What is Soft Tissue Therapy?
There are two types of tissue in our body; Soft tissues and Hard Tissues.
Hard tissues consist of bones. and Soft tissues consist of muscles, connective tissue/fascia, tendons, ligaments, and joints.
The manipulation of the soft tissues of the body is known as Soft Tissue Therapy. A soft tissue therapist helps in reducing pain, improving range of movements, and enhancing your performance.
Whether you are training for the London marathon, a competitive event or perhaps simply want to ease tight or sore muscles, Soft Tissue Massage is a highly effective therapy for releasing muscle tension and restoring balance to the musculoskeletal system.
“…the assessment, treatment and rehabilitation of minor and chronic musculoskeletal conditions."
Soft Tissue Therapy integrates three essential clinical elements:
Applying a range of assessment methods to determine whether Soft Tissue Therapy is appropriate and devise a suitable treatment plan for an individual client.
Applying a range of soft tissue techniques (including massage) to aid recovery from injury and improve soft tissue condition and joint mobility.
Offering advice on a range of remedial exercises and lifestyle factors aimed at speeding up recovery, preventing injury recurrence as well as improving posture, performance and function
Soft tissue therapy is the manipulation of the soft tissues of the body; muscles, connective tissue/fascia, tendons, ligaments and joints. It helps alleviate the soft tissue discomfort associated with every day and occupational stresses, muscular over-use and many chronic pain conditions. If employed early enough after accidents involving trauma and injury, soft tissue therapy can greatly reduce the development of painful muscular patterning.
At times the treatment can be a little tender due to needing to work through the superficial tissues and into the deeper structures to locate the underlying cause of the pain or tension.
Treatments are designed to:
Relieve muscle pain, spasm & correct muscle imbalance
Deactivate trigger points
Improve Range of Movement & flexibility
Breakdown & remodel scar tissue & adhesions
Increase or decrease muscle tone
Improve postural awareness
Identify potential causes & assist in injury prevention
Speed up recovery from training & aid rehabilitation
Promote relaxation & mental preparation
Prevention of & early detection of possible injury
Forms part of a training regime to optimise performance
Get you back to full function following surgery/accidents/slips or falls
Correct dysfunctional movement patterns
Improve lymphatic flow
Aid mental preparation for sporting participation
Promote & improve circulation
Soft Tissue Therapy offers hands-on treatment using a mix of massage strokes and other soft tissues techniques adapted from physiotherapy and osteopathy. The techniques used are safe and non-invasive and can be applied to specific injuries, postural imbalances and lifestyle stress as well as a more traditional sports massage for athletes.
Treating the cause of the pain not just the symptom
I don't believe in simply treating the problem, I want to trace the cause of the issue so that I can prevent it from re-occurring and help you remain pain free longterm. On each visit I will perform active and passive assessments to help identify the cause(s) of your pain and then
reassess to see the changes and improvements.
During your treatment I will:
Provide you with an effective treatment.
Give your body a gentle nudge in the right direction with passive stretches.
Help you discover problematic movement habits and help you change them.
Provide guidance on stretches, exercise or self-release work (i.e foam rolling) to work on between sessions
Explain everything I'm doing in easy to understand language.
Give you movement ideas to help maintain and continue the work we've done.
Techniques that I might use include;
Effleurage & Petrissage
A series of massage strokes used to warm up the muscles before a range of different techniques are used. Effleurage will help improve your circulation, and lymph flow. Petrissage involves various ways of kneading and rolling the skin and muscles. This helps with stimulating the deeper layers of tissue and increasing the supply of blood to the area.
Myofascial Release Technique (MFR)
(Connective Tissue Massage)
Myo means 'muscle' and fascia means 'band'
Myofascial Release is a specialised therapy used to treat interconnecting tissue that binds and connects all the muscles within the body. Gentle pressure is applied slowly to the skin without the use of oils, cream or wax. This allows to detect fascia restrictions and then facilities release of the fascia.
Neuromuscular techniques (NMT)
Also known as Trigger point therapy, it is used to locate specific tension/adhesions and involves static pressure on these specific points throughout the body to relieve pain.
Muscle Energy Techniques (MET) - Post Isometric Relaxation (PIR) & Reciprocal Inhibition (RI)
Used to stretch and lengthen tight muscles and area of adhesions whilst releasing tension and restoring normal function and elasticity.
Soft Tissue Release (STR)
This is a technique for stretching soft tissues, muscles, fascia and tendons. It's a great way to release areas of scar tissue and adhesions, and restore electricity to the muscles.
Positional Release technique (PRT)
When the body is in a comfortable position, tension is released from within the muscles and tissue, this technique allows the neurological system to be manipulated to reset the resting length of tissue to be within the "normal" parameters, which promotes increase in strength, performance and function.
This therapy is pain-free and suitable for those with painful conditions.