Remedial Massage vs Deep Tissue: Which Massage is Best for You?

Massage therapy is one of the oldest healing techniques used to treat several health conditions. Many ancient civilisations believed that massage had therapeutic properties and could treat various ailments. Once considered an ‘alternative’ medicine, it has become a popular treatment of choice. It is linked with numerous physical and mental benefits, including stress relief, pain management and enhanced mobility.

There are over 200 techniques used to treat different ailments and provide lasting relief. Some popular therapies are shiatsu, Thai, deep-tissue and remedial massage, with the last two being the most popular. These techniques can relieve muscle tension, improve blood circulation and accelerate healing.  

Experts generally combine remedial and deep massage for treating sports injuries and aiding recovery. Although they are commonly mistaken to be the same, they are quite distinct. One major difference between remedial and deep tissue massage is the amount of applied pressure. In the former, kneading, stretching and trigger point therapy is used. This improves flexibility, enhances mobility and restores muscle functionality.

In deep massage therapy, more intense pressure is applied to release chronic muscle tension or knots. It unclogs scar tissue and promotes long-term relief from stiffness and aches. If you are suffering from chronic muscle pain, you may wish to get this therapy. Consider deep tissue or remedial massage for long-lasting pain relief. However, if you’re still unsure of which treatment would provide the most benefit, this blog will be very handy. Our expert at ProHealth Wellness Centre has discussed both techniques in-depth to help you make an informed decision.

What is Remedial Massage?

Remedial massage therapy addresses soft tissue pain in muscles, tendons and bones. It improves blood flow by removing blockages, scar tissue and dead cells from the body. Here, a wide range of strokes and hand movements work on knotted, tense and stiff muscles. The therapy is recommended for

  • Enhanced healing
  • Improved blood circulation
  • Trigger point therapy
  • Compression therapy

The therapist assesses and identifies injured areas and uses different techniques to heal injuries. After determining the tissue condition and the source of pain, they recommend the proper treatment to tackle the issue. Often, the massage therapist will stretch the affected area for enhanced relief. The popular techniques used in this treatment include

  • Soft Tissue Manipulation: Most therapists recommend soft tissue manipulation for managing muscle tension and spasms. It improves the mobility of stiff soft tissues, reduces inflammation and improves circulation. Various hand movements and techniques, such as kneading, are used to release tension and promote muscle relaxation.
  • Trigger Point Therapy: Here, the sore spots or trigger points within muscles are targeted to alleviate pain. Cycles of pressure and release, accompanied by deep breathing are employed. This eases tension in the body and offers lasting relief.
  • Joint Mobilisation: Passive back-and-forth hand movements are used to reduce pain and joint stiffness. The therapy focuses on improving joint mobility and reducing muscle aches. Gentle manipulation techniques improve joint mobility, reduce stiffness and enhance the range of motion. This is beneficial for musculoskeletal patients with restricted movement.

Remedial massage therapy not only aims to heal the problems but manage the symptoms as well. Here are some conditions that can benefit from this technique:

  • Muscular injuries
  • Postural issues
  • Pain management
  • Relaxation
  • Frozen shoulder
  • Plantar fasciitis

Chinese remedial massage is one of the most famous treatments. It is normally used to repair scar tissues and assist in lymphatic drainage. This technique is also known to relieve pregnancy-related back pain. Apart from pain relief, a few other benefits of this therapy are:

  • Improved Range of Motion and Flexibility: Pressure on tight and restricted muscles enhances the range of motion in your joints. The technique makes you feel less stiff and allows for better movement in daily activities.
  • Reduced Inflammation: The physical manipulation during a massage stimulates blood flow. This introduces fresh oxygen to the tissues while carrying away waste products. It improves circulation and reduces inflammation or swelling.
  • Stress Reduction and Relaxation: Apart from physical manipulation, remedial massage therapy promotes relaxation and lowers stress. It can improve sleep quality and happiness.
  • Improves Mood: Since this technique reduces stress and promotes relaxation, it helps manage anxiety and improves mood.
  • Reduced Fatigue: After a session, you will experience an increase in energy levels and lower fatigue. It can help patients with chronic pain or those experiencing periods of high stress.

What is Deep Tissue Massage?

Deep tissue massage focuses on the lower layers of your muscles and connective tissues. The therapist applies sustained pressure using slow, deep strokes to reach these muscle layers. There are multiple techniques that target specific spots like the back or neck.

This massage technique realigns the sore muscles and releases chronic tension from ailments or injuries. The masseuse applies deep pressure to break down adhesions and target knots for pain relief. It improves blood flow, promotes faster healing and reduces inflammation.

Patients recovering from sports injuries and accidents benefit the most from this type of healing therapy massage. It can help manage structural abnormalities in the spine and muscles. The pressure is applied very deeply, especially when the therapist breaks down the knots.

During the session, the expert warms up the muscles with light pressure before massaging the targeted area. They start with slow strokes and apply deep pressure with the hands, arms, or elbows. It releases contracted muscles and tissues, healing most injuries. Most therapists use the following techniques:

  • Slow Strokes and Deep Pressure: In this technique, the masseuse applies rhythmic pressure on the inner layers of muscle and connective tissue. The cycle of slow strokes and deep pressure increases blood and lymph flow through sore muscles.
  • Friction: The therapist glides their hands across your muscle fibres, breaking up knots and allowing muscle fibres to realign. It enhances the mobility within the soft tissue and prevents scars from forming.
  • Stripping: In the stripping technique, the masseuse goes along the muscle fibres with their thumb and elbows in a deep, gliding motion. This technique improves blood flow to the muscles, releasing stress and making you feel more energetic.

Deep tissue therapy heals several ailments, including chronic muscle tension and scar tissue, while improving mobility. Most professionals recommend it for rehabilitative programs following an injury and treating chronic pain. Deep tissue massage offers a variety of benefits for patients with chronic pain and discomfort. These include

  • Pain Reduction: Several studies have found that this massage type significantly reduces lower back pain. It helps relieve muscle tension and improve blood flow.
  • Improved Blood Pressure: Deep tissue therapy improves blood pressure and removes stress.
  • Increased Mobility: Regular deep massages break down stiff scar tissues. It can improve mobility, boost lymphatic circulation and drain trapped fluid. The massage enhances flexibility and the range of motion in previously restricted areas.
  • Mitigate Arthritis: Patients have witnessed some reduction and relief in arthritis symptoms regular post-massage. It improves the range of movement day-to-day and helps the patient with sleep. The massage can help them maintain good health and well-being.

Deep Tissue Or Remedial Massage? ProHealth Wellness Centre Provides Both

Deep tissue and remedial massage use gliding hand movements for muscle recovery and soreness. However, the intensity of pressure is different for both techniques. Remedial therapy offers general relaxation and relief from specific musculoskeletal complaints. On the contrary, deep tissue sessions use more intense pressure on the problem areas for lasting comfort.

Are you looking for pain relief or want to unwind after a hectic week at the workplace? You can book one of the best remedial massages in Vermont South at ProHealth Wellness Centre. With us, you get a wholesome healing experience. Our therapist, Dr. Nic Wang will help release the chronic muscle tension or knots that burden your body. To book your massage appointment today, call us on 03 8821 8686.

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