Chinese Herbal Therapies
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Sports Massage is a very general term for a style of massage marketed for athletes and dealing with injuries that occurred during physical exercise rather than a chronic pain pattern resulting from inactivity such as prolonged sitting at a desk. However, it is really a combination of techniques that can be used on anybody regardless of how an injury occurred. Sports massage combines acupressure, myofascial release, deep tissue, scar tissue release, and stretching.
When assessing an injury, it's important to gather tinformation surrounding the cause and duration of the injury because this determines the type and course of treatment. In other words, is it chronic or acute? Is it a form problem? Is it because of repetetive movement without strengthening the opposing muscles? Is it lack of flexibility? Is it a lymphatic drainage problem?
For example, a chronic condition will have more scar tissue, a lack of range of motion, and possibly less strength. Therefore, the course of treatment will consist of more scar tissue release, stretching, and strengthening. If it's an acute condition, there's usually more swelling and muscle impingement with less scar tissue and atrophy so lymphatic drainage and myofascial release techniques will be most utilized.
Rotator Cuff Injuries or Frozen Shoulder
Sprains, Strains, and Larger Tears
Sciatic and Knee Pain
Pain from Herniated Discs
Joint Pain and Inflammation
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Lack of Range of Motion
Deep Tissue and Swedish
People often define the difference between a Swedish Massage and Deep Tissue Massage as "one hurts and is harder and the other one doesn't hurt and is relaxing." While there is a certain amount of truth to that, these techniques actually share the same style of strokes which tend to be longer, more flowing, and slow.The difference between Deep Tissue verses a Swedish Massage has to do with which layer of muscles are being addressed.
The body's muscles are set up in layers rather than simply next to each other. The back, for example, has 3 layers; the most superficial layer being the Latissimus Dorsi, the Quadratus Lumborum and Erector Spinae are underneath the Lats, and then the little muscles along the spine and Psoas are the deepest layer. Deep Tissue addresses the 2nd and 3rd layer of muscle while Swedish addresses the top layer. Often times, especially with chronic conditions, every muscle layer is affected resulting in a higher sensitivity level. In other words, one can be receiving a massage which feels painful but in reality, only a light Swedish pressure is being used and the most superficial muscles are being palpated. A practionar has to work through the superficial layer before going deeper which is one reason why certain conditions take longer to unwind than others.
The condition of muscle tissue is another factor towards healing time and an enjoyable feel. Some people have very supple, hydrated muscles so the practionar can go deep and the client finds it relaxing and pleasurable. Others are dehydrated with excessive adhesions and shut down lymph. This feels like dry tree bark wrapped in chewed gum and people tend to be extremely sensitive or have numbness.
Kneading: Petrissage Technique
Deep Tissue Stroke
Acupressure verses Acupuncture
What's the difference? Acupressure and Acupuncture utilize the same points along the same meridians or "ashi" points which mean tender spots. With Acupressure, the practitioner uses their fingers rather than needles as with Acupuncture. The retention time of the points is longer with Acupuncture (20-60 minutes) and more points are utilized at once. Acupressure points are stimulated for seconds up to a few minutes. Acupressure is the basis for many massage techniques including Shiatsu and Myofascial Release.
Pregnancy massage is a combination of swedish, stretching, lymphatic drainage, and acupressure. It is safe to be done at any time during pregnancy. It is not true that it is contraindicated during the first trimester. There are a few acupressure points which do induce labor and even turn the baby if breech, but an experienced practioner will know these points and when to use them. Common complaints regarding pregnancy are:
Back and Hip Pain