Massage as medicine: a career in myotherapy

Regardless of whether you book in for regular weekly massages or you’ve yet to treat yourself, there are numerous benefits to using massage therapy. From relieving stress and reducing muscle fatigue to increasing blood flow, this form of manual therapy is perfect for people of all ages, and with all manner of ailments.

But how do you know what type of massage is right for you? Should you try a shiatsu massage if a remedial massage will do? Would a reflexology session be better for your body than a Traditional Chinese Massage? And what about myotherapy – does this massage technique trump them all? I get asked a lot about this last, lesser-known form of massage, so I thought why not share my myotherapy knowledge. After all, when you’re onto something good, why wouldn’t you share it!

What is myotherapy?

Myotherapy is a manual therapy that combines a range of traditional and contemporary massage techniques. Soft tissue therapy, myofascial stretching, rehabilitative exercises as well as temperature therapy (the use of hot and cold packs), can all be used within this highly individualised therapy. Myotherapists may even make nutritional and lifestyle recommendations, offering clients a holistic treatment that will improve their physical and emotional health.

What conditions can it treat?

Myotherapy can be used to treat a range of physical ailments including:

  • Chronic pain
  • Muscle sprains, tears and/or injuries
  • Tendonitis
  • Lower back pain
  • Poor posture
  • Tennis/golfer’s elbow

This form of massage can also be used as a preventative method to keep the body functioning at its best. Myotherapists may also recommend that other forms of massage, acupuncture or physiotherapy be used in combination with your treatment in order for you to get the best results.

Can anyone use myotherapy?

Regardless of your age, current physical status or past experiences with massage therapies, a professional myotherapy treatment session can help you get back to your best. Recommended for athletes and active people alike, myotherapy can help to reduce the effects of muscle spasms, strains and tears.

Not an overly active person? Still looking for a proven way to reduce chronic pain and muscle stiffness? Myotherapy treatments are also perfect for people who are suffering from lower back pain, stiff necks, carpal tunnel syndrome as well as headaches, making it a go-to treatment for treating ‘office injuries.’

It’s all hands on deck for budding myotherapists

Now that I’ve highlighted what myotherapy is, how it can help you get back to your best and who can use it, I thought I’d talk a little about the professionals practising this technique. What are their charactersitics? How does working in the wellbeing industry make them feel? And of course, probably the biggest question out there – “do I have what it takes to build a career in myotherapy?”

First thing’s first – anyone can become a myotherapist. It doesn’t matter if you’re beginning a career as a therapist or you want to add a new skill to your repertoire, myotherapists come in all shapes and sizes. All you need is a Certificate IV in Remedial Massage (or an equivalent qualification), a reputable massage college to study with, and a passion for helping others regain their mobility and independence.

Secondly, myotherapists (as with the majority of massage professionals), have a deep love for what they do. Whether it is helping someone get back to their best after an accident or reducing the effects of chronic pain, myotherapists are called upon to treat a range of physical ailments – and they love being able to help. As long as you have an empathetic and energetic personality, then you should consider following your calling and becoming a professional myotherapist.

Have you heard ‘the call’? Do you want to build a career within the booming massage industry? The Australian Institute of Applied Sciences (AIAS) offers a range of specialised massage courses including their latest on-campus offering, the Advanced Diploma of Myotherapy. View their full range of courses in the feel-good sciences here.

Author bio: Having completed her master's at Sydney University, Leah is now developing, editing and maintaining the content for three educational websites at StudyGroup (FIAFitnation, AIAS & Martin). Her writing experience has included everything from promoting daily deals to educating students about new course offerings. A passionate, creative and downright nutty writer, Leah loves blogging about health, happiness and all things wellness.

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