Sport and Remedial Massage (Soft Tissue Therapy)
The Objectives of Soft Tissue Therapy are to assess, treat and rehabilitate acute or chronic minor ” soft tissue” conditions and prevent problems in the future.
How are the Objectives Achieved?
Each client is assessed for posture and range of movement prior to any treatment to identify the problems and to help decide on the appropriate course of action. The techniques used range from superficial stroking of whole muscles to a gradual increase in depth and pressure to work on the fibrous structure of the muscle as well as on tendons, and where accessible, ligaments. Treatment also encompasses a number of techniques which involve the movement of the muscle and its fibres by passive, active or resistance methods which can increase and improve upon the range of movement of the muscles.
To Prevent Injury
Soft tissue in the body may lose its flexibility for a number of reasons; through illness or from an accident; overuse or lack of use; from the effects of stress and anxiety; or it may occur gradually as an individual gets older. The lack of flexibility may be caused by scar tissue and adhesions as muscle fibres become stuck together, or alternatively a large area of muscle may have lost its ability to stretch out as it has not been used in this way for some time. This lack of flexibility leaves the muscles and tendons susceptable to injury as sudden movements may impact on the muscles or tendons. Deep tissue massage breaks down the scar tissue and adhesions, while other techniques encourage the muscles to regain their former flexibility and range of movement. For this, many people wish to have a regular massage to ensure that the muscles are free of these adhesions to prevent injury.
Performance should not be considered in just a sporting capacity, but in the ability of the body to operate on a daily basis. As detailed above, performance can be enhanced by ensuring that the body has its full range of movement and flexibility through deep tissue massage and various stretching techniques. Massage prior to any activity complements any warm up or stretching regime and it moves fluids through the body and warms up the muscles, as well as detecting any problematic areas.
Help a Full and Speedy Recovery.
The superficial stroking helps in the movement of fluids around the body, bringing nutirents to the tissues, and removing waste products. This ensures a speedy recovery after a soft tissue injury, or will speed up recovery after a sporting event. This will also help to prevent any future swelling which may be uncomfortable and may delay recovery. Again, at this stage the early detection of injuries ensures that they are treated appropriately.
In the non sporting world, massage helps people to recover from illnesses or the effects of long distance travel. It promotes a general feeling of well being by relaxing tense muscles and increasing the range of movement.
Posture is jointly determined by the bones and soft tissue within the body. Anything which affects either of these will have an impact on your posture. Injuries, stress or occupational/repetitive activities may affect the soft tissue. Adhesions and scar tissue reduce the flexibility of the muscles and tendons and this may put pressure on the bones of the body. Stress or other emotional problems often cause the tension to be carried in the neck and shoulders, which frequently results in a round shouldered, hunched appearance. Spending time either sitting or standing in the same position, or carrying out a repetitive function such as working on a computer or if you spend a long time in a car, can have an impact on the length and flexibility of muscles.
Deep tissue massage will serve to release this tension, or break down the scar tissue and adhesions and help the muscles to regain their original length, improving posture.