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Clinical Massage

What is Clinical Massage?

Clinical Massage is a method of massage therapy that combines and applies a range of techniques to achieve a specific outcome, whether that be a reduction in pain, increased range of movement, improved posture or relaxation. This type of massage is tailored to you.


How does clinical massage differ from sports massage?

Many of the techniques used in clinical massage are the same as those used in sports massage, but they are applied to a less active patient. Massage does not need to be painful to be effective; the concept of a ‘good hurt’ applies to clinical massage where the source of pain is addressed slowly and sensitively, working with the patient who is always in control.

Clinical massage also emphasises self-care. The therapist ill discuss lifestyle issues if appropriate or teach the patient to do exercises or relaxation techniques at home to ensure that they are fully involved and in control of their recovery.

What techniques could I expect in a session?

A range of massage techniques are combined to provide the most effective treatment for the individual. These may include:

  • Deep Tissue – cross-fibre friction or static pressure using thumbs, fingers, forearms or elbows is applied specifically to areas of muscle that are restricted to release the tissue, enabling it to resume its full length and functionality.
  • Swedish Massage – a gentler pressure is applied to broader areas to increase circulation and create a more relaxed atmosphere.
  • Myofascial Release – Fascia is the connective tissue that surrounds all fibres, nerves, blood vessels and structures of the body. Adhesions and restrictions in fascia cause pain and dysfunction of muscles and joints and releasing the fascia enables the therapist to work deeper and effectively.
  • Hot and Cold Treatments – The appropriate use of heat and cold plays an important role in restoring functionality of muscles, especially after injury. This technique could be applied in the form of heated bamboo or hot stones.
  • Acupressure – Acupressure points are located all over the body and are used in eastern medical practice to treat many pain conditions and illness. Knowledge of these points help a clinical massage therapist to treat many conditions more effectively.
  • Trigger Point Release – Trigger points are constricted areas in a muscle that are tender to touch and produce a referral in pain. Locating and releasing these points are done through a combination of deep tissue work and myofacial release.
  • Stretching – Stretches help to return muscles to their full length and flexibility.  Stretching may be passive where the therapist does the work, or may require resistance or co-operation.

What conditions can be treated?

Clinical massage focuses on treating stress and tension but any condition will benefit from a clinical massage. A few tried and tested examples include:

  • Back and neck pain
  • Migraine, headaches and jaw pain
  • Neural irritations such as sciatica
  • Long term medical conditions such as fibromyalgia, arthritis, ME, IBS and depression.


At Mike Varney Physiotherapy we are now offering half hour and hour clinical massage with our trained therapist. To book a tailored clinical massage session please call 01279 414959 and state clinical massage upon booking.

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