The human body is composed of approx 650 voluntary and involuntary acting muscles of varying size, all of which comprises of 40% of our overall body weight. There are times when our muscles can give us some grief, which in turn can compromise the functioning of both our blood and lymphatic vessels inside the muscle walls.
When this happens we can end up with muscle pain being the result of overstretched muscles from sport or physical overexertion, insufficient warm ups, collisions (with hard objects) and tearing (of muscle fibres). These of which can result in anything from moderate to extreme pain depending on the severity of damage.
Naturally when this arises it requires the services of a professional who understands well not only the human muscular architecture but the relationship between muscles, blood and lymphatic systems. One course of action when these problems arise is to perform Remedial Massage or Deep Tissue Therapy. As the name implies it is a localised area massage concentrating on the troubled area, by applying pressure to it. In the first instance the intensity of pain `release' depends on how tight the muscle or muscle group has become.
The most commonly used 'tools' during deep tissue massage may include, 3 and 6 fingers, reinforced fingers, a flat elbow, opposing thumbs, the heel of the hand or foot, and the forearm. In order to prevent further muscle tightening the process needs to be a gradual process of pressure application build up.
Originally called anma (Chinese for massage) was later practiced by the Japanese who in turn developed and modified it. In essence shiatsu is a form of acupuncture without needles or more precisely it is an acupressure method using not only fingers the but also palms, thumbs, knuckles and elbows. In fact shiatsu literally means `finger pressure'. Being both diagnostic and treatment based the main points of pressure are along the bodies `meridian lines' wherein flows `chi', the power of all life.
In shiatsu it is believed that disease or illness is due to blocked or unbalanced lines of energy. Much like accupuncture the focus is on harmonizing Yin (-) and yang (+) chi energy, to restore balance. One difference being is that unlike western massage techniques shiatsu patients are performed on wearing loose fitting (natural fibre) clothing whilst lying down.
Profile: Diann Beitz
Diann is a Gold Coast MYO Massage Therapist specialising in Sports and Martial Arts Rehabilitation with a background in Shiatsu, Deep Tissue, Swedish, Aromatherapy and Reflexology.