There are many techniques and modalities within massage therapy. Each of these when used with intention and focus can bring about some incredible results and responses within the body. Every person that gets on the table has a different body composition and their nervous system’s respond and react to stimuli differently. One technique that is so profoundly effective is the pin and stretch technique. Essentially the practitioner creates a pin where they put pressure on a specific area of someones body and holding the tissue in place effectively shortening it. From there they bring that muscle or tissue into its range of motion.
Here is the interesting thing though this technique also includes sort of a sub technique which we like to call pin and move. This technique involves more of the superficial layers of tissue called fascia. The pressure or pin employed on this layer of tissue is a bit lighter but more at an angle not necessarily downward pressure. A range of motion movement with a limb isn’t used but rather taking fascial tissue in the same area and moving it in various directions around that fascial pin to elicit a specific response. This is all happening on top of muscle belly tissue. This technique we have found really helps to eventually get to those deeper layers where the muscle belly is and then employing pin and stretch on those muscles.
Most of the time pinning and moving tissue is the best way to gain access not only to someone’s deeper muscles but most importantly signaling their nervous system to let go. The body needs a reason to open up and to let go. Employing the pin and move and then the pin and stretch techniques gives the nervous system those adequate stimuli enough to where the body now has a reason to open up. Not everyone’s body responds right off the bat to this technique sometimes other techniques have to be used before this one can be integrated into a body work session.
As the person on the table just always remember if the technique being used by your therapist isn’t causing you any direct or acute pain just keep breathing and try to sit back within yourself and observe your body going to places it hasn’t been in a long time or maybe never has been. When you are on the table no effort is required to experience healing. Never forgot that!