Tag Archives: sports massage

Trigger Point Therapy

What Is Trigger Point Therapy?

By STEVEN MILNER IIST VTCT Qualified

What are trigger points?
A (Myofascial) trigger point is a hyper irritable and painful area. It’s called a trigger point or trigger site because it “triggers” painful responses, but a trigger point is more than just a tender muscle knot. It affects not only the muscle where the trigger point is found, but also causes “referred pain” in other tissues supplied by similar nerves. Trigger points are most notable in a taut band of muscles fibres. The trigger point will be the sorest point in the band. The therapist will locate and deactivate them using finger pressure. One technique is to pick up the muscle fibres in a finger pincer grip.

Here are a few symptoms you should know about:
If you have restless leg syndrome, you have TPs; if your teeth hurt, you have TPs; if your workouts plateau, you have TPs; if you have painful menses or irritable bowel syndrome, you have TPs.
Simply rubbing the surface of the skin with a massage lotion, a vibrating massage or using heat will not change the condition of a single trigger point. What it needs is sufficient deep sustained pressure to the knotted-up area.  As we work the Trigger Point, your body will undergo soft tissue release, allowing for increased blood flow, a reduction in muscle spasm and the break-up of scar tissue. It will also help remove any build-up of toxic metabolic waste. Your body will also undergo a neurological release, reducing the pain signals to the brain and resetting your neuro-muscular system to restore its proper function. In other words, everything will work the way it should again.

What You Should Know About Trigger Point Therapy?
It is used to treat painful trigger points that cause referred pain. Trigger points take time to create and it will likely take more than one session to get rid of it. These points are often areas of chronic “holding” and you need to learn how to move in different ways to keep them from recurring. Muscle Energy Technique can be enormously helpful when improving range of movement.

How Long Does It Take To Get Relief?
The length of time it takes to release a trigger point depends on several factors, one of which is how long you have had your trigger point. Other factors include the number of trigger points you have, how effective your current treatment is, and how consistently you can administer or receive treatment. Trigger points are very fickle; they need to be addressed frequently using a technique that will apply the pinpoint pressure that is needed. Attending a good massage therapist frequently enough to get a trigger point to release can become quite expensive, with my guidance I can show you how you can help yourself between treatments for faster more effective relief. What I’m saying here is that you need to take responsibility for managing your own care. From time to time, of course, you may find you need help from medical professionals. But even so, the more you know the better care you’re going to receive. This is naturally going to require some time and effort on your part, but the payoff will be faster with far better results.

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Sports Massage

Sports Massage

By Steven Milner IIST VTCT Qualified

Welcome to my Sports and Fitness Therapies site, home of personal training and sports massage therapy in Manchester. Are you suffering from back pain, muscle injury or stress? Sports and remedial massage therapy is not just for sports people. It helps many people who’ve never played sports! Whether you’re a marathon runner or an office worker, sports massage relieves pain, facilitates movement and encourages relaxation. Just What is a Sports Massage

 

A Quick Overview
Since 3000BC in China it has been documented that massage efficiently encourages the healing of body, mind and spirit. The Greeks, Romans, Egyptians and all major civilizations have recognised the benefits of massage.
In the 21st century we can use massage more than ever. Statisticians tell us stress is increasingly taking its toll on us and our relationships, families and businesses. In response massage is seeing an appropriate and natural surge in popularity. It’s making sense to NHS hospitals, companies like the BBC, Virgin, Apple and countless corporate hospitality suites and individuals.

What Happens During Sports Massage?
Sports massage is a type of massage that stimulates circulation of blood and lymph fluids. Some sports massage movements use trigger point therapy to break down adhesions or knots in the muscles and increase range of motion. During your first appointment a brief consultation takes place to discuss your current health and relevant medical history. Your treatment will take into account the connections between lifestyle, mind and body. During an effective massage blood flushes through the capillaries and cleanses the body of toxins. Nutrients then flood the freshly massaged areas, strengthening the immune system. Muscle tissue becomes softer and able to function more efficiently. Body fat is broken up leaving the skin smoother and firmer. The parasympathetic nervous system is stimulated and serotonin & endorphins are released, our natural ‘feel good’ & strong painkilling chemicals. Our aches and pains are eased and we feel calm, relaxed and at peace. All the bad stuff is flushed out and all the good stuff flushed in.

Sports Massage
Many people assume sports massage is just for sports people, it’s not. Sports massage is for anyone who needs a deep massage that really affects the muscles in a positive way. It’s invaluable to athletes who benefit from pre and post event work, relaxing or invigorating the muscles in preparation for a competition, then afterwards flushing them out, helping the sore muscles detoxify, realign and heal in preparation for the next progression in the athlete’s calendar. Sports massage is ideal for those who don’t play sports but perhaps work in an office environment, sitting in the same position for long periods, or carrying out repetitive tasks inevitably lead to aches and stiffness.

