There is nothing as satisfying as a good Deep Tissue Treatment when you are aching and sore. This style is great for general maintenance, when you have been working hard physically, working out or done a long stint at the computer. It is best suited to general aching and tension, rather than acute pain where you have lack of mobility with pain. If you experience these kinds of symptoms a Remedial Massage or Musculo-skeletal Treatment will be a better option.
Deep tissue will flush waste, bring circulation and therefore nutrients to tissue, breakdown scar tissue and fibrous tissue areas formed due to injury or repetitive use and induce relaxation.
Deep Tissue Massage is essentially Swedish Massage with deeper pressure and the use of Trigger Points, Stretching and Cross Fibre Friction or Mobilisation
Trigger points are areas with muscle tissue that have become contracted and banded together. As the chart above demonstrates Trigger Points are either Active or Latent. Active points can radiate pain to other areas of the body, even areas that are not directly aligned with the trigger point. They can also stimulate the release of sensitizing chemcials into muscle increasing pain.
Latent means they are present but don't cause pain, however they will cause tension, lack of mobility and weakness in the muscle.
A therapist may do so manually be finding the Trigger Point, it will either be an already painful area or feel sharp when pressure is applied and hold the point until the pain subsides. Using a Pain Scale of 1 being lowest to 10 highest we don't want to take the client above a 7 out of 10 for discomfort. The point is held until it drops to a 2-3 out of 10. Often a pulsing will be felt by the therapist and sometimes the client and we can feel the tissue relaxing under pressure.
At times the Trigger Point may not release or only do so partially and that is often because there is another close by. It may also mean that the tissue needs some other type of technique such as cross fibre to aid in release. Trigger Points can also be released through Dry Needling, which is the insertion of fine filament needle into the point in order to stimulate the pulse response. Therapists use this when the TP is particularly difficult, where the client may larger and the tissue harder to work with or when muscle is extremely contracted. Only trained therapists use this method. Sometimes therapies may use trigger point tools, this is an implement used to exert pressure into the point instead of using fingers or thumbs.
It is not exactly known why they occur however Poor posture especially whilst working at the computer or studying and holding positions where some muscles are over worked whilst others are under utilised is thought to be a major factor. As women are more prone than men to develop tp it is thought that hormones can play a part. There is also research into the mineral balance and the way cells produce and store ionized calcium. Whatever the reasons the good news is that massage is a very effective treatment for Trigger Points and can quickly ease pain and increase range of motion.
Cross fibre: is the manual manipulation of tissue across the direction of the fibres. The points is to spread fibres apart, break down scar tissue and adhesion's and reduce the stickiness of fascia allowing muscle and tendons to glide past each other more easily.
Stretching: once trigger points have been released and general muscle tension decreased and the area warmed through increased blood flow stretching helps to lock in the changes in the tissue. It increases the mobility of the fibres and helps to change the muscle memory that develops when muscles are contracted for long period of time or held in the same position or not used properly over time. It is also a good opportunity for us to educate our clients in treatment on the kind of stretches that will benefit them after treatment.
We will provide a stretching routine for your issue or at home exercises or both should you want these. We also recommend to increase your water intake, avoid alcohol for the rest of the day and have an epsom salt bath after treatment to fully enhance the treatment received.