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  • Writer's pictureCRAIG BRYAN

Soft Tissue Manipulation- Muscle Pain Relief Part 1of 3

Interview with CHIP FISCHOFER

ME: What is your basic job description?

Chip: I’m an exercise physiologist. I do basic soft tissue manipulation and also do corrective exercise, but the biggest thing that I do is evaluate tissue and manipulate it.

Me: What is it about what you do that people don’t understand?

Chip: People ask if it hurts. It does hurt, but it's a different type of hurt. You’re going to get muscle tissue to release and elongate the muscle. People generally notice instant relief. I do not adjust bone. I'm trying to lengthen the fascia. It is lining the covers of every muscle fiber that we have. It runs head to toe. So, if we can get the fascia to lengthen we can improve function, and it’s all about function. It's not about fixing something; it’s about improving function.

Me: So, what is the difference between ART (active release technique), myofascial technique, and MAT (muscle activation technique)?

Chip: They're all pretty much the same. You got ART which will use a lot hold and stretch then push against the resistance of the stretch, repeat hold the stretch and resist two to three times, articulate the joint little bit with counter strength. Then you have Myofascial Release, which is much different. It's more like we hold a spot then release.

Me: It’s all about true fascial change, fascia positioning.

Chip: You do have some of the research saying that the hold two the stretch for two minutes for manual work so that you get all of the stretch field of the muscle to get a release and lengthening.

Me: Are we talking about how when you’re stretching your Quads you need to hold the stretch for 20 to 30 seconds?

Chip: Two- minute holds in a stretch- It shows a significant difference at that moment.

Me: Over the long term what do you need to do to improve the flexibility?

Chip: Do the same thing. 20 to 40-second holds. All that you want to do is hold each body part that you're trying to stretch. To start you want to hold for 2 to 3 minutes to really create length, that's to create neurological length, not just to fool the neurology like push-ups and stuff. You will get most stretch but what can happen in 24 hours, you’re right back where you started until you get a full neurological change, which takes more than six weeks. So, you have to be consistent in your stretching to make a lasting change.

Me: Trigger point therapy.

Chip: Now you have where they do injections with saline or B12 or dry needling or acupressure which you see in massage therapy or even our office. We do a lot of trigger point with three static holds in one spot for 30 to 90 seconds, then you actually feel the tissue start to spasm and then it releases. Really, you’re stimulating magnesium flow which allows the myosin to release. Dry needling is a little different. They’re sticking the needle (acupuncture needles) in the muscle creating stimulation to create the contraction which creates fatigue. You create that fatigue you get that relaxation in the muscle. There's some evidence that's actually better to do with acupressure.

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