Barefoot Compression Therapy
About the Work
WHAT IS BAREFOOT COMPRESSION THERAPY?
Barefoot Compression Therapy is a potent, powerful and