If you are currently experiencing either acute or chronic pain, then a remedial massage with an emphasis on improving your structural alignment may be just what you need.
Every massage therapist has their own way of working. My particular remedial massage is a style of treatment I have developed over many years to alleviate painful conditions from the body. I do this by looking at your specific problem along with your general structural alignment and then applying a treatment plan using various soft tissue and joint mobilising techniques to help move your body towards a more balanced state.
If you have the type of pain which changes with use, e.g. it gets better or worse with either rest or movement, remedial massage is often helpful. Many pains like this can be due to the presence of soft tissue injury or tension causing pressure and restriction within your body. This can influence the structural integrity of your body and cause painful problems.
Some areas of your body may have developed a weakness or tightness which eventually creates enough pressure somewhere to cause an area to become painful. However, sometimes the restriction that is responsible for the problem can be far removed from the area where you feel the pain.
How does Remedial massage work?
A good example of the above is when someone presents with lower back pain.
Although there is usually a lot of pain and inflammation in and around the muscles and other soft tissues of the lumbar region, there is nearly always a wider muscle imbalance pattern that needs to be addressed to alleviate the pressure from the low back area. Often the cause of a problem can be located away from the location of the pain, such as back pain being caused by muscular imbalances in the legs and pelvic regions.
Once the wider structural problems are balanced out then pressure is relieved from the painful area and the irritated tissues get a chance to recover, whether they are the muscles, fascia, ligaments, tendons or nerves.
By applying the correct techniques to all of the involved areas, both far and near, the aim is to reduce the painful symptoms that you presented with in the first place.
To do this effectively requires several different elements. These include:
A thorough understanding of the clients’ history,
Any current painful symptoms,
Your accident and injury history,
Medical problems past and present,
Emotional or visceral issues,
Diet and lifestyle factors
General stress levels
A physical assessment to identify bio-mechanical or structural alignment issues
A treatment plan to address these findings.
A reassessment to determine if there has been any change in the condition and whether the treatment applied was successful.
Offering advice so that the client may take responsibility to help with the healing process.
During a remedial treatment I consider the whole body, both physically and emotionally. This is why the consultation is so important and is also why I start the physical assessment by looking at the whole body.
When I first see a client I will look for any imbalances, postural problems and other clues in the body that point me towards what is going on. Often the cause of a problem can be removed from the location of the pain, such as the example I gave above of back pain being caused by muscular imbalances in the legs and pelvic areas. Therefore it is important to always look at the bigger picture.
The remedial massage treatment can take many forms, from a gentle massage, to more focused and specific techniques involving deeper soft tissue work, trigger point work, myofascial release, resisted movements, muscle energy techniques, and joint mobilisations.
Sometimes these deeper techniques may be a bit uncomfortable if the area being worked on is particularly sensitive, but I always aim to work within the your pain tolerance and I will adjust the pressure and focus of a technique when this is required.
Usually lifestyle and nutritional advice will be discussed to allow the client to see where modifications may be made to help with any particular issues.
Exercise, work habits and daily movement patterns are also discussed to find out if something is contributing to a particular problem so that steps can be taken to eliminate, or at least reduce, the impact that any negative elements are having.
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