Remedial or Restorative Massage… What is the difference?

The difference between the two types of massage isn’t particularly distinguished by the style, pressure or techniques used during the massage. It is more about the reason behind you taking the time to come and have a massage.

A restorative massage is more commonly used for those who are looking for a physical and mental release from everyday stresses. A time to rest and digest life, and restore a feeling of balance and equilibrium. Prior to the treatment your therapist may ask just a few simple questions to help create the best possible experience for you, but the focus is on time spent relaxing.

Remedial massage on the other hand will begin with you completing an initial assessment form. The information you highlight on this form, along with a physical assessment by your therapist, will be used to understand how your body is performing in its everyday tasks of movement and how balanced your posture is at rest.

If you have a specific physical issue, your therapist will assess what muscles are affected, what joint is involved, and if it is affected by the problem. Around 10 minutes may be required to go through these steps, especially in that initial consult.

Taking the client through the ROMs (Range of Motion) of the affected area helps us understand what the issue could be, then Performing SOTs (Special Orthopedic Tests) to clarify our findings from the ROMs. Once there is a clear understanding of what is being presented, your therapist will be able to create a treatment plan that will help remedy any misalignment, inflammation, weakness or hypertonic issues.

Working together with your therapist helps you understand your body better. All the therapists at Holistic Health and Massage are trained to a Diploma level in Remedial Therapy, plus post graduate study in a wide range of massage techniques, pathologies, and psycho/social support. Our aim at all times is to work with our clients to gain the best possible outcome, but may at times need to refer to another Health Professional if the problem is outside our scope of Practice.

Another important difference between these two forms of massage is that you can’t claim a relaxation massage on your private health insurance. Your provider will only contribute to a remedial treatment. Hopefully this has help clear up any doubts you may have had about the difference in treatments.

We look forward to seeing you in clinic for your massage.