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"Clare's method of massage gave me freedom from the constant back pain I had suffered for 6 years; I have now been free of back pain for over 2 years"


Linda H. Paddock Wood

TECHNIQUES

 

Neuromuscular Therapy

What is Neuromuscular Therapy?

Neuromuscular therapy is so called because the nervous system (neuro) controls the muscles. This is an extremely complex relationship, which is not just related to the mechanics of movement but also to thoughts and emotions having a direct influence on the durability of muscles and their susceptibility to damage.

Neuromuscular Therapy is a collection of advanced massage techniques which effectively target pain and the underlying causes of pain.

Myofascial Release

Myofascial Release is a very effective hands-on technique that involves applying gentle sustained pressure into Myofascial connective tissue restrictions to elongate, eliminate pain and restore free, uninhibited movement.

What is Myofascia? (pronounced FASHA, rather than FAISHA)
The muscle fibres, the muscles and all internal spaces are permeated, surrounded and enveloped by an endless, elastic web of connective tissue or myofascia, which lubricates and allows for smooth, uninhibited movement. Myofascia  contracts and hardens when it is injured or because of scar tissue, impairing the free run of connective tissue throughout the body. When myofascia is tight and hardened, it has the effect of bunching up fabric in a garment; the immediate area of the bunching is dramatically changed but the effects of the distortion can be observed throughout the rest of the garment.

What is it good for?
Scar tissue: If used after surgery, when stitches or staples are removed, Myofascial Release increases circulation to the area and improves the healing time, look and feel of external scarring. It also improves the quality of internal scarring and reduces the formation of adhesions and tethering (where scar tissue joins onto and forms around other internal structures, limiting free movement).
Restrictions of movement: Myofascial release traces the areas of distortion and smoothes the bunching effect to ease and restore localised or more general bodywide movement.

Trigger Point Therapy

Detects and diffuses trigger points using sustained pressure at the site of a trigger point, with or without the patient moving the muscle housing the trigger point. This aims to reduce the irritability, which leads to or perpetuates many pain conditions.

What Are Trigger Points?
Trigger points are hypersensitive areas of tenderness within a muscle, which are present in, or contribute to, most pain related conditions. They occur where the nerve enters the muscle and alter the chemistry of contraction and relaxation so that some muscle fibres remain tight and no longer allow circulation into the area. Pain signals are sent out but the trigger point often needs diffusing before the nervous system can regain control to relax the contraction caused by the chemical imbalance.

Why Are They Relevant to my Pain?
Often, trigger points feel like nodules, "crunchiness" or tiny tight “guitar strings” inside a muscle and are extremely painful when pressed. They cause increased tension, shortening and pain within a muscle and the surrounding fascia and impinge nerve pathways, which lead to contraction in other muscles that are taking up the strain and further tightening of myofascia causing a domino effect of referred pain.
A muscle does not work on its own to move a joint, it moves with a group of others; some relaxing to enable others to contract, while others stabilise the same movement. Constant repetition of an action, overuse, poor posture, chronic stress or sudden injury can cause trigger points and damage of muscle fibres to develop within a certain muscle. Unchecked, the microscopic damage spreads, affecting not only the originally damaged muscle but all the other muscles surrounding it, opposing its action and stabilising it within the body. Complex compensation patterns happen over time and pain develops, not just where the injury is but often in seemingly unrelated places. 
Dysfunction also refers pain, tingling, weakness or numbness to seemingly unrelated areas, eg: Headaches and migraines often radiate from neck muscles strained by poor posture relating to computer work or driving. Horizontal pain across the low back may be radiating from trigger points in the abdominal muscles; hand and wrist symptoms may come from muscles in the throat; eye pain from shoulder muscles; heel pain from the hip, calf or foot.

Trigger points and myofascial dysfunction are not visible with traditional medical testing such as x-rays, CT or M.R.I. scans

Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD)

MLD is a clinical technique used to reduce fluid retention, congestion and swelling, pioneered by Dr. Emil Vodder in the 1930’s. The massage uses gentle pumping and scooping movements to firstly clear lymphatic pathways and lymph nodes, then on gently moving the excess tissue fluids, causing the swelling and congestion, back into the lymph capillaries, allowing it to flow freely.

What is it good for?
MLD has many applications. It improves bloatedness and congestive skin conditions such as acne and rosacea, improves puffy eyes and relieves the tension from blocked sinuses in the face.  Following the increased popularity for cosmetic surgery and more invasive cosmetic enhancements such as chemical face peels, botox and dermal fillers; MLD can be used post procedure to enhance the results of non-permanent facial treatments. MLD after facelift, abdominoplasty, breast augmentation etc. reduces bruising, swelling, while improving healing time and the formation, feel and look of scarring.

MLD is used in the NHS for lymphoedema (swelling) caused by a variety of medical conditions and immobility issues. Most notably, it is used to treat cancer patients following surgery involving lymph node removal, which compromises the ability of the body to clear the lymph effectively, meaning it accumulates, often in feet and hands; arms and legs (though not the only sites) and can feel heavy and very uncomfortable.

For children with glue ear, adapted techniques can improve the condition so that grommets might not be necessary.

Muscle Energy Techniques (MET)

MET aims to release muscle spasms, relax muscular tension and increase muscle strength, thus increasing flexibility of the joints where movement is difficult or painful. The client contracts the muscle that requires stretching or relaxing, in one direction against the therapist’s fixed resistance for 5 seconds and then gently stretches it in the opposite direction. MET can be used to treat almost all the joints in the body, in a safe and effective manner.

Positional Release

Positional Release is a highly effective technique to relieve pain and restore function to muscles, bones, and joints. It is a powerful therapy for back pain.
Positional release, also known as “strain/ counterstrain”, is a painless way to loosen constricted muscles. It is an effective chronic pain treatment. The painful muscle is moved into, and supported in, a position of ease while tension and spasms relax.

A pain in the shoulder can be eased by the therapist pressing a thumb on the tender point and then moving the client’s arm slowly and precisely around until the pain is no longer felt under the thumb. This is known as the position of ease. This position is held for up to two minutes. The correct position of ease resets the sensors in the muscles and joints known collectively as proprioceptors. Creating the right twist and pressure in the muscles and joints resets the sensors very quickly.