By Stephen Janz Clinic Director: Kenmore Centre for Health, Brisbane.
History of Remedial Massage
The most natural instinct when you hurt yourself is to hold or rub the affected area. It is little surprise then that massage therapy is one of the oldest forms of health care. Evidence of massage therapy is found in both the ancient east and west. Massage dates back as far as 2330 BC in The Tomb of Akmanthor (The Physician) in ancient Egypt. Remedial massage rose in use as a health service in the West in the mid 19th century when techniques from Sweden were introduced in the USA and UK. Massage therapy was a commonly used treatment in Australia by the early 1900’s and even became a registered profession at one time. Massage therapy later fell off in popularity with the rise of modern technology and was relegated to ‘relaxation’ therapy.
Why have Remedial Massage?
People are now looking for good hands on massage therapy again. The demand for massage is highlighted by its role in sports and athletic performance. Massage training has moved from short courses focused on simple techniques to government accredited Diplomas. Today’s Remedial Massage Therapists have formal training in anatomy & physiology, musculo-skeletal assessment and of course massage techniques. Research has shed further light on how massage techniques affect the connective tissue in the body, allowing for further refinement and innovation in techniques. The term ‘remedial’ refers to this specific training in the assessment and management of musckuloskletal complaints. Research now supports many of the benefits of massage. Back and neck pain, sore shoulders, stress and tension, anxiety, depression, insomnia, lymphoedema and chronic disease in general all respond to massage therapy. Regular massage is also a key plank in a wellness program where the goal is maintaining flexibility and wellbeing rather than waiting for symptoms to develop. I recommend remedial massage to many of my patients as part of their maintenance therapy.
Finding the Right Remedial Massage Therapist
Remedial massage is different from relaxation or ‘spa’ treatment, so there a few things to look out for to make sure you see the right practitioner. Look for a practitioner with at least a Diploma of Remedial Therapies or similar, are they a member of a major professional association and do they have professional indemnity insurance? Most private health funds pay a benefit towards massage therapy for practitioners who met these criteria, and massage therapy is not affected by recent federal government changes to private health insurance. Expect to have a relevant health history taken and your massage therapist will keep a written record of your treatment to monitor progress. Never had a massage? Could be time to find out what you have been missing. Call and make an appointment today.