Q. What does it mean to work in the inhibitory regime?
A. In order to reach safe rapid and sustained results in neuromuscular disorders or in stress management, we must perform massage in the inhibitory regime. Every nerve receptor has its own level of adaptation that is its capability to produce electrical activities (also known as impulse or action potential). The rhythm of massage strokes should be about 70-80 movements per minute and the technique application on the massaged area should be prolonged while gradually increasing pressure and minimizing disconnect. This produces a massive amount of nervous impulses that travel to and excite corresponding nervous centers. With the prolonged application of the massage techniques, the nervous centers become inhibited by the massive, continuous flow of afferent electrical impulses from the massaged area. Performing massage in inhibitory regime, eventually not increasing production of action potential, but the flow of afferent neural impulses from the contact area of our hands will continue.
Q. How does piezoelectricity effect Massage Therapy?
A. Both inorganic and organic substances have the ability to generate electrical potential in response to pure mechanical deformation. This is referred to as the piezoelectrical phenomenon. During the performance of massage therapy, we are deforming the tissues, cells, and molecules thereby generating/creating piezoelectrical charges. In massage, the main cause of piezoelectric phenomenon is the deformation of collagen molecules. One should remember that elastin and keratin also carry piezoelectric properties. As we know, our molecules are surrounded by large amounts of extracellular fluid (at least 70-75% of our body is water). By performing massage therapy we not only generate electrical impulses that travel thru peripheral nerves, which conduct their way to the central nervous system, but also piezoelectrical charges of electricity. These piezoelectric charges move out in all directions, thru extracellular fluid and other molecular structures, creating streaming potentials that travel to the inner organs and there create massive additional afferent impulses. These afferent impulses from the inner organs in turn further stimulate centers within the central nervous system and increase the power of reflexive therapy (positive changes in function of organs and system due to original stimulation by massage).
Q. How much pressure should be applied?
A. Nowadays, some massage therapists make no distinction between the concepts of strong massage and deep massage. Most of us agree that strong massage will not always be deep massage. There is no doubt that when we perform deep tissue massage it feels stronger. The question is how much pressure should we be applying? In order to reach results, and to avoid injury from applying strong pressure, we must utilize the following rules. 1. Pressure has to be significant (gradually increasing to the maximum extent) but must avoid activating the pain analyzing system. Given the fact that pain is a somewhat subjective sensation and cannot be measured like weight, or blood pressure, we have to design the pressure by consulting our client. The moment when the individual’s threshold of pain is determined, the therapist can properly increase pressure to the required level. 2. If the applied pressure causes protective muscular contraction reflex, and even if the client encourages you to continue or increase it, you must reduce the pressure and restart the process of gradually increasing pressure to its maximum value that will avoid muscular reflex contraction. If we will apply very strong pressure that will activate the pain analyzing system (activation of the pain analyzing system causes reflexive protective muscular contraction) and will continue to vigorously perform the massage, this kind of act actually traumatizes the muscles, causing inflammation of the muscles and following development of trigger points within the muscles and other difficult pathologies of muscular system. By gradually applying pressure we not only avoid injuring the client, but as you understand, we also relax the superficial layers of tissue that allow us to mobilize the tissue to the deepest possible extent.
Q. Which DVD from Boris' collection should you start with?
A. The collection of Boris’ instructional DVDs covers more than 50 topics of Medical Practice. These topics are not presented in any specific order such as from simple to more complex, or from lesser important to more important, because in real life everything is important. So, in general, it's up to a practitioner to select the topics of his or her particular interest. Having said that, you should start from the DVD#2 - Full body stress management Massage. Besides this topic, the DVD#2 also offers very useful topics like Hypertension, Dizziness, Headaches, Worsening of Vision, Greater Occipital Nerve Neuralgia and Neck Rehabilitative Exercises. Please pay attention at how Boris assesses a client before he starts performing massage protocols and study the most important petrissage techniques. These important topics are included in each of Boris' DVDs. The next step in your study really depends on your clientele. If you are dealing more with young, sports oriental people then you must know about pre-event and post-event massage presented on DVD #7. If you happen to massage a very large and muscular person you need to be familiar with the DVD#12, which also includes techniques to provide lots of pressure for those clients who “never have enough.” If your clients are predominantly office workers then it's very important to know carpal tunnel, neck and upper back protocols and detoxification techniques. It's just as essential to know TMJ and Tension Headaches protocols, because nowadays these dysfunctions are very common as well. If you offer your services in various offices it is very beneficial to know techniques of performing massage in massage chair and to know how to conduct such massage when there is no massage chair. In many cases it is very beneficial to know how to provide lubrication without putting oil or cream on your client. What I mean is how to execute massage on silk. One marketing idea. We all know that most of people, especially nowadays, have no time and money to visit massage therapist as many times as they need it to maintain their health. That's why Boris developed 8 self massage DVDs that allow them to do most important massage on their own. At first look it sounds like self massage might be a competitor to a massage therapist. In reality it will help you to keep your clients and will make your work easier, if you will recommend your clients to implement self massage between the visits. First of all this will present you as a person who genuinely cares for their health and trust is what makes people to come to a therapist over and over. Secondly, you can offer yourself as an self-massage instructor in health clubs and offer self massage to groups of people. As you can see Boris' instructional DVDs provide vast variety of topics, each of them necessary for a competent massage therapist.