The dictionary defines massage therapy as “the scientific manipulation of the soft tissues of the body for a therapeutic purpose to assist normalise tissues and consists of manual techniques that include applying fixed or movable pressure, holding, and or causing movement of or to the body” Source
Remedial massage is widely regarded as an effective form of manual soft tissue therapy. Many people report significant reduction of pain and functional improvement. The therapist will use varying degrees of appropriate hands-on pressure during your remedial massage.
Massage is a great way to reduce muscle soreness and tightness and can aid your recovery from injury. If you are suffering from a musculo-skeletal injury, talk to your physiotherapist to see if you will benefit from remedial massage therapy, as often this can facilitate quicker recovery times.
However – massage is not only for those with injuries and you do not need a referral. If you are feeling sore, stressed, tired, or just need a little pampering, then book in for a massage today.
We offer a reward system for our regular patients (please inquire with Reception for details).
We offer the following Massage Services
- Remedial Massage
- Sports massage
- Deep Tissue Massage
- Trigger Point Therapy
- Relaxation/Swedish Massage
- Pregnancy Massage – Pre and post Natal
Remedial massage can assist with
- Headaches and neck pain
- Hip and leg pain
- Sciatic pain
- Pain between the shoulder blades
- Lower back pain
- Running pain (eg caused by shin splints, ITB tightness)
- Chronic inflammation
- DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness from exercise)
- Pre and post sports therapy
- General pain and stiffness
Remedial Massage Techniques
Also known as petrissage. This technique can be performed in several ways by the therapist. Like kneading bread dough it works the soft tissue, making it more pliable and is regularly used to warm up the body before deeper techniques are used. Kneading feels amazing in areas of big muscle groups like the trapezius, calves, and glutes. The rhythm and rate of movement used while kneading can make the difference between a relaxation massage and a sports massage.
This is the stroke used to apply oil and begin warming the body area. It glides over the soft tissue with enough pressure to stimulate the neurotransmitters and cause change without being deep or intense. This one is used a lot in relaxation massage, particularly with longer strokes and slower, flowing rhythm. It can be used with shorter, faster strokes when the goal is less about relaxation and more about aiding circulation. It can also aid with fluid dispersion when the pressure is light and the direction of movement is consistent.
Also known as tapotement. This one is the one you might be most familiar with as “karate-chopping”. Percussion can actually be done using different parts of the hand and known by more specific names like hacking (aka karate chops), cupping, pounding, pummelling and tapping. All of these techniques involve short, soft blows striking the muscle. It’s surprisingly more relaxing than it looks when done well but is still quite a stimulating massage technique. The percussion movements are performed for a relatively short duration so as not to over-stimulate the skin, muscles and nerves. As a precaution, it shouldn’t be performed on pregnant women, on the neck, back of the knee, bony areas, or in areas of sensitivity. Tapping is one exception where it can be used over bony areas like the sacrum, face and scalp, because it is performed only using the fingertips and is quite light. Cupping is sometimes used on the mid-upper back to help loosen and clear mucous from the lungs when needed.
Overall perhaps better known as a technique used pre-event for sports, otherwise this is one of the lesser-used techniques in massage. This one is also very tiring for the therapist to perform!
Compression is a technique that can either be slow, sustained pressure or brief points of pressure on the muscle fibers. It is not a gliding stroke, the hands are placed on and off the body area being treated, compressing the soft tissue and releasing. The therapist may use their fingers, hands or forearms to work on areas of tension. It can be performed over clothing or draping as well. Some examples are: The therapist walks alternating hands down either side of the spine and back. Short points of pressure with the thumbs along with the smaller shoulder muscles. Forearm press and rocking along the hamstrings. Or sustained compression to areas of deeper tension in the glutes.
Frictions can be broad and general for example with the knuckles to the quads or along the trapezius. Or it can be specific and targeted to an area of muscle fibres using the thumb or fingertips. As a general rule the direction of movement goes at an angle to the muscle fibres rather than “with the grain”. It can have a stretching, spreading effect which feels great on contracted muscle. It creates localized warmth and often there will be a redness on the skin in areas where friction has been performed. It is meant to work through the layers of soft tissue as they soften and relax, so is less about gliding on the skin and more about manipulating the tissue underneath. It is used to help break down adhesions where the layers of soft tissue get a bit stuck and don’t move as freely as they should. It can also cause a natural, healthy inflammatory response. This is important to keep in mind if you feel a bit stiff and sore post-massage – it’s a normal response to the change in your soft tissue that the massage has tried to cause! Take it easy and it should settle in 1-2 days. However if you do find that you get too sore after your treatment, make sure you let your therapist know so they can ease off the intensity.
Also if you suffer from a condition with chronic inflammation you may find that too much friction work will aggravate your aches and pains. In this case you will benefit more from the use of other techniques like kneading and trigger point therapy.
Cross-Fibre Friction a.k.a. Transverse Friction can be used for scar tissue healing. It reduces fibrosis which is the thick scarring of connective tissue. Rubbing with thumbs or fingers across the grain of muscle fibres without oil for only a couple minutes and within the patient’s pain threshold. This treatment can be started when the inflammation and scabbing has gone from the site of injury. The intensity of the treatment can slowly increase with the patient’s tolerance. Treatment continues until there the pain in the site of scar tissue has eased and there is good movement. This could be around 3-10 treatments alternating days with a rest day inbetween. You may need to soothe the area with ice post- treatment.
Trigger Point Therapy
‘A trigger point is an area of local nerve facilitation of a muscle that is aggravated by stress of any sort that affects the body or mind. The most current theory of what causes trigger points to form involves an interaction of calcium and adenosine triphosphate (ATP) on muscles that have been stressed in some way. This causes the muscle to shorten in a localized area, producing a taut band and a nodule of sorts.” – Mosby’s Fundamentals of Therapeutic Massage, 5th Edition, Sandy Fritz, (Chapter 12 Complementary Bodywork Systems, pg 495)
Trigger points can have a referral pattern that means you might feel pain in an area away from the actual spot of the trigger point. For example down your arm or in your head. These points can be treated several ways (dry needling is another option) but most commonly rubbing over the trigger point and doing a sustained pressure and release at a good pain threshold.
Health Fund Rebates Apply (Please check with your health fund, HICAPS on the spot claiming is available – see available funds here).
Our Remedial Massage Therapists
Anna Zayas is a passionate and down-to-earth Remedial Massage Therapist who values her professional role of safe touch. Her desire is to see people living life to the full and her approach is to genuinely connect with you and help you reach your goals. She has experience working in a multi-disciplinary physiotherapy clinic and day-spa environments. She enjoys seeing a diverse client base and has worked with children, elderly, mums-to-be, people suffering from anxiety, chronic postural tension, athletes & sports people, ACL injuries, shoulder injuries and more.
Anna is a fully accredited member of the Association of Massage Therapists.