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Musuclar-Skeletal Problems | East London Acupuncture & Massage Therapy
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East London Acupuncture & Massage Therapy

Musuclar-Skeletal Problems

07 October 2013
0

 Massage and Acupuncture in Hackney

One of the most satisfying things to do as an acupuncturist and massage therapist is to treat muscular-skeletal problems: aches, pains, tightness, sports injuries and other problems that most of us experience from time to time. These problems tend to react very quickly to treatment, and significant changes can be felt after just one session. It’s an area that I found myself treating (and enjoying treating) more and more after I qualified as an acupuncturist, something further enhanced by subsequent training in massage therapy. I’d definitely recommend coming down for as session if you have muscular-skeletal problems that you’re finding hard to shake off, either acute or chronic, and seeing how this type of therapy can help you.

Outlined below are a the answers to a few questions and issues that come up regularly.

What are Muscular Knots and Areas of Tightness?

The medical term for muscle knots is myofascial trigger points. The processes by which knots and tightness form in the muscles is not fully understood, but it seems likely that they are caused by a chain reaction in the muscle tissues. During use, muscles produce waste products, such as lactic acid. If the muscles are over worked, a combination of high levels of production and insufficient flow through the area causes a build up of this waste. The accumulation of acids causes pain, irritation and inflammation, which is know as a metabolic energy crisis. Over time an area of chronic tightness, or trigger point develops.

What are the Benefits of Tuina Massage and Acupuncture for Muscular-Skeletal Problems?

There are many different therapies that can be sought to alleviate muscular-skeletal problems, and numerous different styles of massage. Each has it’s own particular strength and ideological basis. And, ultimately, it’s the practitioner and their knowledge and ability that’s important, rather than the system they use. But Tuina massage and acupuncture do have several advantages over many of the other systems:

  • Tuina massage encompasses an incredibly wide range or techniques. As the “Grandmother of all massage techniques”, Tuina practitioners use a large number of different techniques over the course of a treatment. From light and soft to deep and strong, Tuina uses methods similar to Swedish, deep tissue, sports and more, as well as passive and active stretching techniques. This gives Tuina great scope for treating a large and varied range of problems.
  • Acupuncture and Tuina massage treat the body systemically as well as locally. Because acupuncture and Tuina are based on Chinese medical theory, they have a holistic approach to problems that occur in the body. Therefore, particularly for longer term conditions, as well as treating the local area that is painful or tight, related parts of the body will also be examined and treated. This is important for several reasons. Firstly, the area that feels painful may not actually be the problem area. Secondly, other muscles may begin to compensate for the problem area, themselves becoming tight and overworked and further compromising movement and recovery.
  • Acupuncture is specific and deep, massage can work quickly over a large area. Tuina promotes a lot of movement of blood and nutrients and can be used over a wide area in a short space of time. Conversely, acupuncture targets specific points and can go deeper, directly affecting and promoting heeling within muscles, sinews etc. In combination the two work really well, complementing each other with great results.

What Can I Do Myself to Help Muscular Problems?

Please note that this is basic advice – I intend to put a more comprehensive article up soon. Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or would like more specific information.

  • Prevention is better than cure: Always warm up and warm down properly after exercise.
  • Stretch: Stretching is great for helping areas of tension to release. Stretch slowly and gently to the point of tension, not pain. Hold the stretch for at least 20 seconds. Release and repeat the stretch a couple of times.
  • Hydrate: The body needs fluids to carry nutrients to problem areas, as well as to remove wast products from muscles, so make sure you drink enough water. Pure coconut water is very hydrating too.

The advice above is general and should not replace diagnosis from a qualified physician.

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