Other Advanced Massage Techniques & Therapies
Although we have trained in a wider range of therapies we tend to find that myofascial release and the following advanced massage techniques are most useful when working with chronic pain conditions and acute sports injuries:
Clinical massage is an umbrella term we use for a number of bodywork techniques including soft tissue release, sports massage, deep tissue work of various sorts and stretching.
The Craniosacral system extends from the head to the base of the spine and consists of the brain and spinal cord and the soft tissues that surround them.
Craniosacral therapy (CST) is a subtle, non-invasive technique believed to assist the body’s natural ability to heal itself by detecting and correcting imbalances in the craniosacral system.
Because these areas are connected with the other parts of the body via the nervous system, it is believed that gentle manipulation can help to release tension and reduce physical aches and pains, thereby improving acute and chronic conditions, reducing emotional stress and generally improving health, wellbeing and vitality.
HARMONICS & REBOUNDING
Harmonics is a technique developed by osteopaths.
Research has demonstrated that passive motion (ie relaxing and letting someone else move you) is important for stimulating the body’s own internal repair process in both acute pain injuries and chronic pain conditions.
Harmonics, or rebounding, is a subtle and rhythmic movement technique that is believed to trigger the body’s soft tissue repair mechanism. We tend to use harmonics in combination with other bodywork techniques.
We find that harmonics can be particularly effective with musicians, whose bodies are already sensitive to natural rhythms.
HOT & COLD THERAPY
The application of hot and cold are standard techniques in a range of medical protocols and have been proven effective in treating various conditions.
Cold helps to reduce swelling, decrease inflammation and pain and can be particularly useful in the treatment of acute injuries.
Heat can help to relax tight muscles, and other connective soft tissues and is often used in the treatment of chronic conditions and older injuries.
We occasionally use basalt massage stones, chosen for their smooth texture and ability to conduct heat, to apply heat and cold to affected areas. More often we recommend you use hot and cold treatments at home, and provide general advice about how to do this for yourself.
TRIGGER POINT THERAPY
Medical practitioners are divided about treatments using trigger points. Various text books explain trigger points as areas of muscle, fascia and/or nerves which have become damaged by overuse or injury, and which are often tender to the touch. However they do not all agree how trigger points can be used to treat specific medical conditions.
We believe that trigger points can cause pain either in their immediate area or referred pain in other parts of the body which can be tracked in recognisable pain patterns. For example, trigger points in the neck and shoulder can be the source of pain in the forearm and wrist. Trigger point therapy involves gently working directly on specific problem trigger points to release the muscle and other affected tissues and to interrupt the pain pattern.
We have found trigger point therapy to be particularly effective when used together with myofascial release to work on the surrounding fascia and soft connective tissues.
SOFT TISSUE RELEASE
Soft tissue release is a recognised sports massage technique.
Muscles are made up of strands of muscle fibres which should lie neatly alternating with one another. Each muscle has attachment points, where they attach to bones or other connective tissue. However, muscle fibres can become damaged, congested and tangled. This can distort attachment points and cause restrictions and pain.
Soft tissue release involves the therapist using manual pressure on a muscle to create a temporary false attachment point and then taking the muscle into a pain-free stretch to untangle the muscle fibres.
At the Pain Care Clinic we use soft tissue release to increase range of movement, relieve pain, prevent, repair and manage injuries.
Sports massage is an advanced massage qualification in which the therapist is trained to use a range of techniques to treat common acute and chronic sports injuries and to advise clients on injury management, prevention and self-treatment.
Sports massage techniques include active and passive stretching, lymphatic drainage, and work on muscles, connective tissue, and nerves.
Sports massage techniques have a much wider application than just sportsmen and women, as many injuries can be caused by other day-to-day work and leisure activities.
Pain Care Clinic sessions sometimes involve passive stretching techniques, in which you lie still and we gently stretch a problem area. However, generally we tend to encourage clients to do more active stretching exercises in between sessions, as this is widely believed to prolong the benefits of therapy, relaxing individual muscles, increasing flexibility and reducing the risk of future injury.
Encouraging you to do regular stretching exercises between sessions is our way of helping you to help yourself. We can give you suggestions for a personalised routine of gentle stretches that can be done at home or in the workplace with minimal or no equipment.
The Pain Care Clinic specialises in myofascial release and advanced massage therapies for private clients with medical diagnoses of chronic pain conditions and acute pain or injuries. The information on these pages is intended to be general information only. If you are unsure about your own medical diagnosis or options for medical treatment then please consult a doctor.