Tool Assisted Massage

Tool Assisted Massage

Tool Assisted Massage, available at Hull Sports MassageWhat is Tool Assisted Massage?

Tool assisted massage

Decreases overall time of treatment
Fosters faster rehabilitation/recovery

 

The Tool assisted massage incorporates instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilisation techniques that enables clinicians to effectively detect and treat scar tissue and restrictions that affect normal function.

• Separates and breaks down collagen cross-links, and splays and stretches connective tissue and muscle fibres
• Increases skin temperature
• Facilitates reflex changes in the chronic muscle holding pattern
• Alters spinal reflux activity (facilitated segment)
• Increases the rate and amount of blood flow to and from the area
• Increases cellular activity in the region, including fibroblasts and mast cells
• Increases histamine response secondary to mast cell activity
Why is scar tissue a problem?

Scar tissue limits range of motion, and in many instances causes pain, which prevents the patient from functioning as he or she did before the injury.

How is scar tissue different from other tissue?
When viewed under a microscope, normal tissue can take a couple of different fashions: dense, regular elongated fibres running in the same direction, such as tendons and ligaments; or dense, irregular and loose with fibres running in multiple directions. In either instance, when tissue is damaged it will heal in a haphazard pattern–or scarring–that results in a restricted range of motion and, very often, pain.

How are the instruments used?
The instruments are used to enhance the clinician’s ability to detect adhesions, scar tissue or restrictions in the affected areas. Skilled clinicians use the stainless steel instruments to comb over and “catch” on fibrotic tissue, which immediately identifies the areas of restriction. Once the tissue has been identified, the instruments are used to break up the scar tissue so it can be absorbed by the body.

Is the treatment painful?
It is common to experience minor discomfort during the procedure and some bruising afterwards. Whether the injury is work or non-work related, the Tool assisted Protocol is the same. Our protocol includes a brief warm-up exercise, Tool assisted treatments, followed by stretching, strengthening and ice.

What is the frequency of treatment?
Patients usually receive two treatments per week over 4-5 weeks. Most patients have a positive response by the 3rd to 4th treatment.

Are there any benefits to the treatment?
Yes. Most patients are not disabled and continue to perform their regular functions at home or work. This technique gives back the control that is often lost when injury strikes.

Is Tool assisted massage something new?
The concept of cross fibre massage is not new. Tool assisted massage is grounded in the works of English orthopaedist James Cyriax.
The official definition of Fascia from the International Fascia Research Congress:

“Fascia is the soft tissue component of the connective tissue system that permeates the human body, forming a whole-body continuous three dimensional matrix of structural support. It interpenetrates and surrounds all organs, muscles, bones and nerve fibres, creating a unique environment for body systems functioning.” So, this white stuff that envelops everything in our body does more than just serve as a cover but functions as a sensory organ loaded with mechanoreceptors and proprioceptors. Every single muscle fibre in our body is covered by fascia. Whenever a muscle is stretched or contracted, the enveloping fascia must be stretched. In order for muscles to respond to demands, fascia must have normal viscosity. Increased viscosity (density) of fascia will lead to reduced feedback to the brain and muscle incoordination.

One of the primary reasons fascia is able to glide over and within a muscle is due to Hyaluronic Acid (HA) Most of the HA is located directly beneath the deep layer of fascia. Due to trauma, repetitive stress or inflexibility, HA chains entangle and significantly affect viscoelasticity. Interestingly, as body alkalinity increases, HA gets freed up and enhances fascial gliding! An Italian Therapist by the name of Luigi Stecco, describes muscle fibers contracting as a collective group and a particular direction of tension will be established with the overlying fascia and there will be a converging point in the deep fascia called centres of coordination (CCs) or a myofascial unit. The CCs are often located in the belly of a muscle and are frequently located proximal to the painful area and are typically quite tender. So, the fascial planes throughout the body are considered connected just as acupuncture points as considered in meridians. So, an anterior hip pain could be resolved by treating an anterior lumbar, pelvic, hip, knee or foot area along the plane. Increased thickness and the disorganisation of connective tissue layers may be an important and neglected factor in human pathophysiology – thickness of the loose connective tissue between the superficial and deep fascia and the muscle are highly linked to pain…

One part of Fascial Manipulation describes the dysfunction of the centres of coordination as densification of the fascia. Their theory is based on an increase in the viscosity of the ground substance due to an increase in hyaluronic acid, which causes ‘densification’ of the fascia. An Italian therapist by the name of Luigi Stecco, describes muscle fibres contracting as a collective group and a particular direction of tension will be established with the overlying fascia and there will be a converging point in the deep fascia called centres of coordination (CCs) or a myofascial unit. The CCs are often located in the belly of a muscle and are frequently located proximal to the painful area and are typically quite tender. So, the fascial planes throughout the body are considered connected just as acupuncture points as considered in meridians. So, an anterior hip pain could be resolved by treating an anterior lumbar, pelvic, hip, knee or foot area along the plane.

So why is all this relevant?… there is an effect on the Mechanoreceptors in terms of movement and mechanical load, i.e. its effect on how we move and how movement is allowed and how we may treat the condition in terms of available modalities… (fascial tool, kinesio taping, heat, pressure, vibration). Great store is taken by cross referencing and use of these modalities within the framework of the Spinothalmic nervous system whereby the nervous system can be influenced by pain, temperature and touch…

Summary:

The Tool assisted massage incorporates instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilisation techniques that enables clinicians to effectively detect and treat scar tissue and restrictions that affect normal function.

• Separates and breaks down collagen cross-links, and splays and stretches connective tissue and muscle fibres
• Increases skin temperature
• Facilitates reflex changes in the chronic muscle holding pattern
• Alters spinal reflux activity (facilitated segment)
• Increases the rate and amount of blood flow to and from the area
• Increases cellular activity in the region, including fibroblasts and mast cells
• Increases histamine response secondary to mast cell activity

Call, text or email for further details or to try this refreshingly new therapy (Discount: 10% off of your first treatment, just mention ‘tool assisted massage’)

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