What type of Massage do I need?

There is a common misunderstanding by the general population when the term ‘massage’ is used. A lot of people tend to relate the term with Therapeutic or Swedish Massage and are not familiar with Remedial or Sports Massage. We will define these individual types of treatment, so you can make an informed decision for the next time you book a massage.

Therapeutic (Swedish) Massage
This is generally what you will receive in most day spa centres and usually encompasses a full body treatment to relieve physical and mental stress and tension. This type of massage may be light of touch or, it can rather deep – depending on your personal preferences. In Australia, the minimum training for this is a Certificate IV in Massage Therapy and is not covered by health fund rebates.

Remedial Massage
The definition of ‘remedial’ is “given or intended as a cure or remedy” or “intended to correct or improve something”. Remedial Massage is the accurate assessment and treatment of the soft tissues of the body to bring about a return to normal functionality. Medibank Private has a full page definition here. This type of treatment will involve an initial discussion of your physical history, followed by a physical assessment of your presenting condition. This will include a variety of manual techniques that may include stretching, trigger-point release, myofascial release as well as some ongoing rehabilitation exercises for you to aid in the improvement of your complaint. The minimum training for this is a Diploma of Remedial Massage and this is the minimum requirement recognised by most health funds.

Sports Massage
This type of massage is generally recognised as comprising of three distinct areas:

  • Pre-event, performed before competition to help stimulate the body and mind without relaxing them.
  • Post event, to aid in the recovery after an event and to become aware of any injury that may need attention
  • Conditioning or rehabilitation, when the process of injury management and rehabilitation begins.

Therapists who work with sports teams will have done further post-graduate studies or have completed an Advanced Diploma of Health Science or it’s interstate equivalent.  

Hopefully this has clarified the difference between the types of Massage Therapy available for you. Feel free to discuss any of your concerns with us if you are unsure.