Sports massage was designed for athletes, but is useful for anyone with chronic pain, injury or range-of-motion issues. Sports massage was originally developed to help 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.
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.
Myofascial release is a gentle approach that identifies and releases constricted areas in the connective tissue surrounding nerves, muscles, and bones. The belief is that the connective tissue becomes constricted due to illness, stress, or injury.
Treatment consists of strokes and stretching called unwinding, which helps the practitioner find specific areas of trauma called still points. Sessions can be from 60 to 90 minutes. Myofascial therapists also teach the patient stretching exercises to help them maintain their health.
Myofascial release relieves pain associated with muscle tightness, headaches, fibromyalgia, and scoliosis, and can help recovery from injury.
Myofascial therapy provides relief for chronic neck and back pain, and aids in the recovery of spinal cord injuries. It also is effective for traumatic stress syndrome and some disorders of the nervous system.
Trigger Point Therapy
Trigger-point therapy focuses on specific complaints, such as neck stiffness, back pain, frozen shoulder, or muscles spasms. Trigger points occur in muscles, tendons, and the connective tissue (fascia) around nerves, muscles, and bones. Trigger points often radiate pain to other parts of the body. The therapist applies deep, continuous pressure to the irritated point. The area is first prepared with massage before deep pressure is applied with hand or elbow. After the tension in the point has been released, the muscles around it are stretched and stroked. A session lasts about one hour.
Trigger-point therapy is frequently used by physicians, chiropractors, and physical therapists on patients who are recovering from surgery, injuries, and automobile accidents.
Deep Tissue Bodywork
Deep Tissue Bodywork is a massage technique that focuses on the deeper layers of muscle tissue. It aims to release the chronic patterns of tension in the body through slow strokes and deep finger pressure on the contracted areas, either following or going across the fiber's of the muscles, tendons and fascia.
Deep Tissue Bodywork is used to release chronic muscle tension through slower strokes and more direct deep pressure or friction applied across the grain of the muscles not with the grain. Deep tissue massage helps to break up and eliminate scar tissue. Deep Tissue Bodywork usually focuses on more specific areas and may cause some soreness during or right after the session. However, if the bodywork is done correctly you should feel better than ever within a day or two.
Structural Soft Tissue Release
This deep massage/bodywork is directed at the body's connective tissue (fascia), which surrounds the nerves, muscles, and bones. Structural Bodywork may cause discomfort and pain as the practitioner uses hands, elbows, and arms to press and stretch adhesions in the connective tissue. The goal is to restore flexibility and alignment.
Structural Bodywork is given in as few as 5 - 6 sessions, each directed at a different portion of the body. In addition to massage, the patient is taught how to move more freely. Benefits of structural Bodywork include greater freedom of movement, increased circulation and energy, relief from chronic pain, and may also speed recovery from injury.
"The practice of working with my patients is to provide a better awareness of their bodies and allow more ease and comfort in their everyday lives. This remains the most gratifying aspect of my work."
-- Leo Libreros