Massage and Related Soft Tissue Therapy

Fusion Health Studio recognizes the value in not just focusing on training and nutrition which the majority of gyms solely offer.  We have searched long and hard to find the best manual therapists to help your body recovery in addition to treating soft tissue pain often associated with strenuous workouts.

Fusion Health Studio offers the following soft tissue massage services:

Deep Tissue Massage

Deep Tissue Massage is an advanced form of massage that can really benefit chronic pain sufferers. Deep Tissue Massage is used to release chronic muscular tension using slow strokes, direct compression, trigger point techniques or friction on a focused problem area. Often the movements are directed across the grain of the muscles (cross-fibre) using the fingers, thumbs, or elbows. This is applied with greater pressure and at deeper layers of the muscle than Swedish massage, hence the name Deep Tissue Massage. 

This technique is often used for athletes. However, it is not just sports people who can reap the benefits of this advanced massage style. If you work in an office, sitting at a desk day after day, or if your work or lifestyle involves you doing many repetitive movements (causing RSI or repetitive strain injuries), then you may also suffer deep tissue injuries.

Active Release Techniques® (ART)®Active Release Technique

ART is a patented, state of the art soft tissue system/movement based massage technique that treats problems with muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia and nerves. Headaches, back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, shin splints, shoulder pain, sciatica, plantar fasciitis, knee problems, and tennis elbow are just a few of the many conditions that can be resolved quickly and permanently with ART. These conditions all have one important thing in common: they are often categorized as a “repetitive strain injury”.

Each ART session is actually a combination of examination and treatment. The ART provider uses his or her hands to evaluate the texture, tightness and movement of muscles, fascia, tendons, ligaments and nerves. Abnormal tissues are treated by combining precisely directed tension with very specific patient movements.

Theory of ART

Repetitive Motion and Injury:
Repetitive motion, constant contraction, and pressure on the soft tissues of the body often result in microscopic tearing in the collagen of a tendon or muscle. The body responds to this by laying down new collagen in an attempt to stabilize the affected area.  However, due to the repetitive nature of the athlete’s given activity, the body does not have enough time to organize the proper architecture of the tissue and ultimately lays down type III collagen (scar tissue). This scar tissue results in:

  • Reduction in motion
  • Reduced circulation
  • Inhibited contraction
  • Ongoing friction and pressure resulting in more scar tissue formation

Development of Chronic Soft Tissue Injury:
One of the functions of the circulatory system is to act as a delivery system for oxygen (O2), which is carried by the blood.  Tissues such as muscle, ligaments, bone, and nerves utilize this oxygen in order to produce energy with which they carry out their daily functions.  The circulation of blood is also used in order to remove waste products created by the tissues as they perform their tasks.When a tissue is kept in a tightened or stressed position for a prolonged period of time, the blood supply to that tissue becomes compromised.  Some examples in which this may occur is during prolonged endurance sports where the muscles are constantly being used; during repetitive tasks at work; or with poor posture where muscles are constantly being stressed.  When an oxygen dependant tissue (such as muscle) does not receive enough oxygen (and thus energy) to function, this is referred to as “tissue hypoxia”.  If presented with this situation, your body will begin to replace oxygen dependant tissue with tissue that doesn’t require as much oxygen to function…this tissue is called “Fibrotic tissue” or “Scar tissue”.  As scar tissue is deposited into the tissue, the function of the tissue is severely hindered. Using the example of muscle tissue, a scarred or fibrotic muscle will be unable to contract properly, and thus will be unable to carry out its desired function.  Therefore your body will begin to recruit other muscles to compensate for the injured muscle.  As these muscles begin to do the job of two muscles, they remain tight, become hypoxic, develop scar tissue, etc.

In addition to causing tissue dysfunction, scar tissue (also known as adhesions):

  • Limits the available range of motion in the tissue
  • Is a high friction substance thus irritates nerves causing pain
  • Has the ability to cause tissues to “stick” (or adhere) to each other thus resulting in increased friction between tissues

Active Release and the Treatment of Soft Tissue Overuse Injuries:

Effective treatment of soft tissue injuries (ligaments, muscle, fascia, tendon) requires an alteration in tissue structure to “break up” the restrictive cross-fiber adhesions and to restore the normal function to the affected soft tissue.  When executed properly, this process will:

  • Substantially decrease healing time
  • Treat the root cause of the injury
  • Improves tissue function

There are, in fact, various effects on the tissues structure and function with this type of soft tissue release.  The effects of active release techniques soft tissue therapy can be explained as such:

Certified A. R. T. practitioners are able to locate areas of fibrotic tissue development in the body’s tissue. Using a combination of digital pressure and tissue motion, the practitioner is able to selectively “stretch” specific soft tissue structures which “breaks-up” adhesions both within, and between, tissues.  By reducing the adhesions in the tissue, using specific exercises, and doing daily stretches that are prescribed, the body is better prepared to repair and replace the formerly fibrotic tissue with healthy tissue.

When used in combination with a specifically tailored rehabilitation program, A. R. T. can help the body regenerate new tissues and correct biomechanical faults caused by overuse injury and adhesion development.

Myofascial Release

Myofascial Release is a type of soft tissue massage which incorporates stretching and massage of the connective tissues, or fascia. Myofascial release usually begins with a gentle massage which is designed to warm and loosen muscles. As the work progresses the therapist identifies areas of tension which require further attention, and will return to those areas to stretch and work the fascia. Sometimes myofascial release can be quite intense, especially in the case of muscles which are holding a great deal of tension and stress. After the session, some clients experience slight stiffness and soreness, which will usually vanish over the next few days, leaving behind a sense of well-being. Regular myofascial release can improve posture, ease areas of muscle soreness, and improve flexibility. 

Sports Massage

Sports Massage is a special form of massage and is typically used before, during, and after athletic events.The purpose of the massage is to prepare the athlete for peak performance, to drain away fatigue, to relieve swelling, to reduce muscle tension, to promote flexibility and to prevent injuries. Sports massage maintains the body in generally better condition but considers techniques such as massage to speed up recovery as essential.

Muscle Energy Technique

Muscle energy techniques are applied to a patient in order to lengthen shortened or spastic muscles, to improve weakened ligament and muscle strength, and to improve range of motion.This procedure is performed when a patient is asked to contract a muscle for approximately 5-seconds against an anti-force applied by the therapist. The muscle contraction is performed by the client 2 or 3 times in a row in the hopes to stretch the muscle further each time.Muscle energy techniques can be applied safely to almost any joint in the body. Many athletes use MET as a preventative measure to guard against future muscle and joint injury.

Pregnancy Massage / Pre- and Post-Natal Massage

Massage during pregnancy can help manage both the physical and emotional demands of pregnancy.  Pregnancy massage is massage therapy specifically tailored for the expectant mother's needs. It is also called pre-natal massage.Proper positioning of the pregnant woman’s body is essential to ensuring comfort and safety for the mother and baby. Some massage techniques, such as deep tissue work, cannot be used. Certain areas of the body should be avoided during pregnancy.It's a popular complementary therapy during pregnancy for back pain, when choices for pain relief, such as medication, are often limited.  Lotions using during pregnancy massage can help prevent and/or manage stretch marks.

Not only can massage be physically beneficial, but the human touch can be comforting and provide emotional support during pregnancy. Massage therapy has been found to reduce anxiety and depression.