Connective tissue massage

Segmental therapy like connective tissue massage

What is connective tissue massage?

Connective tissue massage is a massage of the subcutaneous connective tissue. Connective tissue has beside the function of ‘connecting’ also an important support function, defence function, transport and nutritional function. In short, connective tissue is a multifaceted tissue located everywhere in the body: under the skin, but also around muscles, tendons, bones and between organs. Connective tissue massage focuses on the subcutaneous connective tissue.

How can connective tissue massage help with complaints of muscles, bones and organs?

The answer can be traced back to embryonic growth. From one segment of an embryo’s spine, a piece of skin, a number of muscles, joints and organs are formed. Thus, in a fully grown body, each nerve that originates from the spinal cord ‘supplies’ part of the skin (dermatome), some muscles (myotome), some joints (sclerotome) and some organs (viscerotome). For example, the 2nd cervical nerve (the nerve that exits between the 1st and 2nd cervical vertebrae) regulates the skin of the head, the Trapezius muscle and is involved in the function of the thyroid, heart, oesophagus and lungs. A problem in the connective tissue of this region, which is not remedied, can therefore start leading to symptoms in the muscles, joints and organs associated with that connective tissue area. In this case, you see a chain response. However, the opposite is also possible: namely, that a problem with an organ, muscle or joint can lead to an impairment of the connective tissue.

Why connective tissue massage

Since the structures have a segmental connection to each other, they continuously influence each other. Both positively and negatively, as a domino effect. We can use the positive effect. By treating the connective tissue, we also influence the deeper underlying tissues and organs.

Causes of connective tissue problems

Changes in connective tissue can be caused, among other things, by:

  • Presence of low-grade inflammation in the body, Low Grade Inflammation (LGI).
  • Organ dysfunction.
  • Damage due to injury, accident or surgery that does not recover properly. 
  • Chronic stress
  • Pain 

After 7-10 days, the following changes can already occur in the connective tissue: increased tension, reduced blood flow, acidification, fluid loss and increased glucose levels due to occurring insulin resistance. Resulting in adhesion of the connective tissue within the same segment where the cause lies. It signals the presence of low-grade inflammation in the body that needs to be addressed causally. Therefore, in addition to connective tissue massage, additional advice will have to be given.

Examination and treatment

The first consultation

Anamnesis: this appointment takes about 2 hours, during which we make a timeline of the complaints and symptoms in order to have the film complete and understand what strategies your immune system and the load (virus, bacteria, fungus, allergy, emotion …..) are using. This is how we find out the cause and I am able to assess whether connective tissue massage is the right intervention for you. what is the right treatment path and advice for you.  

Visual inspection (looking for visible areas to establish. In case of movement and posture complaints, the inspection can be extended accordingly)

Segmental examination: examining the mobility of connective tissue where zones are located.

Explanation of the cause, discussion of the treatment plan and advice. You can start working with the advice yourself straight away.

Why a timeline first?

A timeline of your history gives you insight into the cause of your complaints. If you know why you are where you are, we can make a plan for where you want to go.

The more you do yourself about lifestyle, the less medication you will need now and in the future, and thus less you will suffer from side effects.

Important detail: the better you follow the advice, the fewer follow-up consultations you will have and the faster recovery will be noticeable. I think this is important to mention because it can really save you a lot of time and money. Since a good understanding of why the advice for this is important, we also spend time on this during the first consultation.

Follow-up consultation

This appointment lasts half an hour.

Feedback to each other on the state of affairs.

Brief segmental examination to identify current situation.

Connective tissue massage: Based on the position of the connective tissue area along the spine, we know which muscles, joints and organs belong to it. If this matches the complaints, we can positively influence the complaints with connective tissue massage. The treatment consists of applying a large number of techniques, including sweeping, sliding, folding, kneading, rolling, hooking, pulling and plucking. The ‘rolling’ technique is the best known. Application of the techniques is usually accompanied by a somewhat sharp feeling. On a scale of 1-10, this should be no more than a 7, otherwise the body shoots into resistance. It is therefore important to communicate well back and forth during the treatment, so that your pain threshold is not exceeded. Connective tissue massage can be applied therapeutically anywhere on the body and is very effective.

Literature on the subject: Connective Tissue Massage by J. Piët, J. Sachs and I. Sachs – Piët. Elsevier Healthcare

Connective tissue massage can also be used for cosmetic purposes.

Connective tissue massage is an excellent way to improve skin condition. Through deep massage techniques that stimulate the connective tissue, the fibroblasts (connective tissue cells) deform. This encourages the skin to renew and firm up. Thus, it positively affects blood flow, collagen and hyaluronic acid production, wound healing and resolution of adhesions. The tissue becomes more supple and the structure of the skin improves. It regains its radiance. But mind you, even here I am supposed to give you advice regarding the optimal nutrition for your skin and stress management. I pay attention to this because the skin is a direct mirror of these factors.

Results of connective tissue massage for the face:

  • Increased absorption of products
  • Optimal blood flow
  • Improved functioning of the lymphatic system
  • Detox of the skin, elimination of waste products
  • Reduction of moisture accumulation
  • Softening of fine lines
  • Stimulation of collagen production
  • Lifting effect
  • Better absorption for botox or filler treatment

Results connective tissue massage for the body:

  • Lifting of subcutaneous adhesions
  • Visible reduction of cellulites
  • Breakdown of fatty deposits
  • Improvement of skin condition
  • Less tired legs and restless legs
  • Firming of the skin and stimulates collagen production.
  • Body becomes tighter, especially when combined with exercise and dietary adjustment.

Cosmetic connective tissue massage is best applied as a course of treatment. We recommend an average of 8 treatments once a week for best results.

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