Whether it’s to alleviate muscular aches and pains, to help boost your performance on the sporting field or simply to enjoy a peaceful hour without interruption, the physical and psychological benefits of regular massage should be enough to ensure it is a regular item in all our diaries.
Unfortunately, time, stress and budgetary pressures often combine to derail the best of intentions.
Wildcats remedial massage therapist Sheldon Griffiths, who is based at the CBD Wellness Centre, says remedial massage is increasingly seen as an essential part of people’s health routines both in recovery from injury and prevention.
“The industry has become much more professional, with many qualified remedial massage therapists working alongside other health professionals such as physiotherapists, chiropractors, and osteopaths within multi-disciplinary clinics, ” he says.
“Most sporting teams and individual athletes will employ a massage therapist to assist them in their chosen field to help them perform at the optimal level.”
Mr Griffiths says some of the physical and mental benefits of regular massage treatments include reduced muscle tension, improved circulation, increased flexibility and joint mobility, stress reduction, improved soft-tissue repair and heightened mental alertness.
He says it is very important for those performing at high levels and those experiencing elevated levels of stress to incorporate regular massage into their routine to help the body recover properly from activity and also to trigger its relaxation response.
“This is the direct opposite of the flight-or-fight response and will lower the heart rate, blood pressure and reduce muscle tension, providing immediate relief from a stress-inducing situation, ” he says.
Embody Health’s founder, remedial massage therapist Caroline Oakes, says people are increasingly waking up to massage as an essential tool for health and wellbeing rather than a luxury because of the incredible results and also because most major health funds now offer rebates for massage treatments.
She says many of her clients come to her with neck and back pain because of prolonged smart phone and computer use and also for pregnancy-related issues such as hip pain and fatigue.
“Some of the latest research is also backing up that massage can help with memory and mental clarity, two big issues that modern-day living can cause due to the fast pace of life, ” Ms Oakes says.
“The type of relief and results someone is after from their treatment will determine if weekly, fortnightly or monthly is the best choice for them, but in my opinion monthly tends to be ideal for general wellbeing.”
Perth Natural Medical Clinic’s remedial massage therapist Barbara Beeck says although the therapist will not “diagnose”, they are trained to recognise factors contributing to problems and have techniques to address them and work towards rectifying them.
© The West Australian