What is Remedial Massage?
Remedial massage is a type of massage therapy that addresses problems in specific areas of the body.
By assessing each case, your massage therapist here at the Northern Integrative Health Practice in Durham is able to devise a programme of treatment that will improve the condition of the tissue in specific areas in order to enable normal function to return.
In remedial massage the practitioner works primarily with both the connective and muscle tissue to bring about improvement by:
- breaking down adhesions and scar tissue that can form between various structures of the body following injury or long periods of tension or dysfunction which can be brought about by postural, work and lifestyle issues;
- lengthening muscle tissue that has become shortened;
- restoring elasticity to muscle membranes (fascia) that have become thickened and unresponsive;
- restoring tone to muscles in cases of muscle wasting (atrophy);
- breaking down the formation of metabolic waste.
This type of massage also has positive effects on the other systems of the body including:
The circulatory system – this is vastly increased during massage which is important in removing toxins that are liberated during massage and to carry essential nutrients to affected areas;
The nervous system – the receptors of which are stimulated, which controls tissue tension;
The lymphatic system – resulting in increased lymphatic flow to filter toxins via lymph nodes.
What is Myofascial Release?
‘Myo’ means muscle and ‘fascia’ means band. Fascia, an embryological connective tissue, is a continuous web of elastin and collagen fibres surrounded by a viscous fluid.
Fascia surrounds, infuses and protects every other tissue, tendon, muscle, bone, ligament and organ of the body.
In healthy conditions, the fascial system is relaxed and wavy in configuration. This provides a cushioning and supportive mechanism allowing us to move safely without restriction or pain. Fascia is also dynamic in nature as it responds to internal and external forces applied on it, meeting the resistance in order to protect.
Following physical and emotional trauma, or even through poor posture, fascia will scar and harden in the affected site and along the tension lines imposed on it. This causes the fascial network to lose its cushioning mechanism and internal structures become pulled out of alignment. This in turn creates an abnormal pressure, crushing nerves, blood and lymphatic vessels, and further creating tension on adjacent pain-sensitive structures.
Fascial restrictions do not show up on CAT scans, MRI’s or X Rays therefore many patients suffer unresolved physical and emotional pain due to undiagnosed fascial trauma.
How does Myofascial Release treatment work?
Therapists are taught to feel and stretch slowly into the fascial network. Collagen means ‘glue producer’ so therapists are taught to feel for this glue-like texture which when dense, thick or hard defines a fascial restriction.
The Myofascial Release technique is very different to that of massaging muscles, tendons and the ligaments of the body. A time component also exists, coupled with the fluidity of the therapists hands in applying pressure and moving through each and every fascial restriction.
The time element is a vital factor as the fascia cannot be forced or it will naturally meet that force in return. Therefore your therapist provides a sustained, gentle, pressure for five to eight minutes allowing the fascia to elongate naturally and return to its normal resting length, restoring health and providing results that are both measurable and functional.
Your therapist not only takes into consideration what they see in your postural assessment, but works directly with what they feel and sense from palpating and treating the body.
Once we understand the nature of the fascial network, how it functions and how fascial dysfunction can affect the entire structure, we can begin to understand how symptoms, pain, imbalance and dysfunction develop. In many cases, traditional healthcare focuses on the symptom and where the pain is, then labels the dysfunction. For many people this does not offer an effective solution.
Even though you may not feel much happening… your experienced therapist can actually feel the fascial restrictions, where they go and subsequently feels the release of those restrictions during the session.
What does Myofascial Release help with?
An effective way of treating a wide range of injuries and conditions including:
- Joint & Muscular Pain
- Muscular dysfunction
- Repetitive Strain Injury
- Excessive Scar Tissue
- Sciatic & Back Pain
- Tension Headaches
Towels are used to preserve client modesty and privacy at all times and only the area being worked on will be exposed.
Your Remedial Massage Therapist