Ann Arbor Massage - Sandy Castle
What is Deep Tissue Massage?
(Also known as deep tissue therapy or orthopaedic massage)
Deep tissue therapy is a type of massage that focuses on realigning deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue. Using slower strokes and deeper pressure the therapist will concentrate on areas of tension and pain, and on the areas believed to be contributing to the imbalance, particularly when postural distortion is present. This type of work is especially helpful for chronically tense and contracted areas such as stiff necks, low back and hip tightness, and tight shoulders resulting in loss of range of motion and numbness and/or tingling in the hands.
Chronically tightened muscles usually have adhesions, bands of painful, rigid tissue, that can restrict circulation so that the muscles do not get all of the oxygen and nutrients that the circulation brings. This can cause pain, limited movement, and inflammation. Deep tissue massage works by physically breaking down these adhesions to restore normal range of movement and relieve pain. At certain points during the massage there can be some discomfort and pain. It is very important that you communicate with the therapist so that they can monitor your comfort during the session.
Unlike classic massage therapy, which is used for relaxation, deep tissue massage usually focuses on a specific problem, such as
- Limited muscular range of motion
- Injury Rehabilitation
- Repetitive strain injury
- Postural problems
- Headaches, tension and migraine
- Frozen shoulder
- Pseudo-sciatic pain
I use the following techniques in treatment sessions:
Neuromuscular Therapy (NMT), also known as Trigger Point Therapy or Trigger Point Massage, is a very specialized form of manual therapy that addresses tightness in muscles that refer pain to other areas of the body.
By definition, Neuromuscular Therapy is the utilization of static pressure on specific myofascial points to relieve pain. This technique manipulates the soft tissue of the body (muscles, tendons and connective tissue) to balance the central nervous system. In a healthy individual, nerves transmit impulses (which are responsible for every movement, function and thought) to the body very slowly. Injury, trauma, postural distortion or stress cause nerves to speed up their transmission, inhibiting equilibrium and making the body vulnerable to pain and dysfunction. It is therefore necessary to stabilize low levels of neurological activity to maintain normal function and overall health.
Myofascial Release is a highly interactive stretching technique that requires feedback from the patient's body to determine the direction, force and duration of the stretch and to facilitate maximum relaxation of the tight or restricted tissues. Myofascial Release recognizes that a muscle cannot be isolated from the other structures of the body.
Fascia is a thin tissue that covers all the organs of the body. This tissue covers every muscle and every fiber within each muscle. All muscle stretching, then, is actually stretching of the fascia and the muscle. When muscle fibers are injured, the fibers and the fascia which surrounds it become short and tight. This uneven stress can be transmitted through the fascia to other parts of the body, causing pain and a variety of other symptoms in areas you often wouldn't expect. Myofascial Release treats these symptoms by releasing the uneven tightness in injured fascia.
Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation:
Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF) is a type of stretching which combines muscle contraction and relaxation with passive and partner-assisted stretching. This technique improves range of motion in the skeletal joints to a greater extent than conventional static stretching.
Muscle Release Technique:
The Muscle Release TechniqueSM is a unique injury therapy that combines compression, extension, movement, and breath to give the therapist a tool to provide, in many cases, relief from pain in one treatment. With the Muscle Release TechniqueSM scar tissue is broken up, the muscle is lengthened, muscle memory is restored and relief from pain starts immediately.
Muscle Energy Technique:
Muscle energy technique (or MET) is based on the principle of reciprocal inhibition, a theory that explains that muscles on one side of a joint will always relax to accommodate the contraction of muscles on the other side of that joint when indirect pressure is applied. MET is often applied to patients who suffer from muscle spasms.
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I'd been a marathoner and triathlete for years when I decided to start running Ultra Marathons in 2011. The increase in mileage started to result in over use injuries. I started seeing Sandy while training for my first 50K. She listened to my symptoms, current workouts, and goals. She takes the time to explain what she is doing and why. I never realized that tightness in one part of the body could cause an injury somewhere else. She also gives me stretches and strength exercise that I can do on my own to prevent overuse injuries. Without her help, I could not have run 4 marathons, 2 50ks and my first 50 mile race in 2011. I still see her regularly... and I'm still running ultra marathons... injury free.