Why are we as massage therapists interested in working with active therapies?
We like to keep our clients relaxed on the massage table, we work by squeezing, kneading and stretching our clients’ bodies.
These are all passive techniques. And you, as a masseur, are wondering.
Why would I be interested in adding active techniques to my manual work?
We start with the fact that we are massage therapists, manual therapists, working to improve client discomfort or pain, no somos terapeutas de masaje de relajación y por lo tanto nuestro compromiso es alto con nuestro cliente y sus condiciones, y por tanto tenemos que mejorar nuestra práctica y resultados
We are animals, therefore we move and we need to move without pain. How many clients do you have , who have pain when they walk, turn their neck or lift their arm?
Let me briefly explain a few reasons that will make you think about the importance of working with active therapies.
5 Arguments for work with active therapies :
- Movement regulates the nervous system.
We know that manual therapy decreases the activity of the sympathetic system, but does not stimulate the client’s parasympathetic activity. Active therapy stimulates parasympathetic activity.
- Active therapy stimulates the vagal activity (vagus nerve). Therefore it creates different information to the central nervous system and if with manual therapy we work and change the information in the efferent pathways (e.g. manipulative technique), by adding active therapy and working with the afferent pathways we can break the pain-limitation loop, because by changing an afferent pathway also the efferent protective pathway for the sympathetic system will be different, which allows the feedback cycles pain-deprivation of movement to be corrected, which manual therapy does not achieve.
- Active therapy manages to work and stimulate the motor neurons. Which are the ones that control movement at the level of the higher centers of the brain, and also work on the sensory areas. Manual therapy does not achieve the same results at these levels.
- Synchronicity of movement. Manual therapy does not respect the physiology of movement. How can we expect our client to move without pain if we do not stimulate the motor cortex? More over, when we make a movement, there is a muscular synchronicity because there are muscles that actively make the movement and others that are synergistic and accompany it. There are other antagonists that allow this movement and play a stabilising role for the joint.
- Cognitive effects Active therapy plays a cognitive and educational role in relation to movement and pain that manual therapy fails to do.
And at this point I know that for many after many years of work (in my case it was after 17 years of passive therapy – massage, visceral and craniosacral technique) it was very difficult to introduce active therapies and I still do manual therapy, but if the client needs it and I think it will be good for him/her, I always have a few minutes to work with the client with active techniques.
What would be your reason not to sign up for active-technique ?
If you want to learn two working procedures on active techniques:
Bmt introductory course in November 2021
I hope you liked the article.