Knots, What are they?

Having what most people call “knots” are in fact just a change in tissue shape. This could be due to an injury. The muscle fibres (fibres lay in striations, a striped pattern). A stacked pattern of these through the muscle tissue is called sarcomeres. There can be thousands of them in a single muscle cell!! When you have a “knot” they are not lying completely flat like they used to and are not gliding how they should. They need to glide in order to make the functional movement. This is referring to the sliding filament theory (if you like a bit of science go look it up, it is quite fascinating!!) and this is what I can feel and sometimes you yourself can feel. Everybody is different and you don’t have to be exactly symmetrical to be pain free and have full range of movement. It’s all about finding the right balance and treatment for you as an individual. In fact it is very “normal” to have mild differences from one side of your body to another as long as they aren’t too big they shouldn’t cause you any real issues. I have explained this in very simple terms.

I recommend the use of resistance bands for strengthening and lengthening in rehabilitation. It is not just about  “stretching” –  strength also plays a major role here. I believe you are better off having a smaller range of movement but being strong and controlled throughout that movement then having a big range of movement and being weak throughout it. Being weak through a movement you are opening yourself up to possible injuries and even in some cases, subluxations (partial dislocation).

I also cannot recommend pilates enough, as it has so many benefits for EVERYONE. Pilates has dramatically helped with my own personal rehabilitation following hip surgery that was required due to an accident I sustained. Also after I broke my ankle in an accident in October 2020 where I tore 4 ligaments and lower leg muscles as well. From my own injuries I can sympathise with the pain and discomfort. I understand how frustrating and how long recovery can take. Unfortunately in most cases soft tissue damage takes a lot longer to heal and recover than a broken bone.

Regular massages are ideal to keep any aches and pains under control. Maintenance is key, and prevention is better than cure. For this reason, I offer a loyalty scheme and different options to make treatments more affordable.

The effects of massage on your anatomy, physiology and mind

Effects on the skeletal system

  • Reduces thickening of the connective tissue, which aids in joint mobility.
  • Releases adhesions (knots) and tension, breaking down scar tissue from overuse or minor injuries. 
  • Aids in reducing inflammation.
  • Can improve the range of movement in your joints.
  • Reduces the physical strains on your bones and joints as your muscle tone is improved.

Effects on the muscular system

  • Massage relaxes the muscles, aiding in the relief of tightness, stiffness, restrictions and spasms.
  • It increases suppleness in the muscles due to the muscles relaxing.
  • It increases blood circulation – this is so important as the muscle needs to be supplied with more oxygen and nutrients if it has been subjected to any kind of trauma or overuse. Your blood carries all of these vital nutrients and oxygenated blood to the muscles. This reduces muscle fatigue and soreness.
  • It accelerates the removal of toxins and waste products from the soft tissues.

Effects on the cardiovascular system

  • Improves circulation. Blood vessels dilate, helping them to work more efficiently.
  •  Decreases the heart rate due to relaxation.
  •  The delivery of fresh oxygen and nutrients to the tissues is improved. This increases the blood flow and the removal of metabolic waste like lactic acid.
  •  Blood pressure can be temporarily decreased due to dilation of the capillaries.

Effects on the lymphatic system

  • Regular massage has even been known to help to strengthen the immune system. This is due to an increase in white blood cells (white blood cells fight infection).
  • Reduction in oedema (excess fluid in the tissue). Some people experience swollen legs if they suffer with water retention. By increasing lymphatic drainage and the removal of waste from the system, this swelling can decrease.

Effects on the nervous system

  • Massage helps to reduce pain due to the release of endorphins (endorphins are also known to elevate the mood).
  • Massage stimulates your sensory receptors, either through stimulation or soothing of the nerves. This will depend on the techniques used in your treatment.
  • Helps to promote relaxation and the reduction of stress by stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system. 

Effects on the skin

  • Improves circulation to the skin, increased nutrition to the cells and the encouragement of cell regeneration.
  • Increased production of sweat from the sweat glands, helping to excrete urea and waste products through the skin.
  • Vaso-dilation of the surface capillaries, helping to improve the skin’s colour.
  • Improved elasticity of the skin.
  • Increased sebum production, helping to improve the skin’s suppleness and resistance to infection.

Effects on the respiratory system

  • Massage deepens respiration and improves lung capacity by relaxing any tightness in the respiratory muscles.
  • It also slows down the rate of respiration due to reduced stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system.

Effects on the digestive system

Massage can:

  • Increase peristalsis in the large intestine, helping to relieve constipation, colic and gas.
  • Promote the activity of the parasympathetic nervous system, which stimulates digestion.

Effects on the urinary system

  • Massage increases urinary output due to the increased circulation and lymph drainage from the tissues.

The physiological effects of massage

Massage can help to:

  • Reduce stress and anxiety by relaxing both mind and body.
  • Create a feeling of wellbeing and enhanced self-esteem.
  • Promote positive body awareness and an improved body image through relaxation.
  • Ease emotional trauma through relaxation