DEEP TISSUE MASSAGE
Techniques that trigger deep tissues and muscles are administered to affect the sub-layer of musculature and fascia. These techniques require advanced training and a thorough understanding of the human’s anatomy and physiology. The muscles must be relaxed in order to effectively perform deep-tissue massage, otherwise tight muscles at the surface will prevent the practitioner from reaching deeper down in the musculature. Outcomes are seen with chronic muscle pain and inflammatory-related pain caused by arthritis and tendinitis.
Acupressure is an ancient healing art that utilizes the fingers to press down onto surfaces of the skin to stimulate the body’s natural self-curative abilities. When these points are activated, they release muscular tension, promote blood circulation and the body’s life force (sometimes referred to as qi or chi) to aid in the healing process. Acupuncture and acupressure use the same point locations, but acupuncture employs needles, while acupressure uses gentle, firm pressure of hands and feet. Acupressure can be effective in relieving headaches, eye strain, sinus blockage, neck pain, backaches, arthritis, muscle aches, tension due to stress, ulcer pain, menstrual cramps, constipation, and indigestion. There are also great advantages to using acupressure as a way to balance the body and maintain good health. The healing touch of acupressure reduces tension, increases circulation, and enables the body to relax deeply.
Myofascial release is the three-dimensional application of sustained pressure and movement into the fascial system to eliminate fascial restrictions and facilitate the emergence of emotional patterns and belief systems that are no longer relevant or impeding progress. First, an assessment is made by analyzing the human frame, then followed by the palpation of tissue texture in various fascial layers. Upon locating an area of fascial tension, gentle pressure is applied in the direction of the restriction. Myofascial release is an effective therapeutic approach for the relief of cervical and back pain, fibromyalgia, scoliosis, neurological dysfunction, motion restriction, chronic pain, and headaches.
MYOFASCIAL TRIGGER POINT THERAPY
Based on the discoveries of Drs. Janet Travell and David, relative to the causal relationship between chronic pain and its sources, myofascial trigger point therapy is used to relieve muscle pain and correct dysfunction through applied pressure on trigger points of referred pain and through stretching exercises. These points are defined as localized areas in which the muscle and connective tissue are highly sensitive to pain when compressed. Pressure on these points can send referred pain to other specific parts of the body.
Sports massage is designed to enhance athletic performance and recovery. There are three contexts in which sports massage can be useful to an athlete: pre-event, post-event, and injury rehabilitation. Pre-event massage is delivered at the performance site, usually with the athlete fully clothed. Fast-paced and stimulating, it helps to activate blood flow and warm up muscles. During the massage, the athlete generally focuses on visualizing the upcoming event. Post-event massage is also delivered on site, through the clothes. The intent here is to calm the nervous system down and begin the process of flushing toxins and waste products out of the body. Post-event massage can reduce recovery time, enabling an athlete to resume training much sooner than rest alone would. When an athlete sustains an injury, skillful massage therapy can often speed and improve the quality of healing.
One of the most commonly taught and well-known techniques is the Swedish massage. It is a vigorous system of treatments designed to energize the body by stimulating circulation. Five basic strokes, all flowing towards the heart, are used to manipulate the soft tissues of the body. The disrobed patient is covered by a sheet, with only the area being worked on exposed. The therapist uses a combination of kneading, rolling, vibrating, percussive, and tapping movements, with the application of oil, to reduce friction on the skin. The many benefits of Swedish massage include generalized relaxation, dissolution of scar tissue adhesion, and improved circulation, all which may speed the healing process and reduce the swelling around an injured body part.