Deep Tissue massage focuses on realigning deeper layers of muscles and is
especially helpful for chronic aches and pains and contracted areas such as stiff neck,
back pain, leg muscle tightness and sore shoulders. My training is with the Jing
Institute in Brighton using a method of combined advanced clinical massage techniques.
The mnemonic HFMAST follows a logical sequence to combine these treatments.
H - The use of heat, such as with hot stones, to massage the body is particularly
beneficial for chronic conditions, those that have been around for some time.
Recent injuries respond well to cold such as with the use of an insulated ice pack.
F - Fascia is the connective tissue around and through the muscles. Using hands to
put the fascia on a stretch will initiate a response in the tissues and using fists,
fingers and forearms to sink and glide through the fascial layers will release
restrictions within and between the muscle groups.
M - Using trigger point therapy to release all the muscles around the affected joint is
particularly effective. Trigger points are small contracted knots within the body and
the pain often refers in other parts of the body. By lightly pressing a trigger point
with the thumb you can initiate a release.
A - According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, meridians are the energy highways of
the body and acupressure points are where this energy can be accessed and
S - Stretching will enable shortened muscles to return to their natural length, realign
scar tissue and promote energy flow to optimise healing. This can be achieved by
gently putting the client's muscles on a stretch and taking it to a level that is
T - Teaching clients self-help techniques to use between sessions involves
the client in their treatment and enhances the chances of becoming pain free.