Everything in a persons' body is surrounded by a sheath of connective tissue called fascia. This fascia acts as an anchor fastening all of your muscles to bones and organs to surrounding fascia. It is what makes your body one continuous piece, rather than thousands of separate pieces. Sometimes, from repetitive motions, injury or poor posture, this fascia can adhere to itself, surrounding fascia, or muscles and cause limited range of motion (ROM), and pain. Myofascial release uses mostly dry stretches and massage techniques to break up these adhesions and basically liberate the underlying muscle. This work can be very intense and sometimes uncomfortable. However uncomfortable, the benefits are profound and include, but are not limited to: separation of fascia from muscle resulting in the liberation of muscles, postural reconstruction, and increased blood and lymphatic fluid flow.
Trigger point therapy:
Muscles are fascinating in their physiology, yet can be devastating when they turn against us. A trigger point is a point of tension in the muscle that refers pain to another area. There are pain referral patterns all over the body. They can make a person think that they have pain in one area, when really, the pain is being caused by a trigger point in another area. By working the trigger in one area, pain in another is subdued. David Kent has mapped out and presented most trigger points in the body and their referral patterns in an easy to read chart available for reference at my office.
Noninvasive technique used to release points of tension by holding said muscle at a point of tension and folding the muscle over on top of itself. Position is held this way for a few moments until muscle releases. A very simple and usually very effective treatment. Just the same as with all massage, these movements are passive and the recipient should be completely relaxed in order for it to work.
This therapy is relevant to the recipient. What is deep for one person may not be for the other and vies versa. Deep tissue massage generally means that the pressure goes deep for that person, to the "edge" so to say. A skilled therapist should be able to discern these pressure needs, yet it is still a responsibility of the recipient to communicate with the therapist if the pressure is too deep. If the body freezes up involuntarily in response to the pressure, then it is too deep. A muscle cannot be manipulated if it is in tension.
This massage is a wonderful componant of many massages given by my hand. In my practice, many of these gentle streches that are traditionally done on the floor have been modified for the table to be easily added to any massage. Thai massage consists of streches and compression to muscles to improve range of motion, flexibility, and circulation. People are often amazed at the improvement of how loose their body feels from Thai massage and usually report that they love what it does for them.
Cupping has been used in the oriental medicine field for thousands of years. However my application of the cups are to use them in an entirely western approach. The plastic or glass cup is applied to the skin with an amount of suction force comfortable to the recipient, and then moved along the skin to create a powerful myofascial release between the skin and muscle. It is a very helpful "pre" to some deep tissues sessions to help loosen the first layer of fascia. By doing so, the massage can go deeper and thus treat muscles that are so deep, that otherwise they may not be reached.
Long flowing strokes that help to loosen and relax muscles as well as give direction for blood and lymph to move.
Name given to technique that is manipulating muscles much like kneading dough.
These techniques are all in combination with a general Swedish massage. This is the name given to a general massage consisting of flowing or kneading strokes.