A key component of a holistic approach to body therapy involves a targeted massage of the connective soft tissue that surrounds, supports, protects, and connects each and every structure in the body. I call it “Structural Integration: Deep Tissue Bodywork with Movement,” but it is called different things by various practitioners. Many refer to it as Connective Tissue Massage or CTM. Whatever its moniker, it is designed to restore length and greater flexibility throughout the entire muscular system, normalizing the tissue and bringing greater health throughout the entire fascial network.
This particular type of body therapy is quite a dynamic solution to pain relief. It works it magic by releasing restrictions in your body, very effectively and efficiently. This will very often provide those who undergo this therapy with immediate relief from pain. Happily, this can be achieved without the use of excessive force. Some of the benefits that recipients report are:
· Relief from pain and chronic tension
· Increased flexibility and ease of movement
· Improved body posture
· Enhanced self-awareness and overall peace throughout the body
Deep tissue bodywork feels quite wonderful and is a highly distinctive sensory experience. The therapeutic approach is intense but typically it is not painful. This allows a person’s body to relax during a session. Fascial shortening and restriction is often released almost instantly, bringing an immediate and deep feeling of relief from tension.
You may ask why deep tissue body therapy to relieve tightness and tension is required. Essentially it is because 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. Fascial 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 it’s “at rest”.
This bodywork is very flexible and customizable. It can be adjusted to the individual needs of each client and most anyone can benefit. For instance, deep tissue bodywork can:
· Enhance performance for athletes and dancers
· Help injury patients rehab easier and faster
· Improve posture and add more balance to the body
· Relieve pain for chronic pain sufferers
· Help improve tendonitis, scoliosis, sciatica, carpal tunnel syndrome, etc
· Provide some relief for sufferers of arthritis
· Improve range of motion, increase energy and enhance well-being
· Helps minimize the body’s vulnerability to future injury.
While deep tissure bodywork is primarily concerned with physical changes in the body, it can also effect a person in a very holistic manner. When the fascia is lengthened, more physical space is created, as well as more space for emotional change and release. The physical “letting go” coincides with a sense of emotional “letting go”. This often manifests itself as diminished stress, and a heightened self-awareness.
Ask your current body therapist about deep tissue massage or seek out a practitioner who provides it. You’ll be glad you did.