What is remedial massage?
Remedial massage is a complementary therapy that aims to treat muscles that are damaged, knotted, tense or immobile. It is useful for a number of problems that affect the muscles, tendons and bones and can address a number of other health problems.
Remedial massage is used to locate and repair damaged areas of the body and speed up the body’s own healing processes. The pressure applied in this healing treatment can either be strong and deep or gentle and shallow, depending on the problem.
Problems with the muscles can trigger or radiate pain to other parts of the body. Remedial massage aims to trace the original reason for the pain, tackling both the cause of the problem and the symptoms.
Who is remedial massage for?
Remedial massage can be used to help people with:
- neck, shoulder or back pain
- preventing injuries
- sports or other injuries
- chronic pain
- anxiety or depression
- to treat the side effects of cancer, such as lymphoedema
- to manage the side effects of diabetes
- to help with addiction rehabilitation
What does a remedial massage involve?
Before the massage begins, your therapist will talk to you about your health and lifestyle. They will ask you to lie on a table or couch and will cover you with towels to protect your privacy and to keep you warm. They will probably use creams or oils to help them massage your skin smoothly.
The therapist will use a number of different techniques to locate and repair damaged areas of the body. They will deeply penetrate muscles associated with the problem. They might also stretch different parts of the body.
What are the health benefits of remedial massage?
Remedial massage can stimulate the blood supply, make joints more mobile, and help to repair damaged tissues. The therapist will aim to balance the length, tone and tension of muscles and tendons, which restores the correct position of the bones, increases blood flow and helps heal injuries.
Easing and stabilising the muscles can improve problems such as headaches, abdominal pain, low back pain and sciatic pain.
Some health problems that are often treated with remedial massage include sporting and dance injuries, muscle cramps, whiplash, fibromyalgia, muscular atrophy, fibrositis, spondylitis, arthritis and frozen shoulder.
Remedial massage has also been shown to help premature infants gain weight.
Choosing a remedial massage therapist
It is important that the massage therapist is trained and that you feel comfortable with them. Always look for a therapist who is registered with the Massage & Myotherapy Australia so you know they are properly trained. You can find a therapist in your area on their website.
You can use healthdirect's service finder, which is a free service that helps you locate the nearest health services in any part of Australia. You can search for health services such as physiotherapy, massage and natural medicine practitioners
Resources and support
Visit healthdirect's massage therapy guide to learn about some of the different types of massage available and get help in choosing a massage therapist.
Massage therapy is generally considered safe if it is done properly by a trained professional. Contact Massage & Myotherapy Australia (Australian Association of Massage Therapists) on 03 9602 7300 for more information.
Learn more here about the development and quality assurance of healthdirect content.
Last reviewed: April 2021