Types of Massage
Orthopedic Massage Therapy (OM) describes a comprehensive system, rather than a single technique, that involves therapeutic assessment, manipulation and movement of soft tissues to resolve pain and dysfunction. OM focuses on restoring structural balance throughout the body for both prevention and rehabilitation of musculoskeletal dysfunctions. OM takes a multidisciplinary approach and works with you as an active participant in your recovery. OM looks beyond the massage session to the origin of the pain either from trauma-induced injuries or postural imbalances that exacerbate the pain through daily activities. Common orthopedic conditions can stem from sports injuries, postural imbalances due to poor work ergonomics, chronic pain and scar tissue from surgery or traumatic injury.
The purpose of Sports Massage Therapy is to help alleviate the stress and tension which builds up in the body’s soft tissues during physical activity. Where minor injuries and lesions occur, due to overexertion and/or overuse, massage can break them down quickly and effectively. The massage will help prepare the athlete for peak performance, to prevent delayed onset muscles soreness, to drain away fatigue, to relieve swelling, to reduce muscle tension, to promote flexibility and to prevent injuries. Sports massage can help prevent those niggling injuries that so often get in the way of performance and achievement, whether a person is an athlete or a once a week jogger.
Trigger Point Therapy is a bodywork technique that involves the applying of pressure to tender muscle tissue in order to relieve pain and dysfunction in other parts of the body. Active trigger points cause muscular pain and will refer pain and tenderness to another area of the body when pressure is applied. Latent trigger points only exhibit pain when compressed, they do not refer pain to other areas of the body. Latent trigger points are believed to be one of the causes of stiff joints and restricted range of motion. The purpose of trigger point therapy is to eliminate pain and to re-educate the muscles into pain-free habits. After several treatments, the swelling and stiffness of neuromuscular pain is reduced, range of motion is increased, tension is relieved, and circulation, flexibility and coordination are improved.
Neuromuscular Therapy (NMT) is a very specialized form of manual therapy. A therapist trained in NMT is educated in the physiology of the nervous system and its effect on the muscular and skeletal systems. The Neuromuscular Therapist is also educated in kinesiology and biomechanics and how to work in a clinical or medical environment. Neuromuscular Therapy is the utilization of static pressure on specific myofascial points to relieve pain. This technique manipulates the soft tissue of the body (muscles, tendons and connective tissue) to balance the central nervous system. In a healthy individual, nerves transmit impulses (which are responsible for every movement, function and thought) to the body very slowly. Injury, trauma, postural distortion or stress cause nerves to speed up their transmission, inhibiting equilibrium and making the body vulnerable to pain and dysfunction. It is therefore necessary to stabilize low levels of neurological activity to maintain normal function and overall health.
Fascia is very densely woven, covering and interpenetrating every muscle, bone, nerve, artery and vein as well as all of our internal organs including the heart, lungs, brain and spinal cord. The most interesting aspect of the fascial system is that it is not just a system of separate coverings. It is actually one structure that exists from head to foot without interruption. In this way you can begin to see that each part of the entire body is connected to every other part by the fascia, like the yarn in a sweater. Myofascial Release Therapy is a gentle therapy, consisting of a mixture of light stretching and massage work.
Deep Tissue Massage Therapy is a technique that focuses on the deeper layers of muscles tissue. It aims to release the chronic patterns of tension in the body through slow strokes and deep finger pressure on the contracted areas, either following or going across the fiber's of the muscles, tendons and fascia. Deep tissue massage is used to release chronic muscle tension through slower strokes and more direct deep pressure or friction applied across the grain of the muscles not with the grain. Deep tissue massage helps to break up and eliminate scar tissue. Deep tissue massage usually focuses on more specific areas and may cause some soreness during or right after the massage. However, if the massage is done correctly you should feel better than ever within a day or two.
Muscle energy technique (or MET) is based on the principle of reciprocal inhibition, a theory that explains that muscles on one side of a joint will always relax to accommodate the contraction of muscles on the other side of that joint when indirect pressure is applied. MET is often applied to patients who suffer from muscle spasms. Muscle energy techniques are applied to a patient in order to lengthen shortened or spastic muscles, to improve weakened ligament and muscle strength, and to improve range of motion. This procedure is performed when a patient is asked to contract a muscle for approximately 10 seconds against an resistance applied by the therapist. The muscle contraction is performed by the client 2 or 3 times in a row in the hopes to stretch the muscle further each time.