Part Six – Putting it altogether
The previous five posts in this series have aimed to give a very brief introduction to the variety of massage techniques available. Some you may have been familiar with by name without really knowing what they could do for you or if you needed them. I hope the posts have proved helpful but would be very happy to answer any individual questions that have arisen from the posts. Continue reading
Part five – Manual Lymphatic Drainage Massage
This is a very specialised and specific form of massage designed to assist in the flow of lymph around the Lymphatic vessels. The lymphatic system works with the blood system and aims to speed the removal of inflammatory and waste products. It is often used for Lymhphoedema and available in many Cancer care facilities for over congestion in the system.
It does, however, have benefits to the sports person or indeed anyone with soft tissue injury that is accompanied by swelling. It is also helpful post cosmetic surgery to reduce inflammation. The massage is very light, gentle and rhythmic aiming to very gently stimulate lymphatic flow. If pressure is too strong the muscular and neurological systems will engage and these can produce chemicals that may aggravate or add to the swelling.
Part four – Neuromuscular Technique and Soft Tissue Release
These two techniques work hand in hand to alleviate tension spots and pain with the aim of restoring movement. As with previous techniques discussed a lot of the effectiveness is due to the competency of the therapist to assess the tissues and select the correct technique for the current situation.
This is one of the things I love most about massage in that it is constantly changing and therefore challenging. Even though I may have seen a client regularly over a long period of time I constantly allow my hands to feel the muscle tissue as things can and do change. It would be wrong to consistently offer the exact same treatment every time without assessing first.
Part three – Myofascial Trigger Points
Trigger Points, also known as Myofascial Trigger Points (MTP’s), are areas of extreme tension in soft tissue. They are often referred to as ‘knots’ but this isn’t quite correct as although both form in soft tissue and can have the same cause MTP’s cause referred pain whereas knots do not necessarily. Trigger Points have been well mapped within muscular tissue due primarily to the work of Dr. Janet Travell, White House Physician to President John F. Kennedy. Continue reading
Part two – Myofascial Release
The muscles in the human body are wrapped up rather like a parcel and each layer of wrapping paper is known as fascia. It provides a connective tissue throughout the body in a web-like formation without interruption or breaks. If this fascia becomes tight as wrapping can it puts pressure on the muscle and surrounding connective structures binding the tissue together thus causing pain and limited movement. Continue reading
Part one – Introduction
A good question and one I get asked often as it is not always easy to know the difference when it is not your field of work. The simple answer is if you have soft tissue pain or limited movement you need a soft tissue therapist qualified in one or other or preferably both. The techniques used are the same but their application and the client recovery will follow different patterns. Continue reading