Monday, April 2, 2012

Another Pain to Cure Pain?

"If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing
itself but to your own estimate of it; and this you have
the power to revoke at any moment."

- Marcus Aurelius     

Deep Tissue Massage - Painlessly!

It has always been assumed both by Massage Therapists and Clients alike that Deep Tissue Massage is synonymous with: (1) Deep Pressure (Hard) Massage; (2)Painful massage execution; and (3) DOMS (Delayed onset Muscle Soreness).  Well, they are right and they are wrong. 

Right! Deep (hard) pressure technically speaking is one of the various useful ways to access deep layers of  soft tissues (muscles, tendons, ligaments, cartilages, fascias, etc.) that you need to get to, to address the pathology that  they have, like taut bands (and/or tightness/ tensions), trigger points and its nodules, adhesions, fibrosis/ scar tissue and many more.

Wrong! You can perform deep tissue massage through selective approach like: muscle folding, soft-tissue displacement, pressure progression and heat and/or cold treatment! And NO, they don't have to include deep pressure, and they do NOT have to hurt! (More about these techniques on my succeeding post).

Imagine if you are the client coming in with neck pain, then you get a painful massage, then you are sore the next day? Is that deep tissue massage? Ouch! Refund please!

Looyen Therapeutic Massage

One of the many modality that can address deep soft-tissue pathology(ies), including deep muscle layer coditions is Looyen Work. It is based on the principle that pain does NOT cure pain!

It is a massage technique which is designed to provide deep tissue penetration without the "during-massage" and "after-massage" pain. In addition to being used to gently address physical (soft-tissue) issues, Looyen Work is also designed to work with the client on an emotional level (because some pain are psychosomatic), by promoting the release and processing of intense emotions. Clients can opt for sessions in which the therapist uses this technique alone, or they may ask a massage therapist to integrate Looyen Work into a more generalized deep tissue massage that includes techniques other than hard (strong) pressure!

This massage modality was developed by Ted Looyen in the 1980s, in response to physical therapy he received for an injury. Looyen was frustrated that much of the deep muscle work was very painful, and he felt that gentle massage should be used to help people recover from injuries so that the injuries did not recur. He also wanted to develop a style of massage which integrated psychotherapy, so that patients could enjoy emotional as well as physical benefits. 
As in other types of deep tissue massage, the goal with Looyen Work is to get deep into the muscles to free tension, remove adhesions, and improve freedom of movement and comfort for the client. During the session, the massage therapist uses varying levels of pressure, from light to moderate, to release physical tension held in the muscles (and other soft tissue), and to repattern these structure  so that they do not accumulate tension in the future.
Do you want to read more about Looyen Work? Click here.

 - Leo Feraer-Oporto     

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