Remedial vs Deep Tissue Massage

There are many types of massages that we can get, with remedial massage and deep tissue massages being two of the most common for treating pain and injuries. But what is the difference between them and why should you choose one or the other? In this article, we pitch a battle of remedial vs deep tissue massage and tell you all the details you need to decide which one you need.

What Is Remedial Massage?

Get targeted relief from pain and injuries

The first point in this shootout between remedial vs deep tissue massage is understanding what remedial massage is. Remedial massage is a type of therapy that focuses on treating muscles and tendons that are tight, knotted, damaged, or immobile. It combines a range of different massage techniques and methods from different types of massage. These include deep tissue massage, cupping, dry needling, stretching, myofascial release, and trigger point therapy. 

A remedial massage gives targeted treatment of problem areas in the body. Its purpose is for injury and pain recovery, which means that only certain parts of the body are worked on. In general, there is a 24 to 48 hour recovery period after a massage session. And although it can relax and destress you, it can also cause temporary pain, making it not a great choice for people who want a relaxing experience.

What Are The Effects?

Through remedial massage, problems and pain in the body can be traced back to the causing muscles and tendons. With remedial massage, physical problems like new or chronic pain in the neck, shoulder and back area, arthritis, and injuries can be treated. Other problems like headaches, fatigue, and psychological issues like anxiety and depression can also be treated. 

With your treatment, your remedial massage therapist will improve your blood circulation, correct bone position, increase joint mobility, and rebalance muscles. Ultimately, a remedial massage will help your body in its own healing process. 

What is Deep Tissue Massage?

Massage your whole body with a deep tissue massage

Next in this battle of remedial vs deep tissue massage, we discuss what a deep tissue massage is. A deep tissue massage is a massage in which moderate to heavy pressure is applied to your muscles, tendons and joints. As the name suggests, this massage reaches the deep layers of tissue. Deep tissue massages work the whole body, relieving muscle tension and chronic pain throughout. 

Treatments will usually last between 60 – 120 minutes. The strong compression of your tissue can make it painful, making this massage better for people with good pain tolerance. A deep tissue massage treatment will also make your body feel the same way as it would after doing intense exercise. And because of this, it takes 24 – 48 hours for patients to recover after treatment.

What Are The Effects?

Deep tissue massages help your body and muscles in many ways. By reaching into the deep layers of your tissue, scar tissue can be worked and broken down. By doing this, tight and injured muscles recover and give you pain relief and extra mobility. The blood forced into the area and increased blood circulation from expanding surrounding blood vessels also help carry nutrients to the area for healing. 

And speaking of blood circulation, your blood pressure will also lower with the stress relief provided by this massage. Cortisol levels, which regulate stress and increase blood pressure, get lower, and feel-good endorphins like dopamine and serotonin release with your massage. Full stress relief effects may take some time to kick in. 

The heat generated during your deep tissue massage makes them elastic and pliable. This further helps to stretch and contract muscles, make them more flexible and increase their range of motion

Remedial vs Deep Tissue Massage – Which Is Ideal For You?

Picking A Remedial Massage

Tell your remedial massage therapist about your injuries in detail to get the best results

If you have recently picked up an injury or have lingering pain in one part of your body that won’t go away, a remedial massage is the better choice. A remedial massage is also a great option if you’ve tried other types of massages and haven’t had success.

Remedial massage is a common inclusion for private health insurance. Make sure you double check with your health fund provider to ensure your therapy sessions can be claimed.

Discuss the problems you have with the remedial massage therapist before you start. They will be able to properly tailor your treatment to your problems, and advise you if this is the right choice for you or not. 

Picking A Deep Tissue Massage

You need to rest after a deep tissue massage from the intense pressure applied to your body

Deep tissue massages are perfect for people who want a full body massage experience. It is best if you want to help your general recovery after intense exercise or have general muscle tension throughout your body.

This one is also better for people who have good pain tolerance. It takes a day or two to fully recover from a massage session. If you need to do intense exercise immediately after your massage, it’s not a good idea to get this. 

Other Types of Massage

Another consideration in this remedial vs deep tissue massage battle is other types of massages. If you’re looking for de-stressing and relaxation, it’s better to look at other massages which focus on those.

Swedish Massage

A Swedish massage helps with minor muscle tension recovery and relaxation. This was the first type of massage to have a set system of techniques and strokes. These techniques aim to destress and relax your mind and body. Swedish massage is a great introduction to massage therapy for beginners or those who find other forms of massage painful. 

Hot Stone Massage

Volcanic stones are heated and placed onto your back to relax your muscles

Hot stone massages build off the Swedish massage, using most of the same techniques but with a key difference. The addition of hot stones to the body helps loosen and relax soft tissue. Hot stone massages are good for loosening tight muscles and ligaments without massage therapists using heavier pressure. For more detailed information on hot stone massages, check out this article.

Sports Massage

Sports massages focus on treating areas of the body used for athletic performance and sports-related injuries. These can be performed before, during or after physical exercise and ultimately aim to help people to reach their peak athletic potential. The techniques used for this massage increase circulation, flexibility, strength, endurance, stimulate nerves and break down scar tissue.  

Thai Massage

Stretching is a key part of the Thai massage experience

And for our final massage, we cover Thai massage. It is different from other massages as it involves stretching, pulling and rocking whilst lying clothed on a ground mat. These techniques still aim to relieve tension, relax the mind and body, improve circulation and flexibility. Therefore a Thai massage is good for relaxing the whole body but won’t be as effective for targeted pain relief and injury recovery.

Make Sure You Choose The Right One

Remedial vs deep tissue massage is a battle of two giants in the massage world. These are both popular with people who want to recover from aches and pains, they both have their own unique purpose. If you want targeted relief from an injury or persistent pain, choose remedial massage; for whole body relief, choose a deep tissue massage. For more tips and advice on everything massage related, visit the OSIM Australia blog today!

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