Physical Therapy

Different Types of Massage

Carlsbad Massage is gently rubbing or kneading the body’s soft tissues using fingers, hands, arms, or feet. It can help reduce pain, anxiety, and stress. It can also support your blood pressure and increase feelings of relaxation, happiness, and well-being.

This systematic review found low-strength evidence of potential benefits for some pain indications, including labor, neck and shoulder pain, cancer, postoperative, musculoskeletal pain, and arthritis.

Effleurage is a light, smooth massage technique of long, gliding strokes over the skin. It is typically done at the beginning of a session and can be considered the “warm-up” for the muscles and tissue. It is used to help increase blood flow and to soothe muscles and the surrounding soft tissues. This is also an excellent way to reduce toxins and improve the skin’s overall condition.

Besides increasing the flow of nutrients and oxygen, Effleurage massage also stimulates the parasympathetic response in the body. This part of the nervous system controls the “rest and digest” responses, helping the body relax after a stressful period in life. It promotes a sense of well-being and reduces stress by stimulating the release of positive hormones such as endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine.

The gliding movements of Effleurage can also decrease the buildup of fluid in muscle tissues that produce pressure and activate pain receptors. This will then alleviate the occurrence of pain due to stiffness or injury. This is because the gliding motions stimulate the release of natural painkillers such as endorphins, which block pain impulses from the brain and the nerves.

Other benefits of this massage method include reducing swelling and improving lymphatic drainage in the body. This is achieved through the upward motions that push lymphatic fluid from the body’s limbs towards the heart. This will then help flush out toxins and waste materials.

Another benefit of Effleurage is that it helps increase the cytotoxic activity of the cells. This is because the smooth strokes of the massage will stimulate the immune system to kill bacteria and other pathogens that may be causing an infection.

Effleurage massage also provides great flexibility and range of motion to tight, overworked muscles. This especially benefits those suffering from Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) or post-exercise fatigue. In addition to improving the suppleness of the soft tissues and reducing pain, a massage using Effleurage will help prevent stiffness and soreness by keeping muscle tissue healthy.

Myofascial release targets larger muscle areas with constant tension and can cause various ailments, including pain, fatigue, and stiffness. Myofascial release relaxes these areas through slow, deep, and dynamic stretching techniques. It has also been shown to relieve symptoms in fibromyalgia patients, including anxiety, headaches, and sleep alterations.

Fascia is sometimes compared to a wet suit; the soft, elastic connective tissue surrounds and protects muscles, bones, and joints from head to toe. When healthy, fascia is movable and is easily relaxed through movement or massage. However, illness, injury, or stress can cause the fascia to tighten and restrict, resulting in pain and discomfort. This restriction of the fascia is called a trigger point.

A trigger point is a sensitive area that feels like a knot or a tight band that causes localized pain and often refers pain to other areas of the body. For example, a trigger point in the quadriceps can cause pain to radiate to the hip. This is referred to as pain and is an indication that there is dysfunction within the fascial network. Myofascial release aims to alleviate this pain by releasing the restrictions in the fascial web.

This manual (hands-on) treatment differs from massage therapy as it addresses the fascia rather than the muscles, tendons, or ligaments. Unlike the strong strokes and thrusts of massage, myofascial release uses a gentle technique described as kneading taffy or gentle sustained pressure and stretching into the fascia to loosen and move restrictions.

The physical stimulation created through myofascial release helps eliminate toxins, which are then transported by the bloodstream to be expelled from the body. Studies have shown that this process can benefit many health conditions, including low back pain, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, osteoarthritis, and more. However, you should check with your healthcare provider before pursuing this therapy to ensure that it is safe for you and your condition. People with certain underlying health conditions, like blood clots or heart disease, should steer clear of this treatment.

Muscle Energy Technique (MET) is a manual therapy that utilizes a muscle’s energy to facilitate relaxation, elongation, and normalization of joint movement. It is based on reciprocal inhibition, where one muscle relaxes as the other contracts, and can be used in almost any joint. It is a form of Osteopathy and was developed in 1948.

MET involves the patient contracting muscles against a therapist’s distinctly executed counter-force from a controlled position and direction. It is an active technique in that the client provides most of the initial force, which our Johnston physical therapist then facilitates with gentle resistance. This is very different from static stretching, where the therapist does all of the work and is a key distinction in determining whether or not MET will be effective.

The primary benefit of MET is the lengthening of shortened and spastic muscles, improving weakened ligaments, and mobilizing restricted joint motion. It can also enhance circulatory functions and reduce edema (swelling). It is used to help prevent future muscle and common problems. It is a great addition to any treatment program and is particularly useful for anyone who suffers from tight muscles and restricted movement of joints and soft tissue.

The key to success with MET is proper warm-up and stretch techniques. It is important to prepare the body by warming up with a light jog or jumping jacks and breathing deeply while stretching. It is also important not to bounce during the stretch, as this can cause the muscle to tear.

Muscle Energy Technique is an excellent complement to any massage therapy, as it can be used with trigger point therapy, myofascial release, and mobility exercises. We find the best results when combining these treatment methods to increase blood circulation, decrease muscular tension, and promote healing of the injured area. For this reason, we recommend a combination of sports massage, myofascial release, and muscle energy techniques for all our clients. This will increase the effectiveness of the treatments and improve overall outcomes.

Neuromuscular Technique is a therapeutic massage that targets trigger points, areas within the muscles that contract and create pain. Trigger point massage involves applying pressure to these tight areas to release them, which allows for improved movement and flexibility. The massage can also improve posture and balance your nervous system. While this type of massage is not for everyone, it is often used with other therapies to ensure that the correct muscle groups are addressed and treated.

The benefit of neuromuscular massage is that it can help improve blood flow, reduce inflammation, and reduce myofascial pain syndrome. It also helps to alleviate stress and tension and promote relaxation and a healthy sleeping pattern. In addition, it is used to treat various conditions, including sports injuries, chronic pain, and headaches. Neuromuscular massage is a highly effective treatment for athletes, as it can prevent and treat injuries caused by rigorous training.

During the massage, the therapist applies light to medium pressure to ease and relieve muscle tension. A good massage therapist will be able to sense the level of tension in each muscle and know when more pressure is required. During the massage, clients must communicate with their therapists whether the pressure is too much or too little. This is particularly true if the therapist is working on a particular trigger point, as pressing it too hard can cause more pain and discomfort.

Regular neuromuscular massages can increase flexibility, decrease pain, and improve posture. This massage can also treat various conditions, including sciatic nerve pain, carpal tunnel, and neck pain. It is also commonly used with other forms of therapy, such as physical therapy and acupuncture.

Athletes of all ages and skill levels are prone to overexertion and strain, which can lead to imbalances within the musculoskeletal system. These imbalances can lead to pain and injury if left untreated. Fortunately, massage is a safe and natural way to address these imbalances and enhance performance.