|Western massage treatments work to promote relaxation, joint & muscular flexibility, health of the fascia through core stability, balance & structural realignment. All treatments work with your body to deliver fast neuromuscular relaxation, natural pain relief through gentle muscular relaxation & joint mobilisation working to free up adhesion, tension, contraction or shortening of muscle fibres. Pain release is supported with natural stimulation of the body's opiate & endorphin trigger points through the body. The holistic body is supported in its healing response by siwtching off the pain matrix, encouraging its natural anti-inflammatory mechanisms to underpin & anchor your treatment.
Western massage includes an advanced integrated skillset of a range of manual therapies including; therapeutic, Swedish, sports, remedial, deep tissue & myofascial massage. Integrated techniques may draw on Traditional & Western acupuncture, trigger point therapy, Bowen therapy & fascia release, acupressure, neuromuscular therapy (NMT) & cranial release. Joint mobilisation may include applied stretchwork, soft tissue osteopathic release, remedial yoga therapy. Remedial exercise for core stability, diaphragm & iliopsoas / abdominal relaxation, muscle strengthening & rehabilitation are also shared with you to extend the beneficial effects of treatment outcomes with regular progress review, support & assessment.
Swedish massage therapy and Therapeutic massage works to relax the whole body. The therapy uses a variety of techniques specifically designed to relax muscles by applying direct gentle to firm pressure, against deeper muscle and bone structures. The massage uses long, gliding pressure along the main muscle structures, supporting cardiovascular function, as it directs the blood returning to the heart. Research studies highlight that Swedish massage therapy is beneficial for increasing blood oxygenation, decreasing muscle toxins, improving circulation and flexibility while releasing tension.
Swedish massage was developed in the 1700's by a Swedish doctor named Per Henrik Ling, a prominent Swedish physician and fencing teacher who combined Chinese gymnastic and medical techniques with early 19th century sports medicine to create a system for relieving sore muscles, increasing flexibility and promoting general health.
A study conducted by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, and published in The New York Times, found that volunteers who received a 45-minute Swedish massage experienced significant decreases in levels of the stress hormone cortisol, as well as arginine vasopressin-a hormone that can lead to increases in cortisol. Volunteers also had increases in the number of lymphocytes, white blood cells that are part of the immune system, and a boost in the immune cells that may help fight colds and the flu.
Swedish and therapeutic massage blends a variety of specialised massage techniques including effleurage (sliding or gliding stroke), petrissage (kneading or working the muscle), tapotement (rhythmic tapping or cupping), friction (cross fibre or parallel with the fibres) and vibration release using gentle circular pressure and release techniques.
Sports & remedial massage therapy is a specialised form of massage, aimed to restore normal function following trauma, inflammation or overuse injury. Problematically, in sport, there is often no 'normal' function regarding strength, speed, movement or performance, as athletes often push themselves & their targets beyond what their body may comfortably reach. Treatment therefore aims to address two main issues. How to help restore the body to its optimum function, if you find yourself experiencing problems having reached beyond your body's level of comfort. And importantly, how to enhance performance at whatever level you as a sportsman has reached. Treatment also aims to help each patient in your training for enhanced performance, using a wide range of skilled massage techniques: Deep Tissue Massage; Neuro-muscular techniques (NMT); Myofascial Massage; Trigger Point Massage therapy; Traditional Acupuncture; Applied Stretchwork & Manual Therapy; & Remedial Yoga Therapy.
Deep tissue massage uses firm to deep pressure with application blending different techniques & approaches to soft tissue palpation to most effectively release areas of tension. The massage may also include neuro-muscular techniques (NMT); Myofascial Massage; Trigger Point & Acupressure Massage therapy; Applied Stretchwork & Manual Therapy; & Remedial Yoga Therapy to isolate, strengthen & release shortened or tight musculature. Focused, targeted pressure works on synergistic muscle groups, using skilled application of the forearms, feet, wrists, elbows & body weight. This massage is ideal for athletes, sports enthusiasts or if you prefer a more robust massage work out.
Trigger points are implicated in all types of musculo-skeletal, structural & mechanical muscular pain. Pain or symptoms can arise directly from active trigger points - a hyper-irritable localised area, tender to pressure & embedded within the muscle fibres. Or, pain may build up or intensify over time from latent or inactive trigger points. Trigger point pain was first described by Drs Janet Travell & David Simons who desribed a trigger point as 'A highly irritable localised spot of exquisite tenderness in a nodule in a palpable taut band of (skeletal) muscle (Travell & Simons, 1993). There is a high incidence & growing body of research based evidence directly linking muscular-skeletal pain to trigger points.
So how do they arise? Trigger points develop in the myofascia, predominantly in the muscle belly centre. Secondary or satellite trigger points develop as a response to the primary trigger point, often generated along fascial stress or fault lines. External factors such as ageing, body morphology, posture, weight gain, and nutritional diet are also involved, & treatment therefore also aims to help & support patients as they learn to approach their lifestyle, fitness & postural health using remedial tools such as self-acupressure, manual self-therapy & applied stretchwork.
Acupressure & traditional acupuncture are excellent tools to be used alongside or incorporated into your treatment programme. Interestingly, my own clinical experience & treatment by other practitioners has demonstrated how treatment may be reinforced by this multi-layered approach, as deep muscle fascia is strengthened & tension released.