Soft Tissue Release - STR
STR is an active technique that targets specific and local areas of tension within the muscles; loosening localised tautness and helping to break up scar tissue through a combination of techniques and ‘active assisted stretching with the intention of restoring tissue elasticity and longitudinal freedom of motion back to the natural state. It is effective on both acute and chronic situations.
Neuromuscular Technique (NMT) (Trigger Point Therapy)
Neuromuscular technique (NMT) is an effective form of deep tissue treatment using direct pressure to release areas of tension - ‘trigger points’ and strain in the muscle(s). It uses direct static pressure on specific areas of tension to relieve pain targeting painful or hyper-irritable points in muscular tissue, using press-and-release methods.
Such points can occur anywhere in the body, but commonly develop in the neck and shoulder regions of long-term computer users, or as a result of heavy sports training. NMT differs to other soft tissue techniques as it looks to treat both the affected muscles, ligaments, and soft tissues of the body, but also address nervous system issues.
Muscle Energy Technique (MET)
Muscle Energy Technique (MET) works to improve joint function, restore muscle balance and release muscle tension. It incorporates a variety of ways of using the energy of the client’s contracting muscles instead of the therapist generating the force to bring about a beneficial change.
MET is most often used when soft tissue is still too tender and restricted from recent healing of an injury and the use of other massage techniques like soft tissue release may be too invasive.
MET enables a voluntary contraction against resistance (isometric) without further shortening of the muscle creating a pulling sensation which will exacerbate discomfort to the client.
MET is best applied to muscles and joints recovering from recent trauma and increase ROM reducing the interruption of the healing process.
Fascia is significantly effected by lifestyle and occupational factors, such as activity levels, which can affect posture alignment. Myofascial Release concentrates on the fascia of the muscle; fascia is often described as chains of fascia; thin, almost transparent shiny layers of connective tissue, mostly collagen. It surrounds, separates, stabilises and covers all soft tissue (including the organs) and bones and is present across the entire body. It is very strong and connects muscles, tendons, ligaments and joint capsules within the muscular system.
Damage along the fascia chain often causes some form of movement / postural dysfunction causing pain elsewhere in the body resulting in others muscles compensating to carrying on functioning pain free.
Fascia whilst very strong and pliable is very good at adapting to physical stresses placed upon the body. Repeated pattern of movement resultant of the compensatory muscles causes the fascia to shorten as it can no longer take the stress resulting in a change in mechanical movement changing the body’s posture to accommodate this. It does this by ‘fixing’ itself to the change in posture holding the soft tissues in its new position resulting in a misalignment of the body and making it more susceptible to injury.
Knowledge of the information as a therapist is very helpful enabling the therapist to become more effective at treating most dysfunctions.
The treatment of fascia is different from traditional muscle-focused techniques; it is a slow, deep technique and no lubricant used. The treatment aims to elongate the fascial sheet with guided motion and deep, targeted pressure.