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July 23, 2005


I've had a small rush of new clients over the past couple of weeks. Several had areas of such great discomfort that the skin actually hurts. Several of my farmer-type clients call this "sore like a rizen." (I don't know if this is a local colloquialism or not, but if I've misspelled this word, please correct me.) It's difficult to work these areas and address the problems with the muscles. Deep work is out of the question. Short-term relief is unlikely. How do I handle these hypersensitive areas on the body?

Effleurage. It's our most basic and lightest massage stroke. With very light pressure, I work over the area with circular strokes, crossing strokes and heat. My aim is reduce the sensitivity of the area as much as possible.

I'm not clear why the body develops these places, but my theory is that the unhealthy muscle underneath has attached itself to the subcutaneous tissue under the skin via the connective tissue. Light effleurage helps to mobilize the connective tissue and hydrate the area with an increase blood flow.

After the pain is reduced, I suggest resting the area before attempting to work the deeper portions of the muscle. This means leave it alone for another session. The body needs time to integrate this change and repair any microtears that occur because of the therapy. Recommended home care for the client is to ice the area--this helps keep inflammation down and therefore reduces pain.

However, this does not mean you can't work other, less inflamed areas of the body. Folks with this condition usually have plenty of other areas of the body that need work.

Posted by linda at July 23, 2005 9:35 AM

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