Soft Tissue Release Massage

Soft Tissue Release MassageSoft tissue release
is a form of bodywork designed specifically around the area of neuromuscular therapy. This type of therapy focuses on increasing recovery rates of muscular injuries, fixing muscular imbalances, and relieving chronic pain. Soft tissue release is a popular form of therapy among athletes as it is a quick and effective way of achieving strength and flexibility after muscular injuries.

Soft Tissue Release (STR) is a Deep Tissue “Massage” Therapy for dramatically speeding up the healing process (and shortening the rehab time) of muscle and tendon injuries. It’s different from other methods in that the muscle or tendon is pressed on at the same time the muscle is stretched.

Soft Tissue Release Massage Defined

The basic idea behind this approach is to apply pressure to the muscles while it is being stretched. This integrated movement technique helps to correct muscular imbalances, including areas that have been injured or have scar tissue. It’s important to remember that this therapy allows you to communicate with your nervous system- it’s not just a manipulation of tissue. The application of rhythmic pressure during a stretching routine is communicating to the nervous system the re-programming of the muscles. This eliminates the old muscle memory of how your nervous system thinks your muscles should normally be like, which is why pain persists. When trauma occurs to muscle tissue, the affected area becomes inflamed. But once the muscle memory is evoked during Soft Tissue Release, the muscles are encouraged to return to their normal state and the inflammation decreases.

Even though it may sound painful, soft tissue release does not put the body through any more pain than it is already experiencing. However, the patient does not just lie still either as you would during a relaxation massage. It is expected for the patient to maintain an active role throughout the therapy session. This is required for the special movements and stretches to be effective. At the end of the session you will also be taught how to perform some of the exercise and stretches by yourself at home which is important to maintain the recovery progress. You do not need to undress completely, but less clothing and stretchable fabric is easiest to move around in during the procedure.

How do you know if Soft Tissue Release is the right therapy for you? Well, if you experience any of the following symptoms then you could probably benefit from the treatment: frequent sports injuries, back pain, soft tissue injuries caused by car accidents, carpel tunnel syndrome, repetitive strain injuries, and office related injuries. Soft tissue release is an effective why to relieve muscle tissue pain and tension while preventing further damage.

This may not sound like a huge distinction, but having worked with STR more than ten years, I assure you it’s profoundly more effective than anything else I’ve seen at releasing stubborn, restricted, “stuck places” in muscles and tendons.

Here’s what I’ve found it to be exceptional for:

  • Tennis
  • Elbow and Golfer’s Elbow
  • Tendonitis/Tendinosis
  • Rotator Cuff Injuries
  • Shoulder injuries
  • Sports Injuries

Soft Tissue Release Massage Purpose

If you have an injury involving the tearing of your muscles or other tissues that injury is going to get repaired with scar tissue. (Unavoidably.) Scar Tissue is NOT muscle or tendon – It’s a patch of gluey stuff, (collagen) and even after it’s formed – healing is still miles away from being finished. It’s essential to understand that the healing process tends to be sloppy and excessive, like when they patch a pothole in the road… Is it ever smooth and level? There’s always a bump left, isn’t there? An injury to your muscles and tendons can literally cause them to get stuck – Glued together within their layers and to each other, because of this imperfect, “cram-the-pothole-way” that Scar Tissue forms. And Soft Tissue Release is the fastest way I know of to help free your muscles and tendons from all that restrictive Scar Tissue stickiness and make the road smooth for you again.

The theory is that with the right stretching and strengthening rehab program your injured muscle or tendon will become stronger and more flexible. But is that really working for you? Or are you finding that even when you try your best to stretch and strengthen, your muscles almost seem to refuse to lengthen and return to normal? (!) Even under the very best of circumstances when you’re doing a full program of Physical Therapy with all the icing and heating, ultrasound, E-stim – and of course, the stretching and exercising… You can still end up with muscles and or tendons that feel very tight, restricted, painful and stubbornly resistant to your efforts.Still stuck – Literally, because of that excessive Scar Tissue. Why is that? For one thing, none of those things – (except the stretching) are efficient ways of releasing the Scar Tissue – If they help at all. In fact, the ONLY things that help release Scar Tissue are various Massage Therapies and stretching. (Strength training exercise helps in a different way, but for now we’re talking about releasing the restrictions from the Scar Tissue.

But here’s the catch: When you stretch (or someone stretches you) your own nervous system tends to defend against that stretch reflexively. Your nervous system is just being overprotective of the injured area – Guarding it even after the healing has finished (the repair and scarring part, anyway) Think about when your Doctor gives you that test for your reflexes where they tap on your knee (Patellar Tendon) with that little mallet and you kick your leg involuntarily…

Can you override that if you try? No, because it’s a reflex, which means it’s automatic and beyond your conscious control. And it’s a very similar (but opposite) reflex that you come up against when you try to stretch – especially an injured muscle. It’s extremely difficult to push past this Protective Guarding Reflex. Usually you end up fighting it – and if you or someone else stretching your muscles is too aggressive, you can end up suddenly worsening your injury.