Massage & Remedial Massage
Massage is the manipulating of superficial and deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue using various techniques, to enhance function, aid in the healing process, decrease muscle reflex activity, inhibits motor-neuron excitability and promote relaxation and well-being. The word comes from the French massage “friction of kneading”, or from Arabic massa meaning “to touch, feel or handle” or from Latin massa meaning “mass, dough” and “to handle, touch, to work with the hands, to knead dough”. In distinction the ancient Greek word for massage was anatripsis and the Latin was frictio.
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Massage involves working and acting on the body with pressure – structured, unstructured, stationary, or moving – tension, motion, or vibration, done manually or with mechanical aids. Target tissues may include muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia, skin, joints, or other connective tissue, as well as lymphatic vessels, or organs of the gastrointestinal system. Massage can be applied with the hands, fingers, elbows, knees, forearm, and feet. There are over eighty different recognized massage modalities. The most cited reasons for introducing massage as therapy have been client demand and perceived clinical effectiveness.
Remedial massage is a deep massage done to create the conditions for the body’s return to normal health after injury. It is used to treat strains, sprains, broken bones, bruising or any injury where the skin is intact. Deep tissue massage removes blockages, damaged cells, scar tissue and adhesions left after injury, speeds up recovery and encourages more complete healing. Remedial massage is also used for conditions created by lifestyle for example Repetitive strain injury and Back pain. It is designed to increase the flow of blood and lymph, particularly in the injured areas.
It is often successful where other forms of treatment have failed.
The massage therapist needs knowledge of anatomy and physiology to determine where to treat each patient.
During treatment there is tenderness in areas that are being treated, it indicates which muscles and tendons are injured. The therapist uses the patient’s feedback to pinpoint the damaged tissue and to regulate pressure. The results are usually immediate; certainly within 3 sessions a big improvement will be seen with a skillful practitioner. Most patients feel a difference after 1 session. A recent injury, perhaps within weeks, will react and recover more quickly than a long-term injury, some up to 40 years. However they will all see improvement.
With many years’ experience the practitioner gains a clear understanding of treating sports and traumatic injuries. They will work with patients while they increase their activity levels back to normal once again. It is remarkable in that patients find themselves spontaneously being able to do things they thought that they couldn’t.
Remedial Massage has particular success with long-standing back and compound injuries that have resisted previous treatment attempts. Once a serious injury is properly healed, further treatment is only needed if another injury is sustained. Sportsmen and women attend regularly to ensure that unnoticeably small injuries are treated before they reduce performance and become debilitating. Recurrent injuries are injuries that have never been effectively treated.
Some common conditions that can be successfully treated are:
- Achilles Tendon
- Shin Splints
- Groin Strain
- Cartilage damage
- Tennis Elbow
- Frozen Shoulder
- Hamstring Injuries
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Scar tissue
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Repetitive Strain Injury
It is an unusual form of massage in that it does not set out to relax the patient; the intention is more to fix a mechanical problem. However all-round health improvement is seen: better sleep, increase in vitality and performance levels, as well as increased mobility.
It can also be used to treat general muscle soreness from over exertion.