Remedial Massage Therapy: What is it?

In this blog we are going to cover Remedial Massage Therapy a modality of medical practice on its own.

Remedial massage is designed to balance muscle, soft tissue length, tension, tone which will in turn promote the return to normal joint, capsular, bone position; increase the flow of blood and lymph, particularly in the injured areas, thus removing blockages, damaged cells, scar tissue and adhesions resulting from injury."

It is performed to create favourable conditions for the body to return to normal health after injury and is defined by the premise that the treatment can reasonably reverse certain physical effects a client may be presenting. If a client has suffered a moderate injury resulting in soft tissue pain and/or loss of function, loss of function, then remediation is required to reduce or eliminate pain and restore that function.

Remedial therapists have knowledge of anatomy, physiology and pathophysiology to determine the clients to treat requirements. Their treatment plans are based on best practice principles; before each remedial massage session begins, an assessment is to be performed and feedback is obtained to ascertain the client's current requirements. These are used to identify the areas that the client's require attention on, the therapist can then apply the relevant and appropriate treatment.

The aim of the therapy is to find and treat the cause of the disorder, not only the symptoms. 

Remedial Massage - A Stand Alone Treatment

Therapi Tylino is taking the pleasure of providing a brief concise description and explanation about remedial massage; and how it stands alone from the other therapies.

The term “massage therapy,” is the general term relating to application of manual movements to move or stretch the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and other connective tissues. Massage therapists’ use of this term to provide relief, remedy, and relaxation to their clients. The application of Remedial Massage is specific to a certain case in focus.

Remedial massage is the methodological assessment and treatment of the body’s muscles, tendons, ligaments and other connective tissues in order to aid in the rehabilitation and the management of pain or injury on any of the body parts. The science of remedial massage involves an assessment procedure prior to the actual treatment.

Remedial massage is a discipline and procedure of its own. It is not the application of the massage only, but it involves an assessment procedure prior to the actual treatment. The assessment allows the remedial massage therapist to apply a certain focus on the area of the body that needs treatment and what type of massage can be done. It will also inform both the therapist and client if there is a need for remediation to remove the pain and restore the body’s function.

The assessment includes the development of a specific treatment plan for the best course of treatment for the client’s condition or injury. This treatment plan forms the basis of the clinical notes.

It’s important for the remedial therapist to understand that a client’s needs are unique, and therefore particular remedial massage techniques need to be selected with clinical expertise and applied in a way that suits that client.

Benefits of massage

Remedial Therapy can bring relief from a wide range of recent and longstanding muscle and joint conditions. 

Some use Remedial Massage to simply relax and unwind, while others have regular massage to help them manage or cope with specific physical, mental or emotional problems. There is a growing body of evidence to suggest that massage can be effective in helping to treat certain chronic conditions, such as fibromyalgia and low back pain. In guidelines produced in 2009 by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), recommends massage therapy for the early management of persistent, non-specific low back pain.

Remedial Therapy is a safe and effective treatment which benefits everyone — people of all ages and condition

It is a holistic treatment for the whole body; not only the area where a specific problem has been located.

The pain, injury or area of dysfunction is identified and if need be traced back to the origin of cause. Specialised deep tissue massage techniques are used that focus on the deeper layers of muscle tissue. This releases the acute or chronic patterns of tension in the body through direct deep pressure and slow strokes on the contracted areas, either following or going across the fibres of the muscles, tendons, ligaments and around joints. The purpose is to release the fibres and breakdown scar tissue while releasing deeply-held patterns of tension. 

Muscles not only move our joints, they stabilise them, and they provide armour for the internal organs, minor problems with these functions cause more pain than is realise.

Headaches can originate in the muscles of the neck and head.
Much of the pain of such conditions as angina comes from the hypercontraction of the chest muscles.
Abdominal and pelvic pain can be caused by adhesions in the abdominal and pelvic muscles.
Low back pain and sciatic pain are far more likely to originate in muscles than in vertebral disc problems.

Tissue tension, stiffness, and/or pain relief enhances normal functional joint movement

Improved blood flow translates as increased tissue oxygenation and nutrition, removal of metabolic waste, promoting healing

Improved muscle balance and nerve conduction  enhance proprioception, motor control, and hence function and reduced risk of injury recurrence

Enhanced well-being achieved via therapeutic touch can in turn reduce anxiety and promote a more positive psychological state.

