City Haven Massage Therapy’s Techniques
Soft Tissue Therapy
Soft tissue therapy is a hands on treatment of the soft tissues of the body including muscles, tendons, ligaments and other connective tissue such as fascia. Massage is an example of soft tissue therapy.
Different techniques and depths of pressure are applied to areas of the body to reduce pain and decrease tension.
Remedial Massages are principally Soft Tissue Therapists. Myotherapists use soft tissue therapy as well as more advanced techniques to achieve longer term results, principally with exercise therapy and rehabilitation.
Soft Tissue techniques include trigger point therapy, myofascial release and transverse friction massage, kneading, longitudinal/transverse gliding, digital ischaemic pressure and sustained myofascial tension. The aim of the application of soft tissue therapy is to release tension in soft tissue, deactivate myofascial trigger points to reduce pain, improve circulation, improve range of movement and assist healing of damaged fibres.
Unique to our approach, is our posture assessments that are conducted at every appointment. These are a valuable tool for your therapist to assess how you are naturally standing or sitting.
We look for areas of tension or weakness by observing your posture. You may be asked 'How do you stand socially?' to see what your posture looks like when you are relaxed. 'Show me how you sit at the computer?' to see if we can identify any poor habits.
Awareness is key for correcting poor postural habits. Once we can identify poor positioning, we can help bring your attention to correcting it which may reduce the pressure on your body and improve your functionality.
Trigger point therapy
Trigger Points are located within bands of muscle. They are thought to become activated after injury, overuse or when muscle firing patterns are altered, resulting in weaknesses or increased tension. The application of pressure to these points can reduce pain and improve your range of movement.
Sometimes pain experienced between your shoulder blades can be relieved by deactivating trigger points in the upper back which may be contributing to your discomfort. Likewise, pain that shoots down the back of the leg may stem from an active trigger point in the buttocks. Your therapist is trained to recognise these pain referral patterns and work to deactivate the trigger points involved. Clients are often both surprised and thrilled with the results after receiving trigger point therapy.
It is important to note that this therapy is more beneficial when combined with other techniques such as postural education and exercise prescription.
Muscle strength tests
Our Myotherapist team may use muscle strength tests to check for weaknesses that may be contributing to your pain or loss of function.
This enables the Myotherapist, to identify muscles to strengthen with exercise therapy or muscles that may be over active and may need to be stretched.
PNF & static stretching
Assisted stretching is a great way to prolong the positive results of your massage. Massage works to lengthen the muscle fibres, retrain the brain to remember what the correct resting length of the muscles are, and reduce your pain.
Massage followed by assisted stretching ensures that the lengthened muscle fibres remain stretched out and that the muscle stays at an optimum resting length, rather than return to the restricted range that was causing the initial discomfort. Whereas PNF Stretches use resistance to lengthen muscles, Static Stretching is a 30 second static stretch that achieves similar results. Your therapist will select stretches that are right for your body and presenting symptoms.
Myofascial release or Sustained Myofascial tension
Connective tissue surrounds and binds all the structures in our body, including our muscles, ligaments, tendons and joints and it is thought that it can become restricted and dehydrated which can reduce your range of movement. Myofascial Release works to rehydrate connective.
Once the fascia is rehydrated the underlying muscles can be worked on more efficiently. Your therapist will integrate this technique into your massage as required. Myofascial release is an effective treatment that is often quite soothing and relaxing to receive
Myofascial Dry Needling
MDN is a technique that is available at our Doncaster East and Parkville clinics and provided by our Myotherapist team. Myofascial Dry Needling (MDN) is a treatment used to deactivate Myofascial Trigger Points using single use, sterile needles instead of the digital pressure used in Trigger Point Therapy. The needle is inserted into the skin (10-30mm) over a known trigger point zone or deeper (30-100mm) where it is safe to do so. This is thought to stimulate the Central Nervous System to relax the target muscle.
The aim of this treatment is to deactivate Myofascial Trigger Points. Needles are inserted into soft tissues (muscles and tendons). It is not acupuncture. It is necessary for some needles to be inserted on oblique angles to be mindful of underlying vital organs. Myotherapists can use this technique on myofascial trigger points that are not responding to digital pressure, often with great success. The principle of Myofascial Dry Needling is also related to the pain gateway theory. The stimulation of the needle sends a faster message to the brain than the pain that the trigger point is causing and a pain inhibiting response is initiated by the body.
Clients usually experience very little discomfort with this procedure; at most a sharp pin prick may temporarily be felt on needle insertion.
Pain relief may be experienced immediately or may take 12-14 hours to reduce. It is very important that clients who do experience a reduction in pain don’t overload their muscles straight after treatment. To optimise the effects of MDN, the treated area must be rested following treatment and activity increased slowly. Assisted therapist stretching and self-stretches will also enhance the restorative process.
Anyone receiving MDN should be well hydrated before and after needling so ensure your H2O intake is adequate on the day of your treatment.
Please note: MDN is not acupuncture. The only similarity is that acupuncture type needles are used in the treatment. Our Doncaster East clinic is registered with the Manningham City Council and the Parkville clinic is registered with the City of Melbourne and have satisfied health and safety obligations to provide this service to the general public. We have been issued with a permit and are audited regularly to ensure our standards are maintained.
Muscle energy technique
This technique is similar to PNF stretching, with the aim being to increase movement and unlock stiff joints. The troublesome joint is placed into its position of restriction and then the client is contracted away from the restricted side (usually in the opposite direction). The patient will be asked to contract the muscle to match the resistance applied by the Myotherapist (this is gentle). The joint is then returned to its restricted position, with the overall process repeated 3-5 times. This ‘re-setting’ of the resting length of the muscle produces great results.
Joint mobilising massage
Mobilisation is the application of rhythmic movement to relax and loosen the soft tissues attached to the bones by gentle movement of the joints.
An example of this may be with a patient lying on their back, and the Myotherapist places their hands along their spine under their back to gently and slowly lift each spinal joint in to extension.
Please note: Our therapy does not incorporate manipulation 'cracking joints' in any treatments.
Myotherapists may utilise kinesiotape or rigid tape to assist with your pain management or to assist you to achieve correct joint positioning to help with recovery from injury.
Kinesiotape such as 'Rocktape' is thought to lift up the skin above inflamed tissue to allow better circulation of blood flow at the site of injury to assist removal of toxins and debris and deliver oxygen and nutrients to the area.
Therapeutic and Rehabilitative Exercise
Myotherapists use prescription rehabilitation exercise to maximise the long term effects of the massage treatment performed and help to get a person returning to full function after injury or illness. The aim of the treatment is to restore the equilibrium of soft tissue and joints so the body can move functionally and is as pain free as possible. Stretching, isometric, concentric, eccentric, proprioception and functional exercises are prescribed through all phases of recovery. The Myotherapists prescribes, demonstrates and reviews the exercise programme throughout treatments. Myotherapy patients are emailed information outlining the exercises they are to do in-between myotherapy treatment sessions.
Corrective Action and Lifestyle advice
Myotherapists aim with this modality is to improve a person's awareness of their body and to urge them to take responsibility for their health with postural advice and helpful information about good nutrition. Myotherapists can refer clients to a dietician for expert nutrition assistance but they do have the skills to guide their clients about healthy eating habits with the emphasis on the importance of a varied diet coupled with rest and exercise. Postural advice may include teaching someone how to achieve a neutral spine to be used as a base for all of their activities.
Have you never had a treatment before?
You may not know what to expect when attending our clinic for the first time.
Watch this video where our Myotherapist, Weronika guides you through what to expect at your first treatment.
Click here to view the video.