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Massage gives new insights with every treatment

Massage gives new insights with every treatment

I’m amazed at how every massage I give is not only a treatment but a new opportunity to learn more about each unique body, how it responds to various massage techniques (from swedish effleurage & pettrisage to hot stones treatments to deep tissue and trigger point therapies) and how it changes between treatments according to the client’s physical activities, mental attitude and external stresses. I’m in the process of creating clients’ own logbooks so they can be actively involved in the process of looking after their bodies and discovering the relevance of their day to day activities, diet, surroundings, stresses (AND anti-stresses such as yoga) to how they end up feeling during and after their massage treatments. From my own observations, my most supple and quickest healing client is a long distance road biker who supports her sport with yoga twice a week, proper stretching after events, and taking the time to relax on “days off”. She has found that regular massage is really helping for very quick recovery from stiff, tired limbs.

I’m particularly interested in the medical science surrounding both myofascia release and trigger point therapy.

Myofascia is a 3D web of microscopic hollow tubules that extends uninterupted from top to toe, surrounding (to a cellular level) every bone, muscle, organ, blood vessel and nerve. This relatively thin, filmy tissue gives shape and support to the body’s musculature, as well as providing non-stop instant communication between all the cells in the body. The hollow myofascial tubules contain continuous fibres of elastin and collagens surrounded by a fluid called “ground substance”.

Fascial restrictions can result from traumas (accidents, injuries or surgery) or repetitive stress situations (such as poor postures & over-use). Any of these traumas can cause the fascial tissue to change consistency, often hardening, in order to support and make up for the stresses on the body parts.

To put it crudely, a myofascial trigger point is a localized area of intense pain (when triggered) caused by over-contracted muscle fibres, starved of oxygen & creating a localized energy crisis, where neuroreactive biochemicals are released to sensitize nearby nerves, which, in turn, act on the central nervous system to initiate the motor, sensory, and autonomic effects of myofascial trigger points.
Myofascial trigger points can be tracked by their characteristic spontaneous electrical activity (SEA), and also identified by the change in cell structures – which cause the “contraction knots” we all tend to find from time to time. These reactions (SEA and physical changes) are caused by excessive release of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine (ACh) from the nerve endings.
Working deep into these trigger points can cause a “release” and thus relief from the pain. Stretching the myofascia helps to release the correlated tensions stored around the body.

That’s just the start of it… but looking at the symptoms shown in various clients and how effective the trigger point treatment seems to be, it’s brilliant to be able to learn all about what specific treatment works best with each very different situation. My massage routines have taken on a whole new dimension, as I become more and more aware of the areas of tension (even before the client realises there is any tension at all). Massages have to be adapted according to what each client’s body requires, and paying attention to the myofascial responses, ultimately helps in a more effective treatment. My hands are vessels for learning intuitively how to effectively aid the client through the medium of massage.


One thought on “Massage gives new insights with every treatment

listingslabPosted on  4:05 pm - Jul 8, 2009

wow, are there any books about myofascial release?

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