A Myofascial Trigger Point is a hyper-irritable area within a taut band of muscle and/or its fascia. The area is painful when compressed and can refer pain elsewhere in the body. To treat trigger points, it is necessary to apply pressure onto the trigger point to break the cycles of spasm and pain, allowing the muscle to relax and heal.
Fascia is a connective tissue that surrounds all the muscles in our bodies. If the fascia becomes restricted from either overuse, inactivity, infection or trauma, the muscle will end up with less blood flow, tightness and painful. Myofascial Release is used to stretch the fascia and bring the muscles to their normal functionality and mobility, by gently applying gentle pressure on the restricted area. Very effective treatment for acute and chronic conditions.
Muscle Energy Technique
By using isometric contraction, the specific area is encouraged into a new position. The treatment will strengthen the weakened muscles improving flexibility, boosting circulation and improving musculoskeletal function as well as improving postural muscles that are prone to shortening and relaxing muscles.
Soft Tissue Release
Soft Tissue Release is a technique that is used to stretch the muscle fibres, tendons and fascia, it involves repeatedly stretching small areas of soft tissue by applying precise pressure on part of the muscle which is then moved to achieve a stretch, this method is excellent in the treatment of pain such as carpal tunnel syndrome, pre & post race assisting in the warm up of muscles and post event to help stretch out the muscles after a long run, finally it is perfect for chronically hypertonic bundles of muscle fibres.
Friction breaks down scar tissue, improving circulation and tissue mobility. Using one/two fingers in direction that is perpetual to the line of the scar. This technique remodels the scar and ensures the collagen fibres are correctly aligned as well as mobilising the ligaments and incision sites. Chemicals are release which activate the tissue repair mechanisms with reorganisation of the connective tissue. This technique is only used when the scar has fully closed, no scabs, no stitches present, no weeping or inflammation. Other benefits include:
- Restores elasticity
- Stimulates the healing process
- Realigns new scar tissue
- Improves blood flow
Tapotement also known as ‘Percussion’ and is primarily used to stimulate and increase muscle tone. It is commonly used prior to sporting events usually contact sports preparing muscles for competitions by heightening muscle tone and improving residence to impact. It should never be used on traumatised muscles or on bony areas of the body and is not ideal for an individual who wants a relaxing massage, that said it can be very relaxing when applied slowly and with a heavy contact. It can be used on individuals who suffer from multiple sclerosis, it helps nerve stimulation and muscle contraction after periods of immobilisation. Sufferers of cystic fibrosis can benefit from the Cupping method as it can release mucous in the lungs. Furthermore muscle spasms can sometimes be release with this technique too.
Both hands are used alternatively striking the skin in rapid succession, the strikes include:
- Clapping (Cupping) – Hands are in a cupped position to create a pocket of air when the hand strikes the skin.
- Hacking – Fingers slightly spread making contact with the skin using the Ulna – gives a vibration effect on the client.
- Beating – Rapid striking of the skin using the Palmar aspect of the fist.
- Tapping – Used gently and at a slower rate, the tips of the fingers are used to gently tap the area, ideal of the head and face.
- Plucking – The clients skin is gently pinched lifting the tissue and releasing in an alternative movement using both hands.
In summary the benefits include:
- Blood circulation which helps to warm and soften underlying tissues and nerve endings are stimulated which increase muscle tone.
Myofascial Dry Cupping
For cupping to take place, a vacuum needs to be created to allow suction onto the skin. A plastic cup is placed on the area to be treated and the oxygen is sucked out of the cup with a pump. The cup can remain static in the area or can be moved across the skin. Dry Cupping pulls blood into an area. The tissue becomes saturated with fresh blood while the vacuum pulls stagnant blood out of the area. This is demonstrated by the ‘hickey’ like appearance that is typically left behind. The mark may produce a black and blue appearance but it’s rarely painful, the marks can last up to 12 days on a first treatment.
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