Muscular Energy Technique (MET)

This is a gentle, highly effective technique which effects a change in the muscle/tendon, length/tension, neuromuscular relationship.  There are two types of MET, Post Isometric Contraction (PIR) and Reciprocal Inhibition (RI).  Amongst other benefits, used appropriately these techniques can:

  • improve the quality of movement of the muscle and tendon through the range of motion and 
  • train the muscle and tendon to accept a new end of range of movement.  
To read more....

Soft Tissue Release (STR)

This advanced technique effects a change in the muscle tissue by improving the substance which permits glide between muscle cells and all fascia.  When muscles are fatigued or recovering from injury they can become adhered.  This means that they do not glide, they become sticky, there can be a collagen build-up and muscle fibre functionality is impaired as fuel and oxygen delivery and toxic waste removal is reduced.  Chronic impairment will lead to pain and loss of function or, at best, reduced performance as the brain signals the affected muscle to rest.  The knock-on effect is reflex inhibition of other muscle groups and the development of compensatory patterns.  This technique is highly effective as it allows more efficient cellular metabolism which can promote faster recovery.  For more information see....

Trigger Point Therapy

Myofascial trigger points are specific, discrete, insidious knots of tension within skeletal muscle which can refer pain in a specific pattern.  Their size is variable.  They can be microscopic yet still cause tenderness under pressure and you may not even be aware they exist until they are palpated.  Simons et al., 1999 showed how trigger points are perpetuated by poor posture i.e. head forward, protracted shoulders, hunched back - sound familiar?  Trigger point therapy breaks the energy crisis cycle by improving blood flow to the affected area and reducing the inflammatory processes.  To read more....

Connective Tissue Massage (CTM)

This technique is about allowing the soft tissue to soften and melt.  This technique effects changes in the elasticity, viscosity, flexibility and remodelling of soft tissue.  In his Anatomy Trains, Tom Myers explains how every cell in the body is connected like a web, he uses the phrase Biotensegrity.  In other words, dysfunctional tissue has a knock-on effect throughout the whole body as all fascia is linked through common neural and vascular pathways.  Biochemical receptors are responsive to warmth and pressure which makes massage an ideal medium to effect a change in our fascia.  When homeostasis is restored to elasticity, viscosity and flexibility then remodelling occurs to restore optimal functionality to fascia.

General Massage Techniques

General massage techniques are fundamental sports massage techniques which are derived from Swedish massage.  They are the ones you are probably more acquainted with:

Effleurage - used for warming up, assessment, calming and connecting techniques
Petrissage - wringing and kneading can be used to work more deeply to separate fascia and adhesions

Vibration - is a dry, rhythmical technique used to reduce hypertonicity.  It can relax or stimulate muscle fibres depending upon the application

Tapotement - is a dry technique which stimulates the neurosensory receptors, it can be relaxing or stimulating depending upon the application
Friction - is effective in realigning tissues by breaking down adhesions and scar tissue to aid repair and recovery

Compression - can reduce hypertonicity in muscle fibres and deactivate muscle spasms

Deep Strokes - when the muscle is warmed, effleurage and petrissage can be applied more deeply and strongly to effect greater changes

The more advanced techniques above are used to target and treat specific issues whilst general massage techniques are the basis on which the treatments are built.  The direction, speed and depth of these strokes are dependent upon the assessment of your soft tissue