Bindegewebmassage is a type of massage therapy featuring light strokes on the superficial fascia. The superficial fascia is the thin tissue that lies under the skin around the muscles, blood vessels, nerves, and organs. Bindegewebmassage employs no oils or lubricants. Its name is sometimes used synonymously with connective tissue therapy (CTT) and its theory resembles that of traditional acupuncture.
Often called “reflexive” bodywork, bindegewebsmassage can be done in a massage chair or on a massage table. The technique employs a light touch and is non-invasive. It is, according to many therapists, easy to use and effective. Despite this, it is one of the rarer forms of massage therapy in practice in the United States, and as of 2008 was taught by less than a dozen therapists. Among those most notably teaching bindegewebsmassage is Dale Perry of the Center for Natural Wellness School of Massage Therapy in Albany, New York.
Bindegewebsmassage is based on the idea that an imbalance in any part of the body will affect the entire system. The central nervous system and hormonal system are of specific importance, and this technique of massage avoids physiological disruptions by addressing these systems. Under the theories of bindegewebsmassage, important areas of the body like organs and muscles are affected by certain areas on the skin. In turn, the massaging and therapy of this skin tissue is therapeutic to the deep-lying organs, nerves, and blood vessels.
This type of massage balances the nerve system of the body. It reduces numbness and increases range of motion and flexibility. It brings oxygen to body tissues, and helps the flow of blood and the loosening of muscles. Treatment is often applied most effectively in 10 to 20 sessions, and can be used cumulatively with other therapies.
Because of its massaging of the tissue around the muscles and organs, Bindegewebsmassage is a therapeutic remedy for many ailments. It can be used to address back pain and bursitis. Bursitis features a swelling of small sacs around the body near muscles and tendons. The bindegewebsmassage method massages the nerves and surrounding fascia tissue and negates the effects of the swelling fluids of bursitis.
Bindegewebsmassage was developed by Elizabeth Dicke in 1929 and was first used in bodywork systems as connective tissue massage (CTM) in 1938. It is one of the most prescribed therapies in Germany. It is used by hospitals around the world as a part of many rehabilitative processes. It is also used for many menstrual disorders, visceral diseases, and diseases dealing with circulation.