Intense targeted treatments
Osteopath Clare Kersley explains the benefits of these treatments and how they can help reduce aches and pains as well as induce relaxation.
Massage has been used in the treatment of illness and injury for thousands of years by health care practitioners. The first written records of massage therapy were found in China and Egypt around 2700 BC. Massage therapy is an ancient holistic practice used for relaxation and healing. At its most basic level, massage is a method of applying pressure, vibration, motion and tension to the body to bring about change. People use massage for a variety of health-related purposes, including pain relief, relaxation, sports injury rehabilitation, reduction of stress, anxiety and depression, and for general well-being.
These days you see many different types of massage advertised – sports massage, aromatherapy massage, Swedish massage, Thai massage, shiatsu massage, relaxation massage, hot stone massage and so on. It can be confusing. Any professional massage delivered by a qualified and experienced therapist has the potential to offer health benefits. With any hands-on therapy, including massage, the success and usefulness of the treatment depends to a great extent on the experience and skill of the individual therapist.
The term “therapeutic massage” is used to indicate that the massage treatment will be targeting specific areas, pains, conditions or injuries. A therapeutic massage practitioner should be qualified and trained to work on these things. Their toolkit often includes a range of techniques from various different types of massage. Therapeutic massage is usually a little more intense and focused than a pure relaxation massage.
Targeted therapeutic massage can be very effective at softening and easing overly tight muscles and soft tissues. This can offer relief to stiff and painful joints and can help to encourage beneficial postural changes.
Put simply, muscles run from bone to bone. If those muscles are knotty and overly tight then they can pull excessively on the bones to which they attach and limit joint movement. This can cause excessive workload for joints and can even alter posture. Tightness in one area can also have a knock-on effect to other areas of the body by making them adapt, overwork and work differently. By softening and easing specific tight muscles and soft tissues there can be beneficial effects on posture, movement, joint pain and general well-being.
People of all ages can benefit from therapeutic massage when it is performed by a competent and qualified therapist. Therapeutic massage is suitable for people with disabilities and people in treatment for medical conditions, although some special precautions may need to be taken to
protect the health of each person.
Written by Clare Kersley BSc (Hons).
Therapeutic Massage Therapist