Does anybody on the form have any experience of the above therapy (NST), or Bowen?
I’ve been doing a lot of research on the net, and the claims are amazing, one unamed eglish international footballer claims it kept him injury free for three season, when before he was regularly injured.
I tried the treatment, and the initial results were very good. From limping into the treatment room with my chronically tight calfs/achilles I walked out feeling 100% pain/tightness free, however this feeling lasted for around 12hrs at most, then I returned to my usual state.
The websites and the practioner himself stated that the treatment usually requires 1-3 visits to acheive lasting results. So I’m trying again tommorrow.
The treatment itself is very gentle and pain free, during the treatment I actually wondered if it was a waste of time it was that gentle. But the feeling of looseness I got after the treatment, without any direct work on the specific area was amazing.
The problem that I have with a lot of soft tissue treatments is that they really are not designed to produce effects that hold up under the stress of continuous training. This has been the case with most of the massage I’ve had.
I’ve found that ART and Rolfing are the only things that produce lasting results in the face of hard training, but these are pretty aggressive treatments.
If the tissue is really tight, I think gentler methods like NST might have some value for relaxing the tissue long enough for you begin to effectively stretch it and make more permanent changes that way.
I recently started doing self pre-workout massage on my legs during my warm-ups and it’s probably been the most effective change I’ve made to my training. In retrospect, I’m kicking myself for not doing it earlier. It’s actually pretty easy to do if you have some lotion (which I keep in my gym bag), and I was amazed at how thoroughly I could work the tissue in only 15 min. I’m actually a little sore in some of the tight sections I went over, which gives me an idea of how much those areas needed to be loosened.
At the risk of tooting my own horn, my self massage is the most effective massage I’ve had next to Charlie’s because I know what the muscles should feel like. I was able to loosen my own leg muscles more effectively in 15 min than most massage therapists do in an hour. I highly recommend it, but definitely use lotion. Trying to do self massage without lotion is not very effective because the friction of the skin requires too much effort and doesn’t allow you to work the tissue effectively.
The point is, I think if you incorporate some self massage several days a week, it reduces the need to rely on someone else to produce long lasting benefits that will hold up under training, which is unlikely anyway. As with any treatment, the more often you get it, the more effective it is.
little known fact about the nightmare, aside from my nutrtional and diet work, i have been practicing as a rolfer for 7 years (gsi 98). here in calgary i have had the chance to build a nice “tight” practice of elite athletes from a variety of sports including pro/national team triathletes, national team bobsleigh, skeleton and a bunch of top drawer track and field athletes aswell as football and hockey players etc etc.
i would agree 100% with flash and that when you are dealing with the high performance athletes, gentle techniques dont seem to work and if they do, rarely will they “hold”. best case in my eyes, have a soft tissue therapist (rolfer, art) and a chiro that see the body the same way and have complimentary styles also try to have them collaborate as much as possible.
What exactly is your main problem that you’re trying to get resolved? When you mentioned tight calves/achilles in your post an alarm went off in my head because I had that problem for quite some time (really since high school to some degree).
In the end my problem was caused by overpronation and really didn’t get resolved until I got my orthotics. Have you looked into this possibility?
NST is a very powerfull technique for neuromuscolar problem (tight/weak), it normalize muscle tonus and help with postural problem, but don’t release deep fascia.
After workout is very good for hypertonus/tonus reset, i use a specific protocol, more quickly (15-20 minutes) then use stretch (AIS/PNF/STATIC).
Thanks Flash, I used to wear orthotics and my physio thinks this is what caused all of the lower limb stiffness as i was unable to use my full range of motion!
Since getting rid of the orthotics and following her intensive stretching program, my pain/stiffness has all but gone. My pain was mainly around the inside of my achilles. My physio says it was not the achilles, but tightness in the big toe flexor, which you probably know runs alongside the achilles, caused by the orthotics! Interestingly, Mattes mentions this is the above book I posted a link to.
I had the NST, as I thought from the claims on the various websites, that maybe I had a chronic neuromuscular imbalance causing the chronic stiffness. I now realise I wasn’t following her advice to the letter, and since I started to again, Im almost 100%
Lou’s technique is a whole different ball game. But with regard to massage in general, it’s definitely easier to do it on yourself if you have some experience with it. But like I wrote, it’s really not that difficult. I’m not using any specific techniques. I’m just getting in there and rubbing, using quick light strokes, although the strokes tend to become deeper as the muscle relaxes. But I only do about 2 min per muscle group.
I think consistency and frequency are the most important factors. Even if the self massage isn’t that great, if you do it every day (or close to) the tissue texture is going to improve.