The main reason most clients first book a remedial massage appointment is because of an ache or pain be it acute or chronic. For example a stiff upper back and neck from sitting in front of a computer for long periods of time, an old injury that has flared up or sleep deprived parents with young children who are getting bigger but still enjoy being carried! Others are training for an event and need to make sure they keep injury free. Ultimately they all have one thing in common, tight muscles.
Tight muscles don’t function properly. This leads to other associated muscles being recruited, which in turn overloads them, and the cycle continues. So when you think, “oh the pain is gone” it’s not always the case. That’s why a common comment I hear during a massage is “that’s sore, I didn’t even know that was there”. I think my favourite comment though, usually from female clients when I’m massaging their glutes is “how can that be sore, it’s just fat!” Ladies, I assure you the muscles in your buttocks are usually very strong & often overworked due to less strength in your core muscles. Even for those of us with a little extra padding!
Calming of the peripheral nervous system is another major benefit of remedial massage. For clients who are stressed or anxious, the benefit is very appreciated. They feel much calmer and more relaxed after each massage. Helping people relieve their anxiety is something I am seeing more of in my clinic. I’m glad that these people are finding help as it can be tough even leaving their homes at times. Regular massage treatments are becoming a well-known addition to their successful treatment.
Healthy functioning fascia is an extremely important part of healthy functioning musculoskeletal and nervous systems. Fascia is a thin soft tissue that encases each muscle, nerve and organ. Think of a sausage. If your fascia is rigid or tight then the muscle within it cannot contract and relax optimally and your nerves cannot glide smoothly. Remedial massage works on relieving tension within both the fascia and the muscle to allow both to function pain-free. Relieving the fascia requires very different techniques to relieving muscle tissue though. Fascia does not respond to firm pressure, it needs to be lengthened. I use hands-on myofascial techniques as well as dry needling to release tight fascia. Not moving enough is what causes our fascia to become unhealthy and in our increasingly sedentary lives, this is absolutely becoming more of an issue.
The forming of scar tissue is a natural defence function of the body after an injury or surgery. However, scar tissue does not function at all in the same way muscle tissue does and hence can disrupt movement. Remedial massage can help break down the adhesions in scar tissue, which allows this mass to at least move placing less stress on the healthy muscle tissue surrounding it.
Having a regular routine massage is a vital part of wellness in my opinion. I have seen the continual positive effects of my regular clients time and time again. These clients have a growing view of massage therapy, “it’s not a luxury but part of keeping myself healthy and how I give back to my body”. These clients feel better, move better and recover better from acute episodes of a muscle tension or spasm. They are clients who are 100% accountable and mindful about looking after themselves and realise that having aches and pains is not just a part of getting older. I challenge you to commit to having a massage a week for 4 weeks and feel the compounded effects of having these treatments and from there invest in your health with a regular monthly massage. Your future self will thank you.
Some benefits of Remedial Massage are:
- Relieving muscle and fascia tension
- Decreased muscle pain
- Lowers stress
- Calms peripheral and sympathetic nervous systems
- Improves movement
- Increases circulation
- Normalises blood pressure
- Boosts immune function
- Fosters sound sleep
- Breaks down scar tissue adhesions
- Promotes muscle repair
- General wellbeing in a routine massage program