There are many different types of massage. Different techniques are applied depending on what the body needs. I’m going to use the term ‘tissues’ a lot here because in massage we are working on the muscles, fascia, ligaments and tendons and each of these types of tissue will respond positively to different types or pressure or stretch and will respond differently depending on how new the injury is. Massage works by stimulating the nervous system, which causes a reflex relaxation reaction of the tissues.
Slow ‘squeezing’ massage along the length of the muscle can aid lymphatic drainage, stimulating the circulatory system to remove waste products for the body to excrete. This is especially useful following an acute injury where the area is still inflamed, aiding healing.
‘Inhibition’ or ‘Trigger Point Therapy’ finds the real tender points of the muscle where there has perhaps been local micro trauma, over-use ‘knots’ or ‘fibrotic changes’ in the tissues that respond and ‘unwind’ with a reasonable amount of pressure applied until the tenderness subsides and the knot softens, breaking down adhesions.
Deep massage can help to ease any chronic tightness that has built up over many years of training or sitting, or an old injury that’s not resolved. Massage can reduce the stiffness of the tissues and lead to an increased range of movement and therefore help prevent further injury, and generally make you feel better.
Imagine a muscle and its surrounding and intrinsic connecting tissue, it needs to be supple and mobile and pliable. It needs this for the free movement of fluid in and out for it to be healthy. Nutrition in, toxins out. If you have strained a muscle by pulling it while running, or allowed a muscle to become chronically tight in your back because of a hundred deadlines completed at your computer, the muscles and surrounding fascia become stiff/frayed/restricted = unhealthy/congested/achey. Massage will help. It can be uncomfortable and a little painful, but this is commonly reported as a ‘good pain’. Post massage soreness is normal; the area can feel bruised but for no more than a couple of days. With the improved range of movement you’ll perform better because you’ll feel restored.
We often find areas of restriction and tenderness you didn’t even know about. I regularly hear from patients ‘I didn’t even know I had a muscle there!’ If you are restricted in one area, the body will find this movement elsewhere to compensate. This then leads to a re-organisation of body position and too much movement in an area that is not really supposed to move that much, leading to injury. Locally the stiff area lacks flexibility to perform normal tasks, so it can strain really easily with the most trivial of movements. Sound familiar?
Massage also helps to prepare an area for manipulation, making it easier for the joint to cavitate or ‘pop’. The effects of manipulation last longer having had massage to the area beforehand.
• Decrease muscle soreness and stiffness
• Increase range of motion
• Promote relaxation
• Aids recovery following injury
• Prevents injury if performed regularly
Take some time to look after your tissues. To make an appointment call us on 0141 942 0629.
See you soon, Linda and The Team.