Science anyone?
Sports massage is extremely effective for loosening tight muscles and refreshing aching limbs. Sports massage is a no-nonsense therapy that deals directly with the body’s soft tissue. It has developed over the years to deal with the specific conditions that the human body experiences before and after being ‘pushed to the max’. It utilises such techniques as MET (muscle energy technique), Soft Tissue Release and NMT (neuromuscular technique). When injury to muscle tissue occurs the muscle fibres will often misalign themselves whilst healing. Our muscles are covered by a layer connective tissue called fascia. This fascia covers all the individual muscle fibres, the larger bundles of muscles, and the whole muscle groups. It is one continuous piece of tissue that never stops growing and covers our whole body. Normally, when covering healthy, moving muscle it is a soft, gel like substance. However, when our muscle movement is restricted (such as in the case of injury or postural misalignment), tissue fluids cannot reach the areas they need to in order to lubricate the fascia. The fascia hardens and scar tissue forms, further trapping toxins and waste materials, such as lactic acid. This causes pain and dysfunction as the body tries to remedy the situation by setting up a series of structural compensations – leading to further pain and more problems. Sports massage is often combined with remedial massage, which uses the same techniques, to assist the healing and rehabilitation of injuries and dysfunction and to facilitate movement. In this way a sports and remedial massage becomes just as relevant to an office worker, crippled by an unsuitable desk arrangement as it is to an Olympic athlete suffering a torn hamstring!

When Should I Get A Sports Massage?
A sports massage is a good choice if you have a specific problem, a tender knee from running, for instance. It is also be a good idea to see a movement therapist, who can help you identify and correct the movement pattern that might be causing your injury in the first place. As a sports therapist and personal trainer I generally focus in on the problem area, a frozen shoulder or pulled hamstring for example, rather than giving you a full-body massage. No matter what type of massage you choose, I will discuss with you fully any treatment we may feel relevant and make choices together regarding your needs and expectations.

From an Athletes perspective:
Sports massage helps athletes prepare their bodies for optimal performance, recover after a big event, or function well during training. Sports massage emphasizes prevention and healing of injuries to the muscles and tendons.

The four main advantages of sports massage for athletes:
*Pre-event sports massage, a short, stimulating massage 15 – 45 minutes before the event. It is directed toward the parts of the body that will be involved in the exertion.
*Post-event sports massage, given within an hour or two of the event, to normalize the body’s tissues.
*Restorative sports massage, given during training to allow the athelete to train harder and with less injury.
*Rehabilitative sports massage, aimed at alleviating pain due to injury and returning the body to health.

But you don’t have to be in the Olympics to benefit from sports massage. Sports massage is also good for people with injuries, chronic pain or restricted range of motion. The massage therapist generally concentrates on a specific problem area. This is the type of sports massage that you see in the clinic.

Benefits of Massage
Massage provides an excellent and highly effective treatment for stress. It has been proven to help treat the following:

Muscular aches and pains
Anxiety
Depression
Digestive disorders
Bad circulation
Headaches
Insomnia
Fatty tissue deposits
Build up of waste products within the body
Deficit of natural feel good and pain-killing chemicals

After treatment you will feel deeply calm and refreshed. You will feel a heightened sense of ‘body awareness’ which can help you feel how much tension is being carried in your body. This can initiate a journey in modifying your own physical and emotional responses to stress.

Remedial Massage
Remedial massage is a massage technique that provides a remedy to muscular dysfunction. It separates scar tissue and realigns muscle tissue, with an aim to restore the body to a pain free, balanced state. It uses such techniques as Soft Tissue Release (STR) Neuromuscular Technique (NMT) and Muscle Energy Technique (MET). Sometimes Remedial massage can be a little uncomfortable, but only in a way that you will instinctively know is beneficial. I’ll never take you beyond your limit and all my clients are encouraged to communicate freely and sometimes loudly even. I strongly encourage body awareness and self-treatment, by teaching stretching techniques that can be used outside of clinic time and focusing on investigating, and if necessary changing habits that are causing muscular distress, we can maximise the effect of the treatment, making it more worthwhile for your body and more cost effective for your wallet.

Remedial Deep Tissue Massage treatment is a massage technique that deals with the body’s soft tissue. It has developed over the years to deal with the specific conditions that the human body experiences when it has been pushed too far. It uses such techniques as MET (muscle energy technique), Soft Tissue Release and NMT (neuromuscular technique).

Deep Tissue Massage always deals directly with the muscles. The reason it is called “sports massage” is because it is a style of massage that sports people prefer. We all have our challenges whether they are physical or emotional and this style of massage can benefit anyone from any walk of life. You could be on your feet all day, an office worker sitting in the same position for long periods, or an amateur athlete, I will treat you as an individual and tailor a massage programme that suits you.

To book an appointment or talk to me about Sports Therapy or Personal Fitness e-mail me arnie4970@yahoo.co.uk