Physiotherapeutic Massage

Massage is a technique involving the physical manipulation of muscle generally used by physiotherapist for the treatment of tight muscles or scar tissue. It is also used as a means to stimulate nerves in the event of decreased sensation, reduce swelling, and promote healing by improving blood flow.

Massage techniques

A professional physiotherapist will always aim to respect a patient’s dignity and maintain a level of professionalism throughout the procedure. As physical contact is involved you can rest assured that your physio is practiced in both efficient execution of the technique and making you feel comfortable with the procedure.

Message typically begins with the application of a therapeutic oil over the area to be massaged. The purpose of this is to spread the oil, warm the skin and hence increase blood flow to the area, and also to establish physical contact and comfort with it. One technique to achieve this is called the ‘thousand hands’ method in which light pressure is used alongside swift hand movement to achieve these ends.

Effleurage massage is one widely used technique. The aim of this method is to mobilise fluid in the affected area, moving unwanted fluid from the site of swelling towards lymph glands. Petrissage is used to mobilise muscles. Muscle tightness is caused by many daily factors like sustained posture or overwork, and Petrissage aims to relieve this tightness to restore functionality and range of movement. Muscle tightness can also over a long period of time compress nerve endings, a phenomenon experienced as pain by some patients. Massage can relieve this and prevent it from occurring if you are experiencing early stages of tightness.

Massage is also an excellent therapy for mental well being, stimulating the release of endorphins, dubbed the ‘happy hormone’ for their mood elevating qualities.

Aromatherapy and massage

Some physiotherapists obtain a qualification to use certain scented oils during massage. Different oils have different properties, and an appropriately qualified physiotherapist is able to use these tools to augment their existing massage technique. The reported benefits of aromatherapy in message varies from oil to oil, and these need to be sourced correctly as many self-proclaimed aromatherapy oils do not have enough of their active ingredient to achieve their advertised health benefits.

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