Many Conditions are Treated and Require Multiple Sessions

The information provided refers only to remedial massage therapists and myotherapists who have recognised qualifications such as Bachelor Degrees in Health Science, Advanced Diploma or Diploma, are a registered member of a professional association and who undertake at least 1,000 hours of specialty training (refer to Fact Sheet 2 – Identifying professional massage therapists).

It does not include therapists and quasi massage shops whose operators have not attained recognised qualifications in Australia.

The Australian Association of Massage Therapists: Practitioner Survey, 2013, involved determining the kinds of services that professional therapists provide and their patients’ characteristics. The table below presents the recorded reason and number of sessions when applying massage therapy.

Complaint or condition Number of Sessions
Average Median
Diabetes Effects Management 10 6
Addictions Rehabilitation Support 10 6
Cancer Treatment Issues 9 5
Other Chronic Conditions 9 5
Health and Wellness 9 5
Motor Vehicle Accident and Rehabilitation 8 6
Psychological Distress 8 6
Joint Pain and Stiffness, including Arthritis 8 5
Back Pain and/or Other Back Problems 6 4
Repetitive Strain Injury Syndromes 6 5
Neck/Shoulder Pain 5 4
Other Acute Injury or Pain Conditions 5 4
Sports Injury Management and Rehabilitation 4 4
Headaches or Migraines 4 3

Massage and myotherapy involves manipulation of deep or shallow tissues.

Massage & Myotherapy Australia describe 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 therapy and myotherapy are used to provide relief from the symptoms of pain and stress.

As with all health-related therapies, no two people respond in the same way and no two therapists can provide a massage in the same way.

Massage therapy or myotherapy may or may not be right for a patient. Finding a professional, qualified therapist that GPs have confidence in, with the appropriate training, experience and skills will assist in developing multidisciplinary pain management plans (refer to Fact Sheet 6 – Finding professional massage therapists).

Massage Does Not Extend Beyond Direct Phyisical Contact

Adjunct services and techniques that extend beyond hands-on direct physical contact, that combine the use of devices or supplementary techniques, such as myofascial dry needling, cupping or aromatherapy, augment massage or soft tissue manipulation therapies, but they are not massage. However, appropriately trained therapists may integrate these techniques into the massage treatment.

As a guide, therapeutic massage assists with the relief from aches, pains, and stress-related symptoms. Remedial massage therapy and myotherapy are therapies used in pain management arising from chronic musculoskeletal conditions, related to ageing, chronic conditions, postural issues, sporting, and occupational injuries.

Massage is a Safe, Well-tolerated Intervention

Many patients find massage and myotherapy both therapeutic and enjoyable, returning for multiple sessions in order to maintain mobility, vigour and sense of wellbeing. Incorporating a massage into patient management strategies can lead to a range of positive patient outcomes and satisfaction. Massage therapists, remedial massage therapists and myotherapists, often fill the gap when patients seek alternatives to medications and other therapies because they feel that massage therapy provides a level of relief that is appropriate to their needs.

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Massage Therapy Knowledge Centre