Massage & Myotherapy Australia recognises therapeutic and remedial massage and myotherapy as manual manipulation therapies involving the deep or shallow soft tissues of the body including muscles, tendons and ligaments.

Massage and myotherapy are not cures, but an intervention that can help to relieve the symptoms of pain and stress, and improve limitations to mobility caused by your condition.

Adjunct services and techniques that extend beyond hands-on, direct physical contact, that combine the use of devices or supplementary techniques, examples such as Alexander Technique, myofascial dry needling  or aromatherapy, augment massage or soft tissue manipulation therapies.

An estimated 25,000 massage therapists and myotherapists offer clinic-based, home-based and mobile massage services in Australia providing massage clients with a wide choice and varying levels of skill and services.

There are many terms that confuse people and other health professionals about what constitutes professional massage and myotherapy for physical and mental health.

Numerous regionally developed systems of massage, such as Chinese Shiatsu, Swiss, Balinese, Hawaii Lomi Lomi and Kahuna, Japanese Reiki, Thai Massage, and Feldenkrais, combined with western terms such as therapeutic, spa, or remedial massage and myotherapy add to the confusion.

At the next level are purpose focused massage modalities which, depending on your condition, can combine a variety of techniques to help address and describe massage for conditions or lifestyle issues. These techniques include sports, pregnancy, foot, leg, cranial, lymphatic, fascial, acupressure, and deep tissue massage.

A range of services can be used to enhance the client experience and benefit, such as hot stone, aromatherapy, hydrotherapy, myofascial dry needling, Alexander Technique, trigger point work, acupressure, and cupping, this can also confuse people about what constitutes soft tissue manual manipulation therapies known as massage, remedial massage and myotherapy.

Therefore, a better understanding of your therapist's services and specialities, related qualifications and experience will help you choose the right therapist and achieve the best outcome for the symptoms of your condition.


For what conditions do people see a massage therapist, remedial massage therapist or myotherapist?

The most common health-related conditions that present to massage therapists and myotherapists include:

  • Neck/Shoulder Pain
  • Back Pain and/or other Back Problems
  • Health and Wellness for Maintaining, Improving Health or Functioning, and for Injury Prevention, including Stress and Tension Reduction
  • Headaches or Migraines
  • Sports Injury Management and Rehabilitation
  • Arthritis
  • Other Acute Injury or Pain Conditions
  • Other Chronic Reduced Function, Disability or Pain Conditions, e.g. Fatigue
  • Occupational Overuse Syndrome
  • Other Psychological Distress, including Anxiety or Depression
  • Cancer Treatment side effects, for example, Pain, Lymphedema, Anxiety
  • Motor Vehicle Accident and Rehabilitation
  • Diabetes Effects Management
  • Addictions Rehabilitation Support.


What approaches are used?

There are three distinct approaches. These are:

  1. The physical or direct approach involves a deep pressure or direct application of a massage technique to soft tissue to improve musculoskeletal health to address injury and relieve chronic patterns of tension.
  2. Integration combines various therapeutic options from a range of modalities, for example, remedial massage with acupuncture, dry needling or cupping.
  3. The Eastern approaches stem from an alternative philosophical base to Western Medicine. It focuses on using pressure points along defined energy meridians.

As with all health-related therapies, no two people respond exactly the same way. Qualified therapists generally use an integrated approach, drawing on a variety of techniques and adjunct services to address the specific condition to help the client. The following table provides some examples:



Deep Tissue Massage

Manual Lymphatic Drainage

Muscle Energy Technique

Myofascial Release

Positional Release Technique

Trigger Point

Manual Lymphatic Drainage

Musculoskeletal Therapy



Traditional Chinese




Clinical Aromatherapy


Myofascial Release

Exercise Physiology

Cranio Sacral Therapy

Alexander Technique


Manual Lymphatic Drainage




Traditional Chinese (Tui Na)

Chinese Acupressure


Chinese Tui Na



The amount of pressure applied changes with the various modalities and the condition you present with importantly, your therapist can adjust the pressure to suit your comfort levels. It is important to provide the therapist with feedback at all times.