When it comes to Soft Tissue Therapy, there are many misconceptions out there. Today I want to talk about the things I hear on a regular basis and de-bunk a few of the myths that surround it.
1.) "Sports Massage is only for athletes" - WRONG
With the title 'Sports Massage' it is easy to understand why so many people might think that it is only for the 'Sporty', but this couldn't be further from the truth.
The majority of clients we treat on a day to day basis may take an interest in keeping fit and healthy, but they are by no means 'athletes within sport'. They are normal people who have had enough of suffering from pain and need help fixing it once and for all!
The other issue with the industry is that there is no strict rule on who can call themselves a Sports Therapist. This means that anyone can attend a one weeks' course in Sports Massage and use the same title that has taken our therapist's years to master.
In the latter years the qualification I completed has now been formally renamed "Soft Tissue Therapy", and hence, this is what we are known as. This differentiates us from the general pool of therapists and demonstrates the level of our knowledge in comparison.
Soft Tissue Therapy effectively treats the following, and so much more!
2.) "No pain, no gain!" is always necessary
This is a tricky one. Many people believe that the key to good therapy is judged by the depth of the treatment. This is one I feel very passionate against. In actual fact, the key to excellent therapy is a therapist who adjusts their style, technique and entire treatment to suit the needs of the client.
What we forget is if the pressure on an area is very painful, our bodies will fight against us when it comes to being relaxed. Our muscles will tense to protect the area and this will therefore impact the effectiveness of the treatment. That's not to say that no part of the treatment should be painful. In fact, sometimes a case of 'no pain, no gain' is essential, but this should always be done with strict communication between therapist and client to ensure the technique is both successful and beneficial.
3.) You will be fixed in one session - WRONG
If there was a type of therapy that could fix a client in one treatment we would all be millionaires. The truth is, our bodies undergo huge trauma every single day. We must remember to treat our body like the wonderful machine it is. In order to mend a broken machine, we must not only fix the problem, we must almost maintain it to prevent future breakdowns. The same concept can be used for our body.
It is also important to remember that it takes years for aches and pains to manifest before they are seen and felt as problems. It is our mission to get clients to a point where they feel significantly less pain and are able to enjoy day to day and additional activities free from discomfort as quickly as possible, however, these years of mistreatment can take a few sessions to address before we are able to continue to look after your body as a maintenance and injury pain prevention.
4.) "I don't need to do anything to help myself outside of my treatments" - WRONG
It is just as important that you follow the plan your therapist advises you with as it is to maintain regular treatment. Your therapist is likely to provide you with exercises aimed at strengthening under-worked muscles and stretching those over-worked ones. Over time, these will change your posture and the way the body functions, which will mean minimised risk of injury and a much improved balance in muscle tone meaning less pain!
Your therapist will also give you ideas and tricks to minimise injury within your daily routine and what you can do to help maintain your body at its' best.
Soft Tissue Therapy is an amazing way of keeping the body in tip-top shape and eliminating pain, but only if you help us out and do your bit too.
Hopefully this blog post has helped to clear up a few of the myths surrounding Sports Massage and Soft Tissue Therapy and allowed you a greater insight into the work we do at Equipoise Therapy Barn and how we may be able to help you!
Bye for now!