The practice of massage for health and wellbeing has been understood for thousands of years. In many cultures, regular massage is seen as an important part of their self-care routine. Regular massage not only helps deal with general aches and pains but can affect the mind-body in multiple beneficial ways.
OK, you've clicked on the Massage Therapies and come across Sot-Tissue Therapy (STT), you've got some idea what it might be but are not quite certain. Well, let me enlighten you; STT is a relatively new kid on the block but sits nicely within the manual therapy world. As the name implies it involves the assessment, treatment, and management of soft-tissue.
So what's soft tissue? Well, soft-tissue covers a wide range of tissue that's are found throughout the body they include muscles, tendons, ligaments, and fascia, so pretty much everything except bones and organs. Typically most people will seek the services of an ST therapist because of pain, be that due to injury, sport, or lifestyle.
ST Therapists are trained to detect dysfunction within the soft-tissue and then use a variety of techniques to help treat them. A therapist will use a wide variety of techniques which include specialist massage techniques, stretching techniques, and movement re-education techniques. Typically all three strategies will be used during a treatment session.
First things first you DON'T have to be an athlete or play sport to benefit from a sports massage. Sports Massage is more a catch-all-term for a variety of massage techniques that are all designed to aid recovery or rejuvenate soft-tissue leaving you feeling and moving better. It is different from spa-type massages in that the massage will use a variety or superficial and deeper tissue work.
If you are a regular sports performer or gym goer then sports massage before and after competition or physical exertion can help performance and speed up recovery readying you for the next bought of physical exertion. For those of you with minor injuries or more chronic issues then regular sports massage can really help support your body's recovery.
Along with speeding up recovery sports massage can also; relieve general aches and pains, reduce muscle tension, improve general well-being, reduce stress and anxiety, increase flexibility, improve muscle & skin tone, improve circulation, increase relaxation, improve body awareness and help reduce injury risk.
Remedial massage is a complementary therapy that as the name suggests is designed to remediate (repair), damage, stress, or strain to soft-tissue structures of the body that may be causing pain. Soft-tissue structures include muscles, tendons, ligaments, skin, and fascia.
Remedial massage involves a wide variety of manual techniques that can involve more superficial work, deeper-tissue work, stretching, strengthening, postural rebalancing, trigger point therapy, visualisation techniques, and tissue release techniques. Remedial massage brings many benefits including pain reduction, improved blood flow, increase tissue extensibility, improvements to skin and its underlying structures, improve mental health through stress reduction and an improved sense of wellbeing, muscle or soft-tissue adhesions, improved range-of-movement, improve strength, and improved posture.
A typical therapy session will initially involve a consultation and assessment. The treatment plan will then be implemented using massage, stretching, and rehabilitation movement re-education (if required). Treatment will involve you lying (but can sometimes also involve sitting or standing) on a treatment table, where you will be covered with towels to protect your privacy as well as keeping you warm. Treatment will work on selected areas in a progressive and sequential fashion so as to best deal with your particular issues.