage may aid your recovery when you experience pain.
There are things to remember when you are considering remedial massage. If you are osteoporotic (have fragile bones), have blood conditions such as blood clotting issues, have been diagnosed with cancer or have had cancer treatments (chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy) and/or have recently undergone surgery, please consult your doctor or physiotherapist before having remedial massage. Additionally, it is not uncommon for one to experience post-massage soreness, stiffness and even bruising. These symptoms should dissipate within 24-48 hours.