Soft Tissue Therapy Explained

Soft Tissue Therapy

The term Soft Tissue Therapy describes a more in depth and advanced assessment and treatment protocol, incorporating massage and other hands on techniques (such as Myofascial Release, Soft Tissue Release, Muscle Energy Techniques, Trigger Point Therapy etc.).

Massage itself doesn’t really communicate the extent to which Soft Tissue Therapists work these days. Yes, we still do incorporate aspects of massage, and there most certainly is a place for a darn good relaxation massage. In my opinion massages are still very important to enhance well-being, and work well in conjunction with, or as follow ups to, the Soft Tissue work I do (either with myself or another massage therapist).

If employed early enough after accidents involving trauma and injury, soft tissue therapy can greatly reduce the development of painful muscular patterning.

However, when it comes to physical pain, often chronic (i.e. been hanging around for years) and you want to be rid of it, to get back to normal movement again (you’re possibly asking yourself “If there is such a thing”), then a different approach is needed.

There is no such thing as a ‘typical’ treatment, but in order to give an idea of how I approach a new client, the following steps can provide an indication:

Initial appointment (will always include consultation, assessment, treatment and next steps) –

  • 1 hour, possibly up to 75mins if required.
  • Includes detailed consultation, i.e. me asking questions and listening to the answers, and you asking questions if you have any.
  • Assessment  – visual: standing, moving if required;

palpation: either seated or lying on the couch.

  • Hands on treatment according to needs from the consultation and presenting symptoms.
  • Aftercare advice and next steps.

N.B. Aftercare advice always includes instructions to take it easy, no physical activities for the rest of the day and evening, and to drink plenty of water. It might also include specific movements or stretches (no more than one or two) which will be explained at the time with a follow up email, if required, with links to videos of the movements discussed.

Follow up 1 – 1 week later

  • Assessment, feedback after initial appointment and how you felt in the intervening time.
  • Hands on treatment as dictated by assessment discussion.
  • Aftercare advice and next steps

Follow up 2 – 2 weeks later

  • Assessment, feedback after initial appointment and how you felt in the intervening time.
  • Hands on treatment as dictated by assessment discussion.
  • Aftercare advice and next steps

Follow up 3 – 4 weeks later

  • Assessment, feedback after initial appointment and how you felt in the intervening time.
  • Hands on treatment as dictated by assessment discussion.
  • Aftercare advice and next steps

Follow up 5 – as required and might be 2 months later or more or less depending on progress.

As stated though, everyone is different and will respond differently to treatment and I work with you to find the best possible way forward.

A word on Maintenance Massage…maintenance massage is a regular massage to keep aches and pains and niggles at bay. I have many clients who come to see me regularly for maintenance massage. These range from weekly to fortnightly, monthly, 12 weeks etc. etc. Maintenance massage is especially helpful for those who have a physical job or are physically active in a sport. And then there are those who just feel the wonderful benefits of having 1 hour to themselves every month and have that feeling of wellbeing reinstated. Feeling ‘floaty’ after such a massage has been described on more than one occasion!