Defence Members Also Need Massage

8 February 2014

Many times over many years I have advocated in various media that Australian Defence Force members should have access to remedial massage as part of their normal health entitlements.

After all, most Defence members work and train harder, longer and tougher than most elite athletes, including Olympians, who all seem to recognise the vital part massage plays in their preparation and ongoing success.

But remedial massage is never likely to be made available to regular Defence members – in the same way that medical, surgical, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, dental and podiatry is – because the current outdated system, archaic Defence health policies and “old boy” medical networks are so entrenched.

Big Pharma also has a massive influence over these health policies. Natural therapies like remedial massage are the “natural enemies” of Big Pharma so there is little chance highly beneficial natural treatments will ever get a “look in.”

However, I continue to have a large and growing client base of current and former Defence members from all three Services who seek treatment privately for a variety of reasons.

Some are preparing for fitness assessments like BFAs or Special Forces entry tests, some have sore and aching muscles and joints from all their hard training and sporting activities, some need help with injury recovery, some just recognise the value of ongoing treatments and body maintenance, and many find the treatments they receive under their current entitlements just haven’t worked and this is seriously affecting their medical status and chances for overseas deployment..

Over many years I’ve also massaged a number of Defence medical and allied health professionals and some have openly recognised they simply cannot provide effective treatments for a range of conditions, because they have to work within the “system.”

But whatever the reason, my Defence clients recognise that remedial massage is their best option, or it complements (often outshines) other treatments they are entitled to.

In a previous life, I was the founder, owner and editor of the Northern Services Courier Defence community newspaper in Townsville for 18 years until 2006 and in another previous life I was an Army Reserve weekend warrior.

While the paper’s editor, I also visited East Timor within weeks of the Townsville-based 3rd Brigade troops deploying there in late 1999 and saw the arduous conditions in which the troops were working in various parts of the country.

So I have a reasonable knowledge of how the military system operates and the hard physical stresses and strains and hardships Defence personnel often have to endure.

Of major concern is that once many Defence members are “broken,” discharged then enter the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) system, the problems often worsen – again because they are not entitled to remedial massage and the treatments they actuallly need.

They are allowed heaps of physical therapy by allied health practitioners, but much of this tends to aggravate their problems and they may end up with chronic pain (if they didn’t already have it from lack of the proper treatment while a serving member). Chronic pain is self-feeding due to chemical processes and doesn’t rely on the status of the original injury.

Do a search on the DVA website for “massage” and it will come up with a screen that only mentions physiotherapy, chiropractic and osteopathy.

DVA and Defence bureaucrats and decision-makers apparently STILL do not realise, or DELIBERATELY IGNORE the fact – to the great disadvantage of their clients, that while those therapists have some massage skills, they are not specifically trained and qualified as MASSAGE THERAPISTS.

I have a number of DVA clients and although they have to pay for these treatments themselves, I am happy to offer them a discount.

As of 2020, I have been a massage therapist for 29 years (much of it as a professional sideline until 2006 when I sold the newspaper to concentrate full time on massage) and over that entire time I have acquired significant knowledge and skills that many other massage and physical therapists don’t have.

Go to the Articles page and read some of the Points of Difference (by clicking on the green print) between my treatments and that of other therapists.


David Hall ©


Townsville Massage therapist based in Mount Louisa and specialising in Remedial Massage for all types of muscle and/or joint aches and pains, headaches and migraines. I guarantee the best value for money remedial massage in Townsville. CALL NOW on (07) 4774 6973 or 0438 774 819 to book an appointment.