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The majority of the body is made up of soft tissue. The term soft tissue refers to tissues that connect, support, or surround other structures and organs of the body, not being bone. The substances inside soft tissue are collagen, elastin and ground substance. Soft tissue requires a very high level of hydration to function normally.
The elastin produces stiffness. Collagen fibers are somewhat inextensible and when taunt produce tissue stiffness and limits tissue deformation protecting the tissues from injury. Visit Wikipedia.org for more complete discussion of soft tissue.
Problems with the soft tissue that produce pain, restriction of movement or a negative appearance such as love handles, bun muffins etc. can be changed naturally. Soft tissue is regenerative and can remodel reacting to chemical and mechanical forces. The rate renewal is proportional to these stimuli. Changes in the level of mechanical load can induce remodeling of diseased or injured tissue. We are going to discuss how to use mechanical force to stimulate these changes in tissue function and the resulting health of the tissue.
It is important to remember that these structures are highly fluid. The body is approximately 85% water. To produce a dramatic mechanical stimulation of the tissues we must impact these fluidized structures to stimulate the body to remodel. This remodel is a natural healing process that first restores health and then renews the natural shape and beauty of the tissue structure.
Normally these tissues are manipulated by hand by a trained therapist or doctor. But the manipulation tissue decompression is far more powerful in their ability to remodel the structures. The changes we are initiating are produced by four basic mechanical forces pumping, pulling, stripping and shearing. These powerful mechanical forces stimulate fibroblast production, a key component in tissue renewal or remodeling.
Tissue pumping forces an intensive profusion of the vascular structures flushing the tissue with fresh oxygenated blood.
Tissue pulling can be applied directionally drawing fluids like edema and accumulated waste away from the injury site to the lymph nodes to aid in removal.
Tissue stripping can be applied cross fiber or longitudinally. Stripping can reduce or eliminate blockages caused by adhesions or scar tissues. These blockages result in the dehydration of the ground substance in the tissue which interrupts normal function. Adhesions can trap nerves and produce pain when movement occurs.
Tissue shearing is a diagonally applied force that can reduce adhesion of the myofascial structures. This is the white layer on chicken just under the skin and it should move like a stocking or you will hear about it.
To recap the goal of Decompression Massage Therapy is to use the mechanical force of negative pressure to mechanically stimulate tissue healing. This is accomplished by removing barriers to normal tissue function such as blockages like scar tissue and adhesions, to return blood to the affected area, to remove accumulated fluid waste and to rehydrate the ground substance.
Decompression Massage Therapy aids the body to remodel the tissue structure reducing or eliminating soft tissue pain. The normalization of soft tissue improves the aesthetics of the tissue naturally improving tissue shape and pliability. Healthy tissue is a more beautiful tissue. Tissue decompression is a valuable tool for therapeutic, aesthetic and wellness therapies. We will discuss each of these mechanical forces delivered by this form sub-atmospheric tissue therapy in a future post.