Body Work & Massage Techniques
This section delves into the detail of massage. Depending on a patient’s aims, whether to recover from injury, reduce pain, reduce recovery time between training etc, I adopt different massage techniques. Below I have listed some of the different techniques I use and the benefits of each one.
Basic Massage Strokes
This steady move relaxes muscles and moves tissue fluids. Contracted muscles are lengthened and circulation is boosted.
This deep tissue technique is used only at the site of pain or injury to break down scar tissue. The process involves working across the muscle rather than along it and results in freer movement and increased flexibility in the muscles. Cross-friction massage will ease pain immediately and should be used over a number of sessions for long-term benefits.
Deep Tissue Massage
Deep tissue massage uses firm pressure, deep into the dense muscle fibres to release knots, tension and congested tissue. By relaxing the muscle, the flow of blood is restored and enhanced; the build up of toxins is flushed out, improving your muscle’s balance and function. I use deep tissue massage in many of my treatment plans, it helps to restore pain-free movement, reduce muscle tension and liberate restricted joints. Although massaging deep into the tissue can on occasion be slightly uncomfortable, you will feel great afterwards!
Fascia is the connective tissues element that suffuses, surrounds and supports muscles, it can become tense, restricting muscle movement and blood flow. Myofascial Release involves slowly stretching, moving and separating the fascia to permit free movement of the muscle and promote healthy lymphatic drainage.
Muscle Energy Technique
Muscle Energy Technique (MET) is a form of manual therapy, that uses a muscle’s own energy in the form of gentle isometric contractions to relax and lengthen the muscle. As compared to static stretching which is a passive technique in which the therapist does all the work, MET is an active technique in which the patient is also an active participant.
Soft Tissue Release
Soft Tissue Release targets specific areas of tension within a muscle, sometimes called “knots”, they are just like a knot in a piece of timber. It is also a useful technique for targeting muscles that are difficult to stretch actively and for isolating a muscle within a group of muscles that would normally stretch together. STR involves firm manual pressure on a muscle and then taking the muscle into a pain-free stretch to untangle the muscle fibres. STR is used to increase range of movement, relieve pain, prevent, repair and manage injuries.
Assisted Muscle Stretches
Sometimes called Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation, or PNF – Controlled stretching and contraction of muscles, used to slowly re-educate the body to restore a full range of movement in the joints. This technique improves flexibility, helps relax muscles, reduces pain and restores function.
Joint Mobilisation Techniques
This pain-free technique is often called the Mobilisation With Movement technique. Devised by Brian Mulligan it aims to immediately reduce your pain and increase your range of motion.
To make sure you get the most from your treatment plan, I will often give ‘homework’ to speed up recovery time or generally improve your body’s well-being. This may include daily self-treatments adopting hot or cold packs, sometimes both. We can discuss medication that may aid you. Stretching and strengthening exercises are incredibly useful in improving your body’s range of movement and strength. Each patient is given a personalised set of fully explained exercises.