At Spine Plus we provide specialist Massage therapy from our team of osteopaths, physiotherapists and massage therapists working from our clinics in Chigwell, Woodford, Bow, Stratford (and central London – Harley Street). Therapeutic massage can help with myofascial pain, recovery from (orthopaedic) surgery, repetitive strain (RSI) and sports injuries, or simply just to help you feel fantastic, get a better night’s sleep, improve mobility and perform better at sport or life in general!
Spine Plus Clinics That Provide Sports & Remedial Massage Treatment
About Massage Therapy
Massage therapy involves hands-on pressure, kneading, and stretching to relieve tension, knots, shortening and scar tissue in muscles and other soft tissues. There are a vast array of different styles and techniques of such soft tissue release, from those that use lots of oil such as “effleurage” and “Swedish massage” to those that use very little or no oil, for example “clinical trigger point massage” or “cross fibre soft tissue”.
Long, superficial sweeping strokes tend to improve circulation and drainage, whilst more advanced techniques arguably have a more long lasting therapeutic affect. For example, acupressure style holds (often referred to as “inhibition”, “neuro-muscular technique” or “ischaemic compression”) promote the release of muscle knots (trigger points). Other types of advanced clinical massage involve very short rubbing or frictional movements (friction massage or “frictions”) to break down fibrotic scar tissue and improve collagen formation within the connective tissues. Pressures, application and effects can vary vastly depending on the practitioners use of precise techniques involved.
Massage Therapy at Spine Plus?
Our therapists can gear their treatments towards whatever outcome you desire or is required. If you are seeking a soothing, relaxing massage to mentally unwind, you need look no further, your treatment will mainly consist of Swedish style, long relaxing and sweeping strokes. On the other hand if you are seeking a more therapeutic treatment, to iron out knots and trigger points, to managing a chronic myofascial pain condition, or to improve mobility as part of pre and post sporting preparation – then the treatment will consist of the more advance massage therapy techniques outlined about. This type of advanced, clinical massage therapy is what we specialise in at Spine Plus, it requires a precise knowledge of human anatomy and will likely differ considerably from the style of massage available at beauty salons.
How does advanced massage therapy work?
As mentioned above long sweeping strokes generally improve blood flow to and from the muscles and other soft tissues, improve lymphatic drainage and removal of waste products (such as lactic acid). Ischaemic compression is thought to work on a couple of different levels, the initial temporary increase in pain is followed by modulation in pain perception within the nervous system resulting in reduced localised and referred pain. Also, by temporarily restricting the blood flow to the muscle knot (trigger point) to which the pressure is being applied, this will induce a rush of blood to area once the pressure is release, helping to flush out waste products from deep within the muscle and also restore delivery of oxygen carrying blood to the parts of the muscle that need it most. Cross fibre soft tissue massage is similar to ischaemic compression except that a small amplitude stretch is applied at 90 degrees to the direction of the muscle fibres; this in effect applies a localised stretch to that part of the muscle that is most taut and shortened and also helps to release adhesions that can occur between the fibres as a result of injury of inflammation. Massage tools may be used with this technique to further enhance contact pressures and engagement with specific muscle fibres (this may referred to as “instrument assisted massage” or “instrument assisted soft tissue release”). Similarly, certain types of massage tool may be used to improve restrictions within the fascia or membranes encasing and connecting muscles (e.g. Graston Technique), or used during friction massage. Friction massage tends to be used at sites of scar tissue (fibrosis) from old injuries, such as previously healed muscle tears, where the collagen fibres tend to have formed in a disorientated direction rather than in parallel lines as would be the case with healthy tissue, friction is applied to break down deformed collagen (scar tissue) at and to stimulate healing and improved collagen deposition and orientation.
Massage is usually performed once week, twice at most. A typical course of sessions for a particular pain condition or injury would typically take 3 to 6 weeks, with optional follow-up single session massages performed every 4 to 6 weeks to maintain progress; or a general “feel good” massage can be performed once or twice a week for as many weeks as required. Typical sports massage may be performed following strenuous bouts of exercises up to a couple of times per week, to aid recovery and reduced injury risk.
What does advanced massage therapy feel like?
Advanced massage techniques use firm pressure at the point of injury, dysfunction or pain. This may highlight and temporarily accentuate symptoms during the first few seconds, the discomfort should not exceed 7 out 10 on a pain scale (if it’s more than 7 you should ask the therapist to ease off the pressure). However, this should feel like “good pain”, as the therapist identifies and makes contact with the source of pain before you experience the tissues slowly letting go and releasing, leaving you with a sense of ease and improve mobility by the end of session. 12 to 48 hours following the treatment, particularly if you are not used to receiving deep massage, it is not uncommon to experience some post treatment soreness that may not have been present before the session, this is due to temporary (acute) inflammation which is part of the healing process. If the reaction does occur if may last for a few days but then will usually be followed and replaced by a greater sense of ease than you had before the treatment.
Is Massage Therapy safe?
Massage therapy in one form or another has been around for centuries and one could argue is one of the most tried and tested therapeutic interventions. Massage therapy is non invasive and does not involve any medication. As means of pain management is does not therefore pose the potential serious risks associated with surgery and some medications such as painkillers, anti-inflammatories, and muscle relaxants. With that said massage therapy should not be use over areas of varicose veins or deep vein thrombosis (as this might produce embolism), undiagnosed lumps or bumps, bruising, cuts, abrasions, sunburn, skin disease, or when someone is unwell (including cold of flu).
Book your appointment for Massage today
0208 501 0937
+44 (0) 208 980 9664