Massage therapy is the scientific manipulation of muscle, connective tissues, tendons, or ligaments – otherwise known as the soft tissues. By applying different types pressure, holding, or moving different muscles and body tissues, blood flow increases and helps reduce muscle tension or flaccidity. The goal of massage therapy is to develop and maintain physical function while relieving and preventing any soft tissue pain.
For many, a massage is considered as a treatment for annoying knot or pain, but the variety of treatable conditions goes much deeper. Massage therapy can reduce muscle spasms, scar tissue formation, stress, and anxiety – and help promote limb flexibility, better breathing, and even faster healing.
Types of Treatments
Cupping is an ancient method of creating suction, though a vacuum seal placed on the skin. When a cup is applied to the skin, negative pressures create a lifting action on soft tissues, rather that the compression felt during a therapeutic massage. This effectively separates the tissue layers, and can help break down adhesions and scar tissue, while lowering blood pressure and relaxing the nervous system.
What makes cupping dynamic is movement. While using motion in tandem with the cupping technique, tissues are easily mobilized, bringing the body back to homoeostasis.
Registered massage therapists Phillippe Majerach and Stacy Toews use dynamic cupping to assist the body in a number of ways. Some of these include, aiding the expulsion of toxins in the soft tissue by the increasing effectiveness of the circulatory and lymphatic systems; encouraging healing by drawing new blood to tissues; and decreasing pain, tension, adhesions and scar tissue by helping the circulatory system flush out stagnant blood.
Deep Tissue Massage
In cases of chronic pain – or pain caused by injury – in the neck, low back, legs, and shoulder, deep tissue massages are highly effective. This technique targets the deeper layer muscles and realigns them and the connective tissue. Deep tissue massages will use similar techniques to the standard therapeutic massage, but much slower, with higher pressure, and more concentrated to the specific areas of pain.