By Nicole McMurray, RMT
In my practice, my techniques are generally geared towards deeper tissue massages. Although I agree with the masses that deep tissue can be enjoyable and effective, sometimes these techniques can be too aggressive depending on the person, condition, and situation. They can also lead to a couple days of soreness, substantial discomfort during the massage, or leave us in a less-relaxed, “worked-on” state.
Although some clients love all of these things, I have dreamed of a technique that would evade all of these post-massage effects without compromising the effectiveness of the massage. The star of that dream is Positional Release.
What is Positional Release?
Positional Release involves locating and monitoring a tender area, restriction or trigger point. The associated area, tissues, and joints are then moved by the therapist into a position of ease or relief. This in turn provides the opportunity for the pain or discomfort to decrease. We then hold the joint/tissues here for a number of seconds before releasing back to neutral. The discomfort normally disappears or is greatly lessened from this response.
This technique minimizes post-treatment soreness and discomfort (if there is any). It also creates a relaxation response while still effectively releasing muscles, so that you leave your massage feeling less like you just had a really intense workout.
This technique is generally incorporated into my treatments along with massage and other treatment modalities. It can also be effectively used on its own given the appropriate treatment conditions.
You may want to consider Positional Release for:
Acute injuries: (trauma, whiplash, sports injuries, strains) helps to minimize post treatment discomfort, pressure used unlikely to agitate symptoms
Chronic discomforts that are too tender to massage or have trouble releasing: effective way to release tightness and discomfort without increasing intensity of pressure
Post-operative discomfort: used to treat areas that cannot be stretched early on (ie. areas of incision or scarring)
Osteoporosis: can be used lightly to achieve relief in areas of bone density concern
Headaches: less aggressive way to tackle symptoms without as much discomfort during massage
Fibromyalgia: effectively release muscles without discomfort post massage
Respiratory conditions: can help release discomforts due to restricted diaphragm, tenderness around ribs, and spinal restrictions
Neurological conditions: alternate way to decrease discomforts and dysfunctions related to stroke, brain injury, Multiple Sclerosis, and degenerative diseases.
Please note that content on this website is intended for informational purposes only, and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional, not is it meant to diagnose or treat a health problem, symptom or disease. Always speak with your physician or other healthcare professional before taking any medication or nutritional supplement, or using any treatment for a health problem. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, contact your health care provider promptly. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking professional advice because of something you have read on this website. Information provided on this website DOES NOT create a doctor-patient relationship between you and any doctor affiliated with our website.