WHAT IS A CONNECTIVE TISSUE MASSAGE?
Connective tissue massage (CTM) is a manipulative technique that facilitates the diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of pathologies. Observation and subsequent manipulation of the skin and subcutaneous tissues can have a beneficial effect upon tissues remote from the area of treatment. These effects appear to be mediated by neural reflexes that cause an increase in blood flow to the affected region together with suppression of pain. CTM is becoming accepted more widely as research confirms the claims of an expanding population of practitioners.
WHERE IS THE CONNECTIVE TISSUE IN YOUR BODY?
Connective tissue is the soft tissue that surrounds, supports, protects, and connects each and every structure in the body. Your body contains a continuous sheath of connective tissue, which is called “fascia.” This sheath provides the structural support for the skeleton and soft tissues (muscles, tendons, etc.). Gravity, injury, illness, emotional trauma, and other stressors affect the fascia, causing an imbalance in the connective tissue network. Fascia imbalance usually manifests itself as tightening, or shortening of the connective tissue sheath (which makes your body feel as though the muscles are extremely tight). This is often experienced as pain, stiffness, discomfort, or decreased flexibility anywhere in the body. When the fascia becomes chronically shortened, it loses flexibility and resilience so your body can’t relax completely, even when its’ “at rest.” CTM is the most direct way to restore length and flexibility throughout the entire muscular system, normalizing the tissue and bringing greater health through the fascial network.
THINGS TO REMEMBER
Dehydration can stiffen the fascia and muscles, which translates to a more painful massage. Ensure you’re sipping adequate amounts of H20 before you hop on the table. If you are dealing with a serious injury though, and don’t have a diagnosis, definitely see one of our doctors. While a therapist can identify and attempt to alleviate any tightness and inflammation in the body, it is very important you first consult with a doctor. Once a diagnosis is given, your massage therapist can work with that information and use massage as a helpful tool in recovery.