Massage therapy is manual manipulation of soft body tissues (muscle, connective tissue, tendons and ligaments) to enhance a person’s health and well-being. There are dozens of types of massage therapy methods (also called modalities).
How It Works
While there are several types of massage they are divided into two fundamental categories:
Relaxation massage – also known as Swedish massage. As the best-known type of bodywork, one of the primary goals of the Swedish massage technique is to relax the entire body. This is accomplished by rubbing the muscles with long gliding strokes in the direction of blood returning to the heart as well as light, rhythmic, tapping strokes, on topmost layers of muscles. This is combined with gentle movement of the joints. By relieving muscle tension, Swedish style massage can be both relaxing, energizing and leaves clients with an overall sense of wellbeing. This technique is also suitable during pregnancy.
Rehabilitation massage – also known as deep tissue, medical, therapeutic or clinical massage; Rehabilitation massage is best for working on specific painful, stiff “trouble spots” in your body. The massage therapist will use slow, deliberate strokes that focus pressure on layers of muscles, tendons, or other tissues deep under your skin. Though less rhythmic than other types of massage, deep tissue massage can be quite therapeutic — relieving chronic patterns of tension and helping with muscle injuries, such as back sprain. Rehabilitation massage can also include prenatal massage.
To decide which method consider if it’s for relaxation and stress control, symptom relief or help with a certain health condition?
Most Commonly Treated Conditions
The most common reason for having a massage is to relieve pain, to relax, or for general wellbeing and is especially helpful during stressful periods in life but it can also be very useful to treat a wide variety of complaints, including but not restricted to:
Pain associated with problems of the muscles and tendons
Pain in soft tissue around the joints
Inflammatory conditions such as arthritis and tendinitis
Stress relief, relaxation and stress-related conditions
Pregnancy -both for general well-being and to treat specific problems
Reduction of swelling and fluid build-up
Headaches and migraines
Muscle and related conditions such as spasms, strains and sprains
Repetitive strain injury, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, tennis and golfer’s elbow
Circulatory and respiratory problems
Post-injury and post-surgical rehabilitation
What to expect from your first appointment
Generally, first appointments begin with a health history.
Generally, a health history will ask about:
Areas of concern
Your level of pain or discomfort on good and bad days
What helps reduce the pain and what makes it worse
Knowing your history allows a therapist to determine the best approach for massage, goals for the session as well as determining if there are any reasons you should avoid massage or a particular technique.
If you are concerned about undressing, discuss it with the therapist, who should be able to offer you some options. Don’t be afraid to discuss any apprehensions or concerns. All information you give is confidential. The therapist will outline what will happen in the session and then leave the room so you can undress to your comfort level. When you are ready, lie down on the massage table and cover yourself with the sheet or other draping on the table. The therapist will knock before re-entering.
Our professional massage therapists will never expose genitals or breasts, or any other areas you identify. Only the area the therapist is working on will be exposed.
Get the most out of your massage by being as open to the process as you can, relaxing and letting your thoughts go. Remember to breathe, as this helps you relax. Sometimes people hold their breath when a sensitive area is massaged, but it is best to breathe through it. In the same way, tightening your muscles during the massage is counterproductive. If you can’t seem to relax your muscles, let your massage therapist know. They may need to adjust the massage technique.
How long does it take to treat a condition?
Massage relaxation can be wonderful as a one off with no further treatments required. Massage for stress can be useful weekly during the stressful period. For acute injury we might see a therapist twice a week for three weeks as they help us to improve range and movement and pain. This would be a time limited treatment. For chronic conditions it can be of great benefit to have regular appointments to keep the body working at its best. This might be fortnightly or monthly and would be decided between you and the therapist.
Our Massage Therapists
DIANE MIROSOVICH – Dip Remedial Massage, Adv Dip Naturopathy
Experience a strong nurturing touch guided by a systemic approach and open to intuit. Whether you are in need of a massage that works strongly into the muscle fascia, stretching and lengthening to release tension, or a gentler, relaxation massage for calming the mind and restoring the body, Diane will be able to provide you with an excellent massage with deliver by her confident, experienced hands.
With Diane your massage will be tailored to suit your individual preferences and your physical needs as they change with successive treatments. Using her growing knowledge in naturopathic medicine, Diane can offer further insight into your body’s state of health.