How does Clinical Massage Therapy work

To better understand how clinical massage works we can start by explaining one of the techniques that we use the most, Trigger Point work. 

 

 

A Trigger Point is a hyper irritable area located in a taut band of muscle fibres (see picture above – the black nodules illustrate a trigger point) and they cause pain or stiffness and decrease the functionality and potential of the affected tissue.

 

 

Trigger Points develop when the muscle fibres get stuck in contraction and are unable to go back to their relaxed state.  

 

 

Trigger Points can be active or latent and during a clinical massage treatment session we treat both types. 

 

 

Active trigger points are actively causing pain and/or autonomic phenomena (sweating, dizziness, itchiness, ringing, etc.)

 

 

Latent trigger points are not actively causing pain or other noticeable symptoms but are waiting to come into play anytime and are also affecting the tissue’s behaviour negatively. 

 

To better understand how clinical massage works we can start by explaining one of the techniques that we use the most, Trigger Point work. 

 

 

A Trigger Point is a hyper irritable area located in a taut band of muscle fibres (see picture on the right – the black nodules illustrate a trigger point) and they cause pain or stiffness and decrease the functionality and potential of the affected tissue.

 

 

Trigger Points develop when the muscle fibres get stuck in contraction and are unable to go back to their relaxed state. 

 

 

Trigger Points can be active or latent and during a clinical massage treatment session we treat both types. 

 

 

Active trigger points are actively causing pain and/or autonomic phenomena (sweating, dizziness, itchiness, ringing, etc.)

 

 

Latent trigger points are not actively causing pain or other noticeable symptoms but are waiting to come into play anytime and are also affecting the tissue’s behaviour negatively. 

 

Active Trigger Points are known to cause pain and/or referred pain in a specific, recognisable pattern. What does this mean? It means that the pattern of pain caused by trigger points is the same or very similar in every person.

 

 The legend Dr Janet Travell (1901-1997) discovered Trigger Points and their pain patterns and extensively documented it in what we could call maps of pain patterns. 

 

 These maps of pain patterns help identify and treat the origin cause of the pain. This is where clinical massage therapists knowledge and ability to identify these patterns comes into play. 

 

See picture above for an example of a pain pattern map for the Piriformis muscle, a muscle located in the gluteal area. The “x” marks where the muscle is located and the area in red marks where the pain is felt. When a client comes presenting with pain in that pattern we will be looking at assessing and treating that muscle. There are of course other muscles that refer pain in the same area and have very similar map patterns and that’s where the fun relies for a clinical massage therapist, how fast can I find and release the right one? It’s an art in itself. 

Active Trigger Points are known to cause pain and/or referred pain in a specific, recognisable pattern. What does this mean? It means that the pattern of pain caused by trigger points is the same or very similar in every person.

 

 The legend Dr Janet Travell (1901-1997) discovered Trigger Points and their pain patterns and extensively documented it in what we could call maps of pain patterns. 

 

 These maps of pain patterns help identify and treat the origin cause of the pain. This is where clinical massage therapists knowledge and ability to identify these patterns comes into play. 

 

See picture on the left for an example of a pain pattern map for the Piriformis muscle, a muscle located in the gluteal area. The “x” marks where the muscle is located and the area in red marks where the pain is felt. When a client comes presenting with pain in that pattern we will be looking at assessing and treating that muscle. There are of course other muscles that refer pain in the same area and have very similar map patterns and that’s where the fun relies for a clinical massage therapist, how fast can I find and release the right one? It’s an art in itself. 

We covered that during a clinical massage session, one of the work areas of focus  is the release of Trigger Points.

 

Trigger points are released in a very effective way by direct steady pressure on them over a period of time, normally a few seconds (see picture below for an example). There are of course other ways of releasing them, some of them quite complex, but we will be not covering these today.

 

When steady pressure is applied over time, the muscle fibres that were stuck in contraction let go and return to their natural relaxed state. 

 

Tissue responds well to patience, the slower the better. Regardless of what we’re treating, tissue also responds better when the therapist has taken the time, and has the knowledge to take their client into parasympathetic nervous system mode or deep relaxation (this is the mode in which our body restores and repairs itself. We lose time spent in this mode due to stress and the constant demanding and fast-paced society we live in)

 

For this reason at inside our treatments are holistic and deeply relaxing at the same time as being specific and goal oriented.  

We covered that during a clinical massage session, one of the work areas of focus  is the release of Trigger Points. 

 

 

Trigger points are released in a very effective way by direct steady pressure on them over a period of time, normally a few seconds (see picture on the right for an example). There are of course other ways of releasing them, some of them quite complex, but we will be not covering these today.

 

When steady pressure is applied over time, the muscle fibres that were stuck in contraction let go and return to their natural relaxed state. 

 

Tissue responds well to patience, the slower the better. Regardless of what we’re treating, tissue also responds better when the therapist has taken the time, and has the knowledge to take their client into parasympathetic nervous system mode or deep relaxation (this is the mode in which our body restores and repairs itself. We lose time spent in this mode due to stress and the constant demanding and fast-paced society we live in)

 

For this reason at inside our treatments are holistic and deeply relaxing at the same time as being specific and goal oriented.  

 

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