One thing many clients ask me is ‘is myotherapy painful?’ Some people haven't experienced therapeutic massage techniques, and others have seen remedial massage therapists and experienced pain during or after treatment.
This is something that I’m very passionate about. So I thought I would share my opinion about whether myotherapy should be painful, and who it suits.
The difference between myotherapy and other massage styles
There are many different types of massage and bodywork. Most people are familiar with Swedish massage and remedial massage. But myotherapy is quite different from these common forms of massage.
Generally speaking, Swedish massage is known as the ‘soft’, relaxing form of massage. The focus is overall relaxation of the body. A Swedish massage follows the same routine for every person, moving in gentle, rhythmic ways that help calm and relax the person in a way that feels wonderful.
Remedial massage is sometimes known as ‘deep tissue’ work. A remedial massage can be great for relieving widespread tension and pain throughout the body, and for maintaining good muscle health. A remedial massage is hands on, working the muscles in the region that the person is experiencing pain.
Many people might think that in comparison to these two, myotherapy has to be painful, deep work.
I recently overheard someone tell a friend "oh, you don't want myotherapy, its like a really really deep remedial massage, it hurts like hell!"
However, myotherapy can be gentle – it doesn’t have to hurt to be effective!
Swedish and remedial massages tend to cover a broad area, while myotherapy focuses on the specific and tailored management of pain and dysfunction to support people during rehabilitation from pain or injury. So if you experience specific pains or a specific condition that affects the muscles and joints, myotherapy might be the best option to support you.
The greatest advantage of myotherapy is that it can be adapted to anyone’s needs. If you have chronic pain and are very sensitive to touch, we can relieve tension using gentle techniques that won't set off alarm bells in your nervous system. But if you enjoy a good trigger-point release, we can accommodate that as well! Every persons treatment plan will look different, depending on what your body needs most.
What happens during myotherapy
You might think that myotherapy is just another type of massage. But in fact, myotherapy is a lot more holistic in the approach to caring for your muscles and joints. Massage is only one aspect of myotherapy, and within it, there are several types that can be used.
Myotherapy includes use of extra skills including:
So in fact, myotherapy involves developing a full personalised treatment program that is specified to the condition you have and how your body is best supported. It’s not just about relieving the pain – it’s about rehabilitating the body so that you can heal whatever is causing the pain.
The right myotherapist makes all the difference
At Simple Wellness Myotherapy, I enjoy helping people who experience chronic pain to manage their condition. So I know how important it is to help relieve the pain they experience without inflicting more pain during or after treatment. There is a very strong policy against ‘no pain, no gain’ in my clinic room!
If you want to experience how gentle and supportive myotherapy can be for your body, make sure you book an appointment today.
There are many different issues that can cause pain around the jaw and face. In fact, between 5-12% of people experience some kind of dysfunction in the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). But the good news is, TMJ pain doesn’t have to stick around.
What causes jaw pain?
There are many factors that can contribute to pain in the jaw and around the TMJ joint. This can include:
Your jaw pain could be caused by one or more factors, depending on your situation.
Symptoms of jaw pain
If you have dysfunction in the TMJ, pain is an obvious symptom. But there are other symptoms caused by jaw issues to keep an eye out for, including:
You could also experience symptoms that come with generalised pain, such as nausea, lack of appetite, irritability and fatigue.
Assessing jaw pain
If you’re experiencing jaw pain, your best bet is to see your friendly local myotherapist (that’s me!). There are a number of things I will do to assess the pain. We’ll look at:
There will also be some palpation, or feeling, of the jaw. This will tell me whether one side is tighter compared to the other, which may be maintaining your jaws dysfunctional patterns.
What can be done to ease jaw pain
To get to the bottom of the TMJ issues, you’ll need to see a practitioner for assessment and treatment. But if you need some immediate release for your jaw pain, you can try this self-release technique.
Start with your fingertips pointing upwards on the base of the jaw. Press your fingertips down firmly (but not painfully!). You might feel a hard sensation - that is the tightened muscle. In one long, slow movement, roll your fingertips up the jawline, over the cheek and cheekbones, along the temples and up to the hairline. Do this slowly and deeply, taking 1-2 minutes from jaw to hairline. Open and close your jaw wide like you’re yawning. Then repeat the process 1-2 times.
In myotherapy, treatment of jaw pain may include mobilisation, myofascial release, trigger point work and intra-oral release. Intra-oral release is an internal treatment – I’ll get gloved up, and then use my finger or thumb to release the tight muscles of the jaw from inside the mouth. This can be painful – I’ve had it done to me as well! - but it is effective for the majority of clients with TMJ pain.
In my own TMJ treatment experience, I was having extreme tightness and pressure build up in the joints of my jaw. When I opened my mouth my jaw swung noticeably towards the left. When it got bad, it was a struggle to eat things like nut bars or anything that requires a lot of chewing. It took time, but between seeing my own Myotherapist and doing the self care exercises he gave me, I've mostly corrected the dysfunction and its very rarely painful anymore.
If you’re ready to release your TMJ tension, book yourself in for a session today.
Mel is a Myotherapist based in Ferntree Gully.