Deep Tissue Massage #01

Massage Therapy

Massage is probably the oldest form of physical medicine known to man, and can be traced back to the earliest medical manuscripts. From massage came many other physical therapies including, osteopathy, chiropractic, physiotherapy and reflexology. The greatest advancement in massage was made by a Swedish professor, Peter Hendrik Ling from which the popular Swedish Massage came and is still taught in colleges around the world today.


GENERAL BENEFITS OF MASSAGE THERAPY

Massage affects the body in many ways making it a most versatile therapy and suitable for people of all ages and from all walks of life. There are also many ancient forms of massage which are being rediscovered and made popular.

In general, massage can ease physical and emotional tension and provides the perfect opportunity to relax and de-stress. It promotes a sense of general well-being; lifts the mood; helps to ease lower back ache and relieves anxiety.



DEEP TISSUE MASSAGE (DTM)

As the name implies, this is a deep massage, but it is not just a “hard” massage. The therapist works with the tissue not just on it. Use is made of knuckles, fists and elbows and it may also incorporate a variety of stretches and techniques borrowed from other healing modalities such as Trigger Point Therapy (Using Manual Pressure Release), Myofascial Release and Thai Massage.

Myofascial Pain ("technical" words meaning muscle pain) may develop from injury to muscles and soft tissue or from repetitive or excessive strain to a particular muscle or muscle group. There are also many other causes which is beyond the scope of this website!

Often myofascial pain is associated with myofascial trigger points (knots)which feel like a hard "spot" on a tight band of muscle, and usually feel painful when pressed.
Studies show that "manual pressure release" helps to increase the pressure pain threshold, thereby decreasing the tenderness of the myofascial trigger point. It "appears to be an effective therapy for myofascial trigger points in the upper trapezius" (Fryer & Hodgson, 2005)

The aim of DTM is to release muscle holding patterns and to stretch and lengthen tissue thereby easing tensions and related problems. New or acute injuries are not treated with DTM, these are referred to the experts in this field like Doctors, Osteopaths, Chiropractors and Physiotherapists.

In DTM there is less emphasis on pleasure and more emphasis on muscle restrictions. This does not mean that the work is not pleasurable; in fact many of my clients prefer the nature of DTM because it is deeper. DTM is therefore not a set routine or sequence of movements and no two massages will be the same, although there are many of the classic massage strokes within the DTM treatment making this a great combination of deep tissue work and relaxation.




REMEDIAL MASSAGE
With Remedial Massage Thechniques, many are similar to Deep Tissue Massage, the difference in the type of appointment is that Remedial Massage only treats the problematic area and there is usually not time to include any general massage unless specifically requested and extra time booked. A full Postural Analysis assessment and Range of Motion tests are performed to ascertain the problematic muscles in addition to a thorough questionnaire with regards to past injuries, postural habits and type of work and hobbies, and/or repetitive strain injuires.

The treatment begins with Deep Tissue Massage techniques to soften superficial layers thereby enabling the therapist to sink into the deeper layers, as this is often where many problems lie. A variety of techniques are also used including Neuromuscular Techniques eg Trigger Point techniques and various forms of stretching including Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF); Muscle Energy Technique (MET)and Soft Tissue Release (STR).
Deep Tissue Massage #02THERAPEUTIC MASSAGE

This is a “gently firm” massage and is often performed as a full body massage however many clients benefit from a 30 to 45 minute massage to the upper body alone. Tight and knotted areas will receive more attention and overall it is a firm, rhythmic massage aiding relaxation and promoting a sense of well being.

It is a great massage to have if there is no specific problem to be addressed and makes a good “preventative” massage in keeping the muscles and joints free from tension. In the full 90 minute massage the hands, feet, abdomen and face are also massaged.





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