Many people view massage as a relaxation therapy that eases stress and tension and relieves minor aches and pains. This is a perfect use for massage. In fact, we recommend our popular relaxation massage to a great majority of clients.
However, certain massage modalities can help the body recover from chronic pain or specific injuries.
Remedial massage, a modality for assessing and treating specific pain and/or injuries, includes a precise assessment of the problem and a treatment plan designed to heal underlying structural issues.
The assessment is not meant to be a “diagnosis,” a term often associated with medical doctors. Instead, your massage practitioner will assess the nature of your problem by asking questions about your health history, observing your movements or posture, testing your range of motion, and of course, palpating your soft tissue. Some therapists may even include orthopedic tests to identify specific problems.
The key to a good assessment is open and honest communication. The best therapists listen attentively, not only to your specific answers but to your body’s communication when palpating your tissues.
If the assessment is performed with rigorous attentiveness, the treatment plan will follow suit. Your therapist will identify precise modalities to benefit the precise problem. These modalities can include any number of techniques—often your therapist will tailor a plan that includes multiple types of massage, which may or may not include strong or gentle pressure or deep or shallow muscle work.
In the end, the goal is to heal the origin of the problem and alleviate the attendant symptoms.
Remedial massage is an effective treatment for healing muscles and tendons that have become damaged in some way. This damage may be previously diagnosed, like a sports injury, or carpal tunnel, or plantar fasciitis. Or the damage may be unknown, the result of knots or tension.
In either case, both the assessment and treatment of remedial massage can offer help for those who have not found relief from other treatments or who have yet to receive a diagnosis. Beyond the conditions listed above, remedial massage also effectively treats most pain in the body, including neck and back pain, headaches from TMJ or tension, arthritis, tennis elbow, and muscle spasms or cramps.
Of course, treatment is not limited to these issues—this is just a sampling of common conditions. If you are experiencing pain, remedial massage may provide a dramatic improvement in your quality of life.
Serge Bogoutski, Discover Touch’s massage therapist, is an earnest and effective remedial massage practitioner. He listens to clients—not only with his ears but his hands—and makes the best possible assessment before detailing a precise treatment plan.
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