Other Benefits include:

  • Helps reduce pain and speeds recovery from injury

  • Relaxes muscles, and allows body to rest

  • Improves tissue elasticity and strengthens weak muscles

  • Breaks down scar tissue

  • Increases circulation, aiding tissue repair

  • Removes waste products, such as lactic acid

  • Encourages muscles to take up oxygen and nutrients

The effectiveness of Remedial Massage is well documented by a growing body of clinical research: following numerous types of surgery, for circulatory problems including oedema, and a number of other medical conditions such as neurological disorders, some auto-immune conditions, etc.

It can reduce muscle spasm, pain, improve mobility, control, and hence quality of life, for sufferers of multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson’s disease, and other central nervous system (CNS) conditions. A number of case studies have shown encouraging results in ‘fascial release’ reducing the pain and severe mobility restrictions associated with connective tissue fibrosis/sclerosis among Systemic Sclerosis (SSc) clients.

Although many clients who consult a remedial massage therapist have pain as a result of specific injuries, whiplash, falls, sports injuries, , RSI, repetitive strain injuries, and other work-related problems, the vast majority originates in postural alignment problems that can go back to childhood and adolescence.

Remedial massage is one of the most effective and available ways to treat muscle injuries, pain and soreness.

The remedial therapist uses skilled manipulation combined with in-depth knowledge of anatomy and physiology to bring about pain relief, correcting and normalising the body’s muscles and soft tissues. Treatments employs techniques designed to treat both deep and superficial tissues, similar to those used in sports massage.

The Safety and Side Effects of Massage Therapy

There are few risks from receiving remedial massage therapy when performed by a trained therapist. Remedial massage therapists take precautions with clients with certain health conditions:

Pregnant women. as bleeding disorders or low blood platelet counts, clients who take anticoagulants, also known as blood thinners, potentially weak area of the skin, such as wounds and recent scares; or clients who have a tumour or cancer, unless approved by the client’s health care provider.

What to Expect

At your first appointment, a Consolation, will be taken to make sure there are no contraindication why you should not receive massage, and to discuss any injuries or problems you may have.

There will be a holistic postural assessment, so please wear appropriate underwear, sports bra and suitable shorts. Mobility of the injury or problem area be checked, when appropriate.

The treatment will last 60 minutes. The treatment will be provided lying on a massage couch, sometimes work will be done with you seated, suitably towel for comfort and modesty.

Following each treatment stretches and aftercare advice will be discussed and follow up treatment appointments will be set up.

The day after a remedial massage, soreness may be experience, so make sure your massage is at least 24 hours before any important activities..

Career Requirements

Remedial massage therapists attained additional training, which includes in-depth study in anatomy and physiology. The extra knowledge and understanding enables the therapist to carry out an assessment and provide appropriate treatment for a wide variety of conditions.


Postsecondary certificate or diploma program


500 to 1,000 hours of study and hands-on training

Key Skills

Communication and decision-making skills, ability to demonstrate empathy, good physical stamina, strength and dexterity

Certificate or Diploma in Remedial Massage Therapy

The courses involve academic and clinical work. Coursework typically includes anatomy and physiology, massage fundamentals, pathology and professional ethics. Prospective massage therapists who plan to be self-employed may want to choose a training program that includes coursework in business finances, marketing and management. Hands-on training in clinical labs complements coursework.

Remedial Massage Therapy Approved National Examination

Once a student has completed an approved massage therapy program, he or she can apply to take either of these exams.

Apply for Licensure

Some counties require therapists to have license to practice.

Continuing Professional Development

To keep registration and insurance valid, therapist need to meet continuing professional development.

Choosing a therapist

It is important to choose a qualified massage therapist who has undertaken the necessary training to understand the theory and practice of this particular therapy.  

Massage should not be used in place of conventional medical care. Always consult a GP or other health professional for medical attention and advice.

It is always advisable to consult a doctor before receiving a massage for specific conditions, which may not be related to soft tissue.

Shannon Dyer