Why do you (and sometimes your therapist) think that an effective massage is a painful one?

I’m going to tell you a story, and I promise I’ll keep it short. I’m doing a reflexology course (which is amazing, but that’s for another article) and during the practical section of the course, one of my classmates mentioned that she fell and injured her shoulder while out shopping. Her practice partner – a really nice lady who is a personal trainer and sports massage therapist – offered to work on it for her. Long story short, she was virtually climbing on the table with my classmate, pummelling her while my classmate cried out in pain. I watched, thinking to myself, “how is hurting her going to make her pain go away?”. Now, I’m not dissing sport massage therapists. Athletes rely on them, they offer a great service, and they are some of the most highly-trained people in the industry. But my classmate’s nervous system was already in distress, and I couldn’t understand how putting it in even MORE distress could make it feel better. I think massage should be pain-free where possible. Enter myofascial release.

"What’s that", I hear you ask?

Well, your body is full of connective tissue called fascia. Some of it is superficial, which means that it’s under the skin and surrounding your muscles, while some of it is deep, around deep muscle tissue, your organs and even your bones. Sometimes this fascia is what becomes tight, forming knots and trigger points, constricting your muscles and making movement difficult. If the fascia isn’t worked and stretched, it gets tighter, the knots get bigger and you get chronic pain and restricted range of motion. 

Myofascial release feels like slow, systematic movement with light stretching. It’s deep, but practically pain-free. It’s certainly not what people think of when they think of massage. But, it works really effectively. If you’re suffering from an injury, reduced range of motion and chronic pain, try something different and step away from what you’d traditionally think of as deep tissue massage. Give myofascial release a try. You’ll be pleasantly surprised with the results. You’ll come off the table feeling better – not like you’ve been beaten up. 

If you'd like more information about myofascial release, visit http://www.myofascialrelease.co.uk/what-is-myofascial-release/

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Therapy Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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