Remedial Massage - Brisbane MSK Clinic
Remedial Massage Therapy
Soft Tissue Therapy and advanced Remedial Massage tends to be more focused than other forms of Massage therapy and treats specific injuries, such as sports injuries or work-related ailments. Such injuries may have occurred due to activity, or more commonly lack thereof, overuse or misuse. Some medical conditions may also lead to changes in the tissues and thus function. The main aim of remedial massage is to restore normal or near normal functional movement by treating dysfunctional tissues. The massage technique involve applying both deep and superficial massage strokes to dysfunctional tissues. Restoring normal tissue function usually relieves Musculoskeletal / MSK related symptoms and pain, which is a "stressor". Any "stressor" has a reasonably immediate effect on the human body, as is explained in the article on the Stress Response. Movements are affected by the function of various structures within the body, which can lead to changes far from the problem source.
Unlike other forms of massage such as holistic massage, remedial treatments are more focussed on resolving specific problems. More general forms of massage therapy involve routines and so are not focussed on resolving specific issues. Full body type massage can be better for general relaxation, though is not particularly good at addressing specific problems. Remedial massage therapists also learn some diagnostic testing techniques and which are not taught on base level massage therapy course. Diagnostic testing has relevance when treating, as the symptoms of a problem might not relate to where one feels pain. A classic example of people treating the symptom rather than the reason for symptoms is a tight ITB (see article on iliotibial band syndrome). Our practitioners take a holistic view and look at the whole body when treating, due to the effect of one area on another. If one fails to consider the entire picture, then symptoms often return in the short term. A holistic view helps find the reason for symptoms and thus reduce the number and cost of visits for the patient.
Treatment sessions typically involve a combination of Sports Massage therapy and Advanced Remedial Massage techniques. In brief, the practitioner will choose the most appropriate type of therapy intervention based on the specific patient history, the condition being treated and the patient's desired outcome. Although scar tissue or adhesions can often be treated well with Remedial Massage, Gua Sha vs IASTM can work exceptionally well with such ailments. Equally, other very specific techniques such as Myofascial Dry Needling can produce Myofascial pain relief, though this is not for everybody.
Does Massage have to be Painful?
Massage techniques do not have to be painful, though some discomfort is normal. Experienced therapists tend to have a broader knowledge base when it comes to applying techniques. Increased knowledge and experience usually makes the difference between pain and discomfort during treatment. Remedial massage is often very relaxing due to the relief gained by relieving pain associated with muscle tension. Almost anybody can find benefit from this form of massage, from office workers to elite athletes. Soft-tissue therapy is a vital part of most top-level athletes training routine and not just pre and post-event. Our practitioners have gained a large amount of experience treating office workers, emergency service personnel, military personnel, and amateur and elite level athletes. Office workers tend to seek treatment for neck, shoulder and back pain. Some people get treated to prevent injuries or for maintenance purposes.
Remedial Massage is commonly used to:-
- Treat Sports injuries (within limits).
- Treat Work-related injuries (within limits).
- Treat scar tissue or adhesions. (see article on soft tissue repair and scars).
- For injury prevention purposes.
- Reduce muscular tension
- Treatment of some types of headaches (see article on headaches and treatment)
- Relieve aches, pains or stiffness.
- Increase circulation.
- Increase flexibility.
- Increase mobility.
- Improve posture.
- Aid recovery.
- Aid relaxation.
- Myofascial pain treatment
What training do Remedial Massage Therapists have?
Surprisingly, remedial massage therapy training can vary hugely between training providers, states, and countries. Standards vary in course content, practical requirements, and training hours. The principal practitioner in the Brisbane clinic has seen such difference first-hand, having taught from Cert IV Massage therapy to Advanced Diploma Myotherapy. Students from different training providers with the same Australian Remedial Massage qualification had very different levels of knowledge, understanding and practical skills. Such differences made it much harder for some students studying for the Advanced Myotherapy qualification. Professional associations are aware of such differences and will only allow therapists with qualifications meeting their requirements to join.
Remedial Massage therapists in Australia typically have to complete a Cert IV in Massage therapy, followed by a Diploma in Remedial Massage Therapy. The certificate level qualification covers basic anatomy, physiology and practical aspects of relaxation-type massage therapy. Such courses tend to teach a full-body massage therapy routine and little to nothing about specific injuries or conditions. Remedial Massage therapy goes into more anatomy and physiology detail and covers some types of injuries and conditions. Training also includes basic assessment methods, testing and additional practical treatment techniques. Remedial Massage therapists have a broader scope of practice covering the type of things they have the training to assess and treat than base-level massage therapists. Sadly, some therapists go beyond their scope of practice, which has inherent risks for patients.
Advanced Remedial and Myofascial Release Techniques
Our practitioners have learnt many advanced remedial massage and myofascial release (MFR) techniques as part of their training. Hence, treatments involve the use of multiple soft tissue and massage techniques. One has to pick the best 'tool' for the job based on knowledge, training and experience. Some methods can cause pain when others may just cause discomfort. For example, stripping an ITB is never fun for the patient and not necessary. Our principal Musculoskeletal therapist has written an article on foam roller myofascial release, which discusses stripping the ITB in further detail. Many of the more Advanced Remedial Massage therapy techniques have their origins in Osteopathic Medicine or Osteopathy, and our practitioners are trained in and or have also taught these methods. Such modalities include:-
Massage and Myotherapy Registrations
Terry brings over 16 years of experience treating in the MSK Therapy field back to Brisbane from the UK. He is highly qualified with relevant education and training spanning from Certificate level through to higher education and a Masters. His training and experience cover many assessment methods, treatment types and soft tissue therapy (STT) skills. Besides the sixteen years of clinical experience, Terry has a further eight years of experience training and working at the highest physical performance levels within the elite British forces environment. He has a personal experience with a range of running injuries and a vast amount of professional treatment experience. He is still an avid distance runner to this day. Such knowledge has proved highly valuable in the treatment of elite-level athletes and members of the public. His ongoing sporting activities, experiences and interests have naturally led to him specialising in human performance and treating trauma and myofascial pain. He also taught as a senior course coach on the first myotherapy course in Brisbane. His skills are now available at the Morningside clinic, where he works as a Myotherapist.