Remedial Massage and Body Re-Alignment Therapy
Remedial Massage is a most beneficial therapy when correctly administered: helping to improve blood and lymph circulation, restore normal nerve supply, remove metabolic wastes from body tissues, improve sleep and general well-being, and support normal immune system functions.
When Is Massage Used?
Skilfully used, Remedial massage can assist the body in its own healing processes, where disease or injury has occurred in muscles, connective tissues, bones, joints and internal organs. There are many situations where metabolic imbalances occur in the soft tissues of the body and most of these can be treated with Massage. Relaxation, pain relief and increased range of movement can be achieved through the application of Remedial massage and passive movements.
Massage can also assist healing through its effect on confidence, well-being and mental relaxation.
In addition to the treatment of ill and injured people, Remedial Massage can be used in Athletics and Sport where it aids in the preparation of muscles, joints and associated structures for strenuous activity, or to assist these same tissues in recovery from strenuous activity. This reduces the incidence of injuries and improves the Athlete’s performance.
Massage is a useful and integral part of the healing process.
During the Massage treatment the Therapist encourages the patient to become part of their own healing journey by developing increased awareness of the levels of relaxation / stress that they may experience and by becoming more connected to how their body feels during illness and health.
Types of Massage Techniques
There are many types of Massage in use today. Some of the more commonly used forms are:
Swedish Massage: a technique that concentrates on working on one side of the body at a time. It is more intense than Essalon Massage, and unlike Deep Tissue Massage, it works within the pain / comfort threshold of the patient, encouraging gradual and gentle release of tension and stress.
Remedial Massage includes the use of Passive Movements and Joint Mobilising Techniques, working towards a specific goal in the treatment of the patient, and often working on a specific and limited body region until that goal is accomplished.
Essalon Massage: a technique in which both sides of the body are massaged simultaneously. It is a symmetrical Massage technique, very gentle, and designed to enhance maximum relaxation in the patent.
Deep Tissue Massage: a technique that is designed to manipulate the deep fascia layers and deep muscle layers of the body. It is based on the theory that stress can be stored deep within the body, and is arranged in “layers”, trauma after trauma, each layer relating to a different level of consciousness. It can be quite a painful experience for the patient, and is said to evoke emotional responses as each layer of stress and trauma is “unlocked” and released.
Shiatsu / Chinese Massage: techniques with similar philosophical approaches. Each technique works with the concept of body energies. The techniques employed are designed to ”unblock” energy meridians and restore health by balancing the patient’s energy (Qi).
Zone Therapy / Reflexology: techniques which are localised to specific body regions, e.g.: Hands, feet, ears. The various regions are said to have reflex relationships to all parts of the body, and various techniques are used to bring about specific reactions in a chosen body area.
What happens during a Massage Treatment?
After a brief consultation, the massage therapist must decide the approach to be taken in order to best help the patient with their specific health problem.
Many people, who do not know much about massage, erroneously think that every massage is a “Full Body” Massage and the longer it takes the better – but this is far from the truth of the matter.
When treating a patient with a specific problem e.g.: Sciatica, Osteoarthritis in the spine, muscle pain etc, the treatment approach must be focused at treatment of the specific problem area in order to obtain the best results.
On the other hand, if someone suffers from stress, tension and anxiety, a “Full Body” Massage would be the prescription most likely given. A “Full Body” massage involves massage of the arms, legs, face, neck and back. Sometimes the abdomen may be massaged if there are digestive problems. (NB Professional Massage Therapists do not massage erogenous areas, such as breasts or genitals).
Full Body Massage is mostly employed for relaxation therapy, and it is recommended that a Full Body Massage should never exceed 45-60 minutes duration, as after this time the positive effects of the Massage treatment are reversed. This is due to “The Principle of Sensory Adaptation”. Sensory receptors in the body have a characteristic function called adaptation, that is, a change in sensitivity (usually a decrease) to a prolonged stimulus. Receptors associated with touch and pressure in the skin rapidly adapt and can lead to further adaptation in the central nervous system as incoming signals are processed. Excessive stimulii can also produce undesirable Reflex Responses.
The level of general health of the patient must also be considered. Debilitated and very ill persons do not tolerate long duration massage well. Once a person has had a course of several Massage Treatments and is in reasonably good health, long duration Massage can be given.
Structural Analysis and Body Re-Aligment
Body Re-alignment Therapy is a highly effective and non-invasive approach that is used to help correct postural and muscle imbalances that cause chronic muscle and joint pain and other health problems.
A Standing Structural Assessment and tests that assess muscle strength and the range of movement of joints are performed prior to prescribing a treatment program that includes Remedial Massage, Passive Movements, Resistive Stretches and Therapeutic Exercise.
Treatment is usually long term in nature as poor postural habits and changes in muscle flexibility and joint mobility cannot be corrected after one or two treatments.
If you would like to know more about Remedial Massage come and see us at Kurrajong Natural Medicine Centre.
Over the past 20 years, Susan and Danny Siegenthaler have developed a unique and highly effective treatment regime that utilises a combination of Structural Analysis, Remedial Massage and body re-alignment therapy that will help many health problems that have a musculoskeletal origin or component.
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Page last updated: 14th Feb. 2021
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