“Oh you’re going for a massage? Lucky you.”
Anyone who has experienced results from remedial massage will be familiar with that line from co-workers or even friends and family.
Massage is still seen by many as a luxury, however, remedial massage is about improving people’s quality of life one session at a time.
Experienced massage therapist Paul Butterfi eld has been massaging since 2010 and has seen more than 2500 people in that time.
Some have seen him for tense muscles after physical activity, some to help with chronic pain and some have even ended up seeing him because other types of treatments were not working for them.
“Massage is about creating a new baseline of feeling good,” he said.
Therapists can increase a person’s range of movement, increasing general mobility, and help reduce the pain people may feel from time to time.Massage therapist - Paul Butterfield
While a lot of Paul’s work is based around injury or tight muscles, he doesn’t shy away from treating major health issues like carpal tunnel syndrome, chronic pain, fi bromyalgia and depression.
During his career he has worked with, and seen improvement in, people with these conditions.
“Massage can help manage chronic pain incredibly well, fi bromyalgia is also a condition where massage can be really beneficial.
“When used in conjunction with medical treatment massage can help in the treatment of depression.
“Massage encourages the release of endorphins and can help lift a person.”
However, massage isn’t a magic treatment that can fix everything.
Don’t step through the doors for your first session and expect to be “fixed” instantly.
“It’s something that happens over a period of time,” Paul said.
“Massage is like any other treatment, it’s not a magical cure.
“It something you can use as a tool to build.
“Think about it like steps, each time you step up.
“You might come in and improvetwo steps, across the next week you may drop back a step.
“At your next treatment you go forward another two steps.
“Persistence and looking for improvement is key.
“It’s a gradual process. We are dealing with a human body that can chart its own course and life often throws things at you that can vary progress significantly.”
More people are starting to see remedial massage as a legitimate and valuable treatment but there are still many who don’t.
“It is an undervalued option,” Paul said.
“It does produce a great benefit. Therapists are schooled in the way muscles work.”
People don’t understand exactly what can be done and can be achieved and how it can enhance their quality of life.Massage therapist - Paul Butterfield
Finding a good therapist is arguably the most important step when it comes to experiencing the benefits of massage.
The perception that for massage to work it should hurt, there should be bruises and you should struggle to walk the next day are simply not true.
“Find a therapist who communicates well,” Paul said.
“You need to be able to communicate what you need and they need to be able to tell you what options there are.”
It’s also a good idea to check the qualifi cations of the therapist before booking.
The courses and training are very different for deep tissue massage (or relaxation massage) compared to remedial massage.
Remedial massage is a diploma course so you’re looking for someone with a massage diploma or higher -an advanced diploma or degree in myotherapy.
There are multiple professional associations massage therapists can be part of. Ask which one they’re a member of and do a quick search if you’re unsure.
Paul’s last piece of advice when working with a therapist is to make it “results orientated.”
“If you just want a massage for tired or sore muscles that’s one thing, but if you have an injury or chronic pain that’s a situation that needs to be managed,” Paul said.
“You want someone who is looking to get results for you.”
- This story is brought to your by Essential Health – Wagga’s guide to staying healthy. Read more from the publication here.