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Remedial massage: What is it and how does it work?

Remedial massage is type of massage therapy. Rather than being one specific type of treatment we use a number of
techniques to help relieve you of pain, discomfort or whatever issue you have.

It’s probably our most common type of treatment at Movement Matters. If you'd like to learn more, contact us, keep
reading, or click on a link below to jump to a section:

What techniques are used in remedial massage?

In short, we use a lot of techniques for remedial massage! Your treatment is tailored to you, and your massage therapist
will bring in whichever techniques are needed to target the root cause of your pain.

At Movement Matters, we consider the whole body, so we use a wide variety of techniques. We like to see it as our
‘toolbox’. Those techniques include:

  • Effleurage – a gentle technique where we use long movements along your muscles in relax your body and improve circulation, including in your lymphatic system.

  • Petrissage – a stronger technique where we knead and squeeze your muscles to reduce tension and improve flexibility.

  • Skin rolling – isn’t as scary as it sounds. By gently lifting and rolling the skin, we can create freedom between the skin and muscles, releasing tension and improving flexibility.

  • Muscle energy technique (MET) – an active technique where you contract your muscle, your therapist provides resistance, and you push against them. It can improve flexibility and reduce pain in the back, shoulders and neck.

  • Postural restoration – to give it its proper name, Postural Restoration Institute (PRI), where it was originally developed. With PRI, we resolve the natural imbalances and asymmetry in the body.

  • Myofascia release (MFR) – we release tension across the connective tissue, called fascia, between your skin and muscles. We use it to release tension and improve your flexibility.

  • Trigger-point therapy – as the name suggests, we target specific trigger points in your muscles to relieve pain and tightness. A really common treatment for knots (those small bumps in your muscles).

  • Friction – a deep massage that we use in releasing tension around joints, as well as supporting healing in scar tissue.

  • Vibration – as you’d expect, this technique involves vibration! By shaking your muscles, we’re able to improve circulation and relaxation.

  • Superficial fascia – the layer just below your skin.

We’ll always talk you through your treatment plan so you know what to expect.

Who is remedial massage for?

Remedial massage really is for anyone. Anyone who wants to achieve something – whether that’s recovery from an injury, dealing with pain, improving movement, or simply just wanting to feel better.

However, as with any massage treatment, we’d always recommend checking with your doctor first, especially if you have any existing health conditions. Extra caution is needed if you have a pacemaker.

If you have a cold or similar illness, wait until it clears.


What can remedial massage treat?

Remedial massage can be used for treating a wide range of issues. We’re able to mix and match from all those techniques in our toolbox. Some of the most common issues we treat include:

  • Arthritis

  • Sports injuries

  • Neck, shoulder or back pain

  • Sciatica

  • Headaches and migraines

  • Chronic pain

  • Tendonitis

  • Recovery from surgery

  • Pregnancy discomfort

  • Post-pregnancy recovery

If your issue isn’t there, don’t worry – it’s not an exhaustive list and the chances are, if you’re in pain, remedial massage can often aid your recovery.

Ruth McNulty, founder of Movement Matters, says: ‘Three people could come to us with three seemingly identical injuries – but they could each have three completely different causes. With remedial massage, we can use our massage techniques – like a toolbox – to target those causes.

‘It’s a really personalised approach to massage therapy, as we’re able to adapt our approach to the patient and their needs.’

What techniques are used in remedial massage?
Who is remedial massage for? ​
What can remedial massage treat?

How effective is remedial massage?

The effect of remedial massage depends on a lot of things. A lot of it depends on your issue and the type and regularity of treatment, as well as any rehabilitative exercises you might be doing.

However, the goal of remedial massage is to speed up that recovery by creating more movement in your body and targeting the source of any pain or discomfort.

You might find it most beneficial to come along every couple of weeks or every couple of months. Whatever works for you.

How effective is remedial massage? ​

What does remedial massage feel like?

Remedial massage depends on the person and their injury.

Some people feel like they’ve had a workout, where it can take three days before the body to settle down. Others will feel instantly more flexible. For some people, it’s a slow process, where it takes a few weeks to feel the effect.

We’ll find the cause of your pain and work with you – and within your comfort levels – to treat your issue. Our belief is treatment shouldn’t hurt – it might be uncomfortable, but we want to alleviate pain, not cause it.

What does remedial massage feel like? ​

What can I do next? 

You can read more about what’s in our massage toolbox elsewhere on our website. We’re also happy to answer any questions you might have over email or on the phone.

When you’re ready, get in touch with us to book an appointment. We’ll ask you to complete a form, so we can understand any underlying health concerns, and then carry out an initial assessment in person, lasting one and a half hours. We’ll assess your posture before looking at any issues you have, and working out what could be causing them.


If you would like to find out more or book your first meeting, please get in touch. We’d love to hear from you.

What can I do next? 
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