What is Massage Therapy?
Massage therapy treats muscles, tendons, ligaments and other connective tissue to:
Maintain, rehabilitate or increase physical function
Enhance health and promote wellness
The aim of remedial massage therapy is to relieve specific complaints of pain and dysfunction, and as such, a wide variety of conditions can be treated, for example:
Back and neck pain
Muscle, connective tissue and joint pain
Overuse or repetitive strain injuries
Stress, anxiety and other mood related conditions
A thorough assessment is undertaken before and following the treatment to gauge its effectiveness.
The manipulation of soft tissue (using varying degrees of pressure) is used by the remedial massage therapist, including such techniques as: compression, kneading, stroking, friction and percussion. Stretching and passive joint mobilisation as well as heat/cold applications may be used during the treatment. Stretching and/or strengthening exercise may also be recommended in order to improve the results or prevent further problems.
Sports massage is a great addition to any training regime. It can promote a more speedy recovery after injury, improve training ability, improve focus and performance during an event and aid post-event recovery. All techniques used in remedial massage are applied in the sports massage. Your session may also include assisted stretching to get the best out of your body.
Trigger Point Therapy
If you have recurring or long term musculoskeletal pain, tendonitis, bursitis, arthritic pain, headaches, back pain, neck pain or other musculoskeletal conditions, you could well be suffering from unresolved Trigger Points.
Trigger Points are nodules of very tight muscle which can cause localised or referred pain to other parts of the body. Untreated trigger points are very often responsible for long term pain. “Around 75% of pain clinic patients have a trigger point as the sole source of their pain” (Dr Janet Travell, Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: The Trigger Point Manual, 2nd edition, USA, 1999).
Trigger Points can develop following a traumatic injury, fracture, acute muscular strain or excessive/changed exercise routine. They can also be caused by long term postural habits when sitting or standing. Poor posture causes discrete imbalances in muscle strength and chronic overload of some muscle groups leading to Trigger Points and pain. In addition, any repetitive day-to-day movements, sleeping habits or even poor core stability can lead to the formation of trigger points.
Depending on your particular situation, treatment for trigger points may include testing range of motion, deep massage, application of ice and assisted stretching. Relief from chronic pain may involve a few treatments, plus stretching and strengthening at home to maintain long term relief.
Deep Tissue Massage
Deep tissue massage techniques can treat scar tissue and adhesions left after injury, speeding up recovery and encouraging more complete healing.
Manual lymphatic drainage is a very specific massage technique carefully designed to take away toxins via lymph fluid. Lymph fluid acts as the body’s “cleaner”, making it our first line of defence against disease and infection. Oedema (swelling caused by excessive accumulation of fluid) is most commonly treated with manual lymphatic drainage, however, there are many other conditions which can be relieved with this form of massage.
Relaxation (Swedish) Massage
What we now call relaxation massage was conceived in Sweden in the early 19 th Century. A relaxation massage is a more indulgent, general massage to promote a sense of wellbeing and ease muscle tension. The therapist uses feedback from the client to determine depth of pressure. Blended aromatic oils might be used, and a relaxing foot, hand or head massage included.