Deep tissue massage is the modality most requested at my practice. This technique is effective in treating chronic muscular pain and facilitating injury rehabilitation. Deep tissue work also reduces inflammation-related pain caused by arthritis and tendinitis.
When there is chronic muscle tension or injury, there are usually adhesions (bands of painful, rigid tissue) in muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Adhesions can block circulation and cause pain, limited movement, and inflammation. Deep tissue massage works by physically breaking down these adhesions to relieve pain and restore normal movement.
According to the University Of Maryland Medical Center, one study found that deep tissue massage reduced blood pressure levels (an average reduction of 10.4 mm Hg in systolic pressure and a diastolic pressure reduction of 5.3 mm Hg).
This gentle therapy works to relieve restrictions and adhesions that may develop in the fascial system in response to postural misalignment, injury, surgery, or other trauma, and cause pain or dysfunction. Proper myofascial release can bring the body back to neutral.
According to the Mayo Clinic:
Myofascial (mi-oh-FASH-al) release is a manual therapy technique often used in massage. The technique focuses on pain believed to arise from myofascial tissues — the tough membranes that wrap, connect and support your muscles. Theoretically, myofascial pain differs from other types of pain because it originates in “trigger points,” which are related to stiff, anchored areas within the myofascia. The pain that a trigger point causes is often difficult to localize, though.
During myofascial release therapy, the therapist locates myofascial areas that feel stiff and fixed instead of elastic and movable under light manual pressure. These areas, though not always near what feels like the source of pain, are thought to restrict muscle and joint movements, contributing to widespread muscle pain. The focused manual pressure and stretching used in myofascial release therapy loosen up restricted movement, leading indirectly to reduced pain.
Neuromuscular therapy can help individuals suffering from chronic pain and who experience mechanical dysfunction or postural misalignment.
It is also used to locate and release spasms and hypertrophies in the tissue, rebuild the strength of injured tissues, and restore flexibility.
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 also is educated in kinesiology and biomechanics and how to work in a clinical or medical environment.
By definition, 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.
Neuromuscular Therapy will be used to address five elements that cause pain:
1. Ischemia: Lack of blood supply to soft tissues which causes hypersensitivity to touch
2. Trigger Points: Highly irritated points in muscles which refer pain to other parts of the body
3. Nerve Compression or Entrapment: Pressure on a nerve by soft tissue, cartilage or bone
4. Postural Distortion: Imbalance of the muscular system resulting from the movement of the body off the longitudinal and horizontal planes
5. Biomechanical Dysfunction: Imbalance of the musculoskeletal system resulting in faulty movement patterns – i.e., poor lifting habits, bad mechanics in a golf swing of tennis stroke, or typing on a computer keyboard.
CBD, or Cannabinoid, is natural derivative of the hemp plant and contains no THC.
It’s in high demand for good reason. The effect of CBD is described by many as a wave of relaxation through the body. And when CBD is massaged into the tissue use you may enjoy relief from pain, inflammation, insomnia and anxiety to boot.
A CBD Massage with Lia is unique in its incorporation of both a CBD capsule taken orally (if desired), and CBD oil massaged into the soft tissue topically. Only Charlotte’s Web products– one of the highest-quality brands available– are used.
Swedish massage, sometimes known as “traditional massage” is designed primarily to stimulate circulation. This is a lighter touch technique than deep tissue or trigger point therapies.
The many benefits of Swedish massage may include generalized relaxation and improved circulation, which may speed healing and reduce swelling from injury. In fact, a recent study published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine examined the effects of one session of Swedish massage therapy on the body’s hormonal response and immune function, and found that even a single session of Swedish massage therapy can have a positive effect on the immune system.
Funded in part by NCCAM, researchers from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles, randomly assigned 53 healthy adults to receive one session of either Swedish massage or light touch (in which the therapist used only a light touch with the back of the hand). Both interventions lasted 45 minutes and were performed by a licensed massage therapist. Blood samples taken before and after the sessions were used to determine blood levels of certain hormones and circulating lymphocytes (white blood cells). The researchers found that participants who received Swedish massage had a significant decrease in the hormone arginine-vasopressin (which plays a role in regulating blood pressure and water retention) compared with those who were treated with light touch. No significant differences between the two groups were found for the stress hormone cortisol or in circulating lymphocytes. Significant decreases in proteins called cytokines (interleukin 4 and interleukin 10), but not others (interleukin 1 beta, interleukin 2, interleukin 5, and tumor necrosis factor alpha), were found for the massage group compared with the light touch group.
These preliminary data led the researchers to conclude that a single session of Swedish massage produces measurable biological effects and may have an effect on the immune system.
Sports massage is designed to enhance athletic performance and recovery. When an athlete sustains an injury, skillful massage therapy can often speed and improve the quality of healing.
Because it is more invigorating than some other modalities, sports massage is also an effective energy booster during cold winter months.
Sports massage therapy can be used as a means to enhance pre-event preparation and reduce recovery time for maximum performance during training or after an event. Athletes have discovered that specially designed sports massage promotes flexibility, reduces fatigue, improves endurance, helps prevent injuries and prepares their body and mind for optimal performance.
One of the key benefits of Sports massage therapy compared to other modalities is its ability to target muscle-tendon junctions. A 2010 study in the journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that even a 30-second massage improved hip-flexor range of motion. Another study conducted by Margaret Jones, Ph.D. of the American College of Sports Medicine, demonstrated a notable trend toward decreased muscle soreness in the athletes who received massage either before or after exercise.
Trigger point therapy aids in relief and control of myofascial pain and dysfunction. Treatment consists of trigger point compression, myomassage, and passive stretching.
Trigger point therapy relies heavily on client-therapist interaction, where both parties track the reduction of pain as the session progresses.
Here’s what American Family Physician has to say about trigger points:
Trigger points are discrete, focal, hyperirritable spots located in a taut band of skeletal muscle. They produce pain locally and in a referred pattern and often accompany chronic musculoskeletal disorders. Acute trauma or repetitive microtrauma may lead to the development of stress on muscle fibers and the formation of trigger points. Patients may have regional, persistent pain resulting in a decreased range of motion in the affected muscles. These include muscles used to maintain body posture, such as those in the neck, shoulders, and pelvic girdle. Trigger points may also manifest as tension headache, tinnitus, temporomandibular joint pain, decreased range of motion in the legs, and low back pain. Palpation of a hypersensitive bundle or nodule of muscle fiber of harder than normal consistency is the physical finding typically associated with a trigger point.
Patients who have trigger points often report regional, persistent pain that usually results in a decreased range of motion of the muscle in question. Often, the muscles used to maintain body posture are affected, namely the muscles in the neck, shoulders, and pelvic girdle, including the upper trapezius, scalene, sternocleidomastoid, levator scapulae, and quadratus lumborum. Although the pain is usually related to muscle activity, it may be constant. It is reproducible and does not follow a dermatomal or nerve root distribution. Patients report few systemic symptoms, and associated signs such as joint swelling and neurologic deficits are generally absent on physical examination.
In the head and neck region, myofascial pain syndrome with trigger points can manifest as tension headache, tinnitus, temporomandibular joint pain, eye symptoms, and torticollis. Upper limb pain is often referred and pain in the shoulders may resemble visceral pain or mimic tendonitis and bursitis. In the lower extremities, trigger points may involve pain in the quadriceps and calf muscles and may lead to a limited range of motion in the knee and ankle. Trigger-point hypersensitivity in the gluteus maximus and gluteus medius often produces intense pain in the low back region.