Massage therapy is the manipulation of the soft tissue of the body done in a therapeutic and skillful manner with the knowledge of anatomy and physiology for a therapeutic effect.
Massage helps remove built up toxins and waste from tissues, loosens stiff joints and muscles, and breaks down fibrous tissue.
What are the benefits of massage therapy for you?
- Benefits everyone no matter what age or physical condition
- A valuable part of your health care
- Relieves stress and pain
- Decrease the healing time from an injury
- Strengthens circulatory & immune system
- Increase tissue health & flexibility
- Prevents injury
- Improves energy and alertness
- Reduces anxiety levels
- Raises morale in the workplace
- Decreases repetitive-stress injuries
Deep Tissue Massage
Deep-tissue massage utilizes slow strokes, direct pressure or friction applied across the grain of the muscles with the fingers, thumbs or elbows. Deep-tissue massage works deeply into the muscles and connective tissue to release chronic aches and pains; its purpose is to reach the fascia beneath the surface muscles.
Therapists must have a thorough understanding of the human body and have been trained to administer deep-tissue massage, as injury can occur if the technique is not performed properly. This technique is useful in treating chronic pain, inflammation and injury.
Muscle Energy Technique
What is Muscle Energy Technique?
Muscle Energy Technique (or MET) is based on the principle of reciprocal inhibition. This principle explains that muscles on one side of a joint will always relax to accommodate the contraction of muscles on the other side of that joint when indirect pressure is applied.
MET is often applied to patients who suffer from muscle spasms. It’s a direct manipulative procedure that uses a voluntary contraction of the patient’s muscles against a distinctly controlled counter-force from a precise position and in a specific direction. It is considered an active technique, as opposed to a passive technique where only the massage therapist does the work.
MET is applied in order to lengthen shortened or spastic muscles, to improve weakened ligament and muscle strength, and to improve the range of motion. This procedure is performed when a patient is asked to contract a muscle for approximately 5-seconds against an anti-force applied by the therapist. The muscle contraction is performed by the client 2 or 3 times in a row in the hopes to stretch the muscle further each time.
MET is derived from Osteopathics (the study of the musculoskeletal system) The theory behind MET suggests that if a joint isn’t used to its full range of motion, its function will lessen and it will be at risk of suffering strains and injuries. This form of muscular therapy makes use of a patient's own muscle energy (the force); while the therapist presents a stationary surface (or anti-force)
MET can be applied safely to almost any joint in the body. Many athletes use MET as a preventative measure to guard against future muscle and joint injury. It is mainly used by individuals who have a limited range of motion due to facet joint dysfunction in the neck and back, and for broader areas such as; shoulder pain, scoliosis, sciatica, unsymmetrical legs, hips or arms (for example when one is longer or higher than the other), or to treat chronic muscle pain, stiffness or injury.
There are two types of MET:
1) Post-Isometric Relaxation (PIR) The therapist stretches and lengthens a muscle as it relaxes right after a client contraction. This lengthens, relaxes and realigns the muscle fibers. This is useful with chronic conditions to assist in resetting the muscle tone.
2) Reciprocal Inhibition (RI) It is a law of body dynamics that when you contract a muscle the opposing or reciprocal muscle must relax. That is the way the brain is wired and the principle that makes this technique work. The massage therapist has the patient’s muscle perform a contraction against resistance which relaxes the opposing muscle and minimizes the aggravation to the injured muscle and soft tissue.