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Chapter: The Massage Connection ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY : Introduction to Anatomy and Physiology

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Implications for Bodyworkers

The manual techniques used by bodyworkers have a significant effect on underlying tissue.

Implications for Bodyworkers

The manual techniques used by bodyworkers have a significant effect on underlying tissue. Strokes, such as effleurage, kneading, and petrissage, affect the fluid component of tissue by increasing blood and lymph flow and reducing edema. Friction strokes are particularly useful in the treatment of adherent con-nective tissue, as they help to realign collagen fibers during the remodeling phase of healing.

Connective tissue technique is a term given to those techniques that specifically affect the underly-ing connective tissue. Skin rolling, friction, myo-fascial release, and direct fascial technique aresome techniques in this category.

In skin rolling techniques, the skin and the tissue overlying the deep fascia are lifted and rolled over the underlying tissue. This stroke is useful in individuals where adhesions are present between the skin and the deep fascia, as seen in burns, after healing of wounds, and surgery. Loosening such adhesions over joints may improve joint mobility. The reactive hy-peremia that results also has beneficial effects. This technique is contraindicated in those persons with systemic connective tissue disorders and inflamed skin and fragile skin.

The repetitive strokes of friction produce movement between individual fibers located in dense con-nective tissue, reducing adhesions and promoting re-alignment of collagen fibers. In myofascial/fascial techniques, sustained force is applied to the superfi-cial or deep fascia and muscle to lengthen the fascia and increase mobility. Special training is required to perform these techniques, as the effects may be both localized and generalized.


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