Types of Soft Tissue
There are a variety of different styles, types and techniques of Therapy's utilized by muscular therapists. We've provided a description of some of the more popular and well known types of massage being used today.
» Craniosacral Therapy
» Deep Tissue
» Myofascial Release
» Prenatal Massage
» Sports Muscular therapy
» Trigger Point Therapy
Craniosacral therapy (also called CST, also spelled CranioSacral bodywork or therapy) is an alternative medicine therapy used by osteopaths, massage therapists, naturopaths, chiropractors, and occupational therapists. A craniosacral therapy session involves the therapist placing their hands on the patient, which they say allows them to tune into what they call the craniosacral system. The practitioner gently works with the spine and the skull and its cranial sutures, diaphragms, and fascia. In this way, the restrictions of nerve passages are said to be eased, the movement of cerebrospinal fluid through the spinal cord is said to be optimized, and misaligned bones are said to be restored to their proper position. Craniosacral therapists use the therapy to treat mental stress, neck and back pain, migraines, TMJ Syndrome, and for chronic pain conditions such as fibromyalgia.
Deep Tissue is designed to relieve severe tension in the muscle and the connective tissue or fascia. This type of therapy focuses on the muscles located below the surface of the top muscles. Deep tissue therapy is often recommended for individuals who experience consistent pain, are involved in heavy physical activity, such as athletes, and patients who have sustained physical injury. It is also not uncommon for receivers of Deep Tissue therapy to have their pain replaced with a new muscle ache for a day or two. Deep tissue work varies greatly. What one calls deep tissue another will call light. When receiving deep tissue work it is important to communicate what you are feeling.
Hydrotherapy, formerly called hydropathy involves the use of water for pain-relief and treating illness. The term hydrotherapy itself is synonymous with the term water cure as it was originally marketed by practitioners and promoters in the 1800s. A hydrotherapist therefore, is someone who practices hydrotherapy. According to the International SPA Association (ISPA), hydrotherapy has long been a staple in European spas. It's the generic term for water therapies using jets, underwater massage and mineral baths (e.g. balneotherapy, Iodine-Grine therapy, Kneipp treatments, Scotch hose, Swiss shower, thalassotherapy) and others. It also can mean a whirlpool bath, hot Roman bath, hot tub, Jacuzzi, cold plunge and mineral bath. These treatments use physical water properties, such as temperature and pressure, for therapeutic purposes, to stimulate blood circulation and treat the symptoms of certain diseases.
Myofascial release is a form of soft tissue therapy used to treat somatic dysfunction and accompanying pain and restriction of motion. This is accomplished by relaxing contracted muscles, increasing circulation, increasing venous and lymphatic drainage, and stimulating the stretch reflex of muscles and overlying fascia.
Prenatal massage is similar to massage during non-pregnancy in terms of the goals (relaxation, pain relief, increased circulation & mobility, etc.). However, due to the changes undergone during pregnancy, modification are made. To accommodate swollen tender breasts and a growing belly, special pillows, positioning and techniques are utilized to ensure comfort for both the expecting mother and baby. With increasing weight, a changing center of gravity and the many other changes associated with pregnancy, prenatal massage can help provide relief and a sense of well being that is much deserved.
Sports muscular therapy is delivered to athletes. Most commonly, sports muscular therapy focuses on increasing blood and lymphatic fluid flow, reducing and eliminating pain as well as tender trigger points, and increasing range of motion of the affected area. Sports muscular therapy can be broken into 4 distinct types - the pre-event sports, the post-event sports, the restorative sports and the rehabilitative sports. As the names indicate, each type of sports therapy has a different focus for the athlete as they are delivered at different times during their training and performance schedule.
Trigger points or trigger sites are described as hyperirritable spots in skeletal muscle that are associated with palpable nodules in taut bands of muscle fibers. Trigger point practitioners believe that palpable nodules are small contraction knots[ambiguous] and a common cause of pain. Compression of a trigger point may elicit local tenderness, referred pain, or local twitch response. The local twitch response is not the same as a muscle spasm. This is because a muscle spasm refers to the entire muscle entirely contracting whereas the local twitch response also refers to the entire muscle but only involves a small twitch, no contraction. The trigger point model states that unexplained pain frequently radiates from these points of local tenderness to broader areas, sometimes distant from the trigger point itself. Practitioners claim to have identified reliable referred pain patterns, allowing practitioners to associate pain in one location with trigger points elsewhere.
 Content Obtained from Wikipedia.com.