What are your thoughts on Myfascial Release techniques (which you can perform) vs. massages for your clients. I saw an interesting article (see link) discussing the benefits of massages, but can they be over rated for your clients who train on a consistent basis.
I don’t see it as an either/or.
As a MELT instructor, I teach my clients to hydrate and care for their own tissues. Done before massage, it allows the therapist to get deeper into tissue, quicker, with less pain to the client. Done after massage, it prolongs the benefits achieved during the massage.
I cross-refer to several massage therapists and teach MELT workshops at a wellness studio where massage, MELT, yoga, and acupuncture all cross-refer.
I consider myofascial release to be very useful for almost any client. But there are a few instances where more conservative intervention is needed first and sometimes there are contraindications to myo-release. But these instances are usually reasons not to use massage as well.
I recommend massage when the client cannot access the area successfully on their own. And I refer them to massage therapists who are very good at myo-release techniques along with massage.
I would also like to remind everyone that there is a need for recovery after massage and myo-release. Usually this time is fairly short (Ôëê12 hours). But if there is tenderness or soreness (or pain) after the treatment, you should allow time for this to subside. That means no activity above light to moderate intensity until there is substantial reduction in the discomfort. And if an activity causes discomfort after a massage or myo-release session, the activity should be postponed until later if at all possible. The actual purpose of myo-release, massage, or exercise is to be better after recovery. So, we really are doing these things for the recovery benefit, not the actual activity itself. Improper recovery results in reduced improvement at best and injury at worst.
I like the idea of teaching people to know their own body. Myofascial release allows clients to relieve their muscular discomfort before it escalates. It can teach clients about their body, their stressors, their sensitivities, and stimulate their innate ability to self-care. Foam rollers are a great tool. Teaching myofascial release with foam rollers is a must.
Massage often times is not self induced, but has its place in self-care.