What is the difference between remedial massage therapy and myotherapy?
Massage therapy is manual manipulation of soft body tissues (muscle, connective tissue, tendons and ligaments) to enhance a person’s health and well-being.
Remedial massage is the systematic assessment and treatment of the muscles, tendons, ligaments and connective tissues of the body to assist in rehabilitation, pain and injury management. 
Myotherapy is the evidence based assessment, treatment and rehabilitation of musculoskeletal pain and associated conditions.
Myotherapy is a form of soft tissue treatment that is based on remedial massage as well as Western medical, evidence based assessment, treatment and rehabilitation principles.
Basically, myotherapy, as a modality is focused on relieving musculoskeletal pain by focusing on and treating the soft tissue of the body (muscle, fascia, tendons, ligaments).
The hands on treatment, and assessment techniques are similar to those found in massage and remedial massage therapy as well as physiotherapy and osteopathy.
Myotherapists are first trained in massage therapy and remedial massage therapy and this forms the foundations for a myotherapist’s training and technique.
Massage therapy is the first, basic building block of soft tissue therapy. The training to become a myotherapist usually spans from six to twelve months and their qualification is a Certificate IV in Massage Therapy.
Massage therapists learn basic human anatomy and physiology, pathology and biomechanics. They then learn hands on soft tissue manipulation techniques that are mainly based on the principles of Swedish massage. This form of massage aims to relax the muscles and other connective tissue as well as boost immunity and blood circulation in the body (among other subtle benefits). 
The effect of Swedish massage on the body is holistic, gentle and quite superficial in regards to the soft tissue of the body. Massage therapists have very little training in the area of assessment and treatment of injuries and musculoskeletal pain and dysfunction and their scope of practice is reflective of this.
Remedial massage therapy builds upon the soft tissue techniques that are used in massage therapy and expands into the world of musculoskeletal pain and dysfunction. Training for a remedial therapist is an additional twelve months and the qualification is a Diploma of Remedial Massage. Remedial massage therapists undertake further training in human anatomy, physiology, pathology and biomechanics, as well as sports injuries and trigger point activity.
Remedial massage therapists learn the basics of postural analysis and range of motion testing to identify problematic soft tissue structures that are causing pain. They learn more advanced hands on skills that aim to release tension in the soft tissue of the body. These techniques include deep tissue massage, myofascial release, cryotherapy, cupping, trigger point therapy and PNF stretching.
They also learn the basics of injury rehabilitation and corrective exercises and taping techniques to aid in the management of sporting injuries. A remedial massage therapist has a greater scope of practice than a massage therapist and they can work well in partnership with other allied health professionals as part of a patient’s treatment.
A myotherapists training builds upon the soft tissue techniques learned as a remedial massage therapist with an even greater focus of biomechanics, postural analysis and injury rehabilitation. Training for a myotherapist is an additional twelve months and their qualification is either an Advanced Diploma of Myotherapy or a Bachelor of health Science (Myotherapy). A myotherapist gains an in-depth knowledge and understanding of functional anatomy, physiology and biomechanics of the body, with a focus on the optimal functioning of each structure individually and as a whole.
They learn how to assess; each specific joint and structure to identify dysfunction, gait and functional movements, the body’s overall posture and movement patterns, the function, range of motion and health of soft tissue (muscles, connective tissue, tendons, and ligaments), and how these structures interact with the other systems of the body (ie nervous, cardiovascular, lymphatic etc).
Myotherapists learn advanced soft tissue techniques to treat the symptoms and correct the cause of musculoskeletal pain and dysfunction. These techniques include: myofascial tension technique, dry needling, advanced myofascial cupping, neurological manipulation, neurological manipulation, joint mobilisation, muscle energy technique, rock taping, and corrective exercises. A myotherapist has a broader scope of practice than a remedial massage therapist.
In an initial myotherapy consultation you can expect to have a full postural analysis, medical history, range of motion testing and special tests for injuries and muscle imbalances (like with a physiotherapist). You can also expect to have a soft tissue treatment much like with a remedial massage therapist, but with the use of more techniques.
You may find that the muscle causing you pain is in a completely different part of your body than the pain you feel, because of this you may have muscles treated that you wouldn’t normally have treated by a remedial massage therapist.
The main goal of a myotherapy treatment is to reduce your pain, increase your range of motion, flexibility and strength as well as correct any postural imbalances that are causing your pain. A myotherapist may do an assessment, treat the soft tissue, then assess again and continue this pattern until you have a significant improvement of range of motion etc.
Simply put, a remedial massage therapist will generally treat the symptoms of musculoskeletal pain and dysfunction while a myotherapist will treat both the immediate symptoms and the underlying cause, be it behavioural, postural, muscular imbalance or structural.
For more information, please contact:
About Nick Perritt, Myotherapist
Nick believes myotherapy looks beyond the symptoms to find the root cause of imbalance in your body and treats your imbalances using a wide variety of techniques. Massage is Nick’s main tool however he also has skills and knowledge to apply a wide variety of techniques including dry needling, trigger point therapy and myofascial release. His aim is to get you pain free and strong again by not just providing a band-aid fix. Nick is available Mondays and Thursdays. To make an appointment, please call us on 03 9830 7044 or book online at www.springosteo.com.au
About Spring Osteo Clinic
Spring Osteo is located at 2/486 Whitehorse Road, Surrey Hills and offers osteopathy, myotherapy, remedial massage therapy, clinical pilates and studio pilates. We treat acute to chronic pain and injuries including back pain, neck pain, headaches, migraines, sports injuries, pregnancy related pain, postural related pain and more. We treat people through all stages of life including babies and children; teenagers with study strains; athletes (beginner to professional); pregnant women and new mums; tradespeople and desk bound workers with postural complaints; and the elderly. Our ultimate goal is to work with you to relieve; manage and prevent pain. www.springosteo.com.au
 Rapaport MH, Schettler P, Breese C; A Preliminary Study on the Effects of a Single Seasion of Swedish Massage on Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal and immune funcition in normal individuals; J Alternative Complimentary Medicine; 2010; issue 10; page 1079-88.
 Hong CZ; Pathophysiology of myofascial trigger point; Journal of the Formason Medical Association; 1996; volume 95; issue 2; pages 93-104.