Integrated Tissue Release deep tissue massage is a viable alternative to physiotherapy or osteopathy for many conditions. But how is it different?
Physiotherapy. There are two main differences. Firstly physiotherapy does not have a holistic outlook. Physiotherapists tend to treat specific parts of the body in isolation. Physio can be very effective when you have a single clearly diagnosable problem but often struggles when there is a complex and chronic mix of issues. Integrated Tissue Release comes into its own here because not only do I treat your body as a whole, but I explore with you the wider issues in your life that may have contributed or resulted from the problem.
The second difference between Integrated Tissue Release and physiotherapy, is that physiotherapists seem increasingly reluctant to get stuck into hands on work. They seem happier doing assessments, giving exercises and using machines. Integrated Tissue Release is totally hands on and I never cease to be amazed at how effective even a single “really good massage” can be where other treatments have failed.
Osteopathy. Osteopathy, like Integrated Tissue Release, is a truly holistic therapy. And, like Integrated Tissue Release it can be a powerful and effective treatment. There is much in common between the two approaches but there is a difference in emphasis. The core skill of an osteopath is manipulating joints. My core skill is manipulating soft tissue. I find that in most situations restoring health to muscles and fascia allows misaligned or dysfunctional joints to naturally move back to where they belong and start working properly. I also have some very subtle ways of working with joints that do not involve forceful cracking.
Other types of deep tissue massage. There are many other styles of deep bodywork which have similarities and differences to Integrated Tissue Release. Sports Massage seems to lack the precision and subtlety of Integrated Tissue Release. Chinese Tuina Massage works with the body’s qi or life force in a similar way to Integrated Tissue Release but is often applied with unnecessary force. Rolfing and other forms of myofascial release are very close to what I offer. In fact working with the fascia or connective tissue of the body is the foundation of Integrated Tissue Release. I never formally studied Ida Rolf’s approach but she has been a deep and lasting inspiration to me. Rolfers often stick to a quite rigid ten session format, whereas I tend to be more fluid and adaptable to meet each client’s needs.