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Massage: When ‘to’ and when ‘not to’ – Part 1

Massage: When ‘to’ and when ‘not to’ – Part 1

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Unless you’ve been receiving regular massage treatment for several years, or unless you are a massage therapist, most people are clueless when it comes to what massage can help you with and when you ought to perhaps avoid soft tissue treatments. So, I am going to clear this up for you!

Firstly, what’s the difference between Relaxation, Therapeutic, Remedial Massage and Deep Tissue Massage?

According to health care funds, ATMS (Australian Traditional Medicine Society) and the MAA (Massage Association Australia), relaxation and therapeutic are interchangeable and include such modalities as:

These treatments are designed to relax and soothe the muscles and the mind, allowing you an hour (or two!) of down time, stress relief and rest. Physical benefits can include mild relief of muscle stiffness, minor aches, sense of relaxation to the whole body and increased blood flow and nutrition to superficial muscles (the bigger muscles closer to the skin’s surface) and skin and lowering of blood pressure.

All of these treatments have great therapeutic benefits and can assist the treatment and relief of some dis-eases, but they don’t effectively remedy, or ‘fix’ any injuries, underlying conditions or physical ailments. So, if you’re after pain relief – acute (short term and usually due to injury) or chronic (ongoing) – injury treatment, circulatory problems (blood flow), back pain, neck pain, headaches, shoulder, leg or any other soft tissue ‘issue’, then your remedial (remedy – to fix) treatments are the way to go.

Common Remedial treatments include:

  • Myofascial Release
  • Craniosacral Therapy
  • Contractual Ligament and Tendon Release
  • Remedial Massage (sometimes confused with Deep Tissue)
  • Trigger Point therapy
  • Lymphatic Drainage
  • Deep Tissue (very strong, muscle specific treatments)
  • Sports Massage
  • Shiatsu

For more details on specific modalities, including other complementary therapies as recommended by ATMS, click here.

If a therapist is insured only to the level of ‘Therapeutic Massage Therapist”, they are not issued with a provider number and are therefore not recognised by ATMS or major health funds for the health fund rebate.

Therapists with Cert IV in Massage Therapy Practice are recognised by ATMS and are accepted by a limited number of health funds.

The new Diploma of Remedial Massage qualifies your therapist as fully covered by health funds and with the appropriate level of health fund cover, you are eligible for the rebate that your health fund offers.

It is anticipated that massage will become a Degree modality which will elevate us ‘soft tissue specialists’ to the same ‘level’ as physiotherapists, chiropractors, osteopaths and all other degree qualified tactile therapists. Pretty cool, huh!?

Though I’m certain that those of you out there that have already gained much relief from soft tissue treatments (massage) would agree that sometimes all it takes is a thorough, practical approach to the problem. This is something every good massage therapist works to improve and apply in each treatment, no matter the scale of injury or pain experienced.

So, if you are suffering neck, back, shoulder, leg, knee, hip, elbow, wrist, sinus, head (can’t help with the brain, but I can help with headaches!!) pains, then come and see me – 36 Brookhollow Ave, Baulkham Hills, Norwest

Keep an eye out for the next topic I am determined to educate you on: when not to receive treatment!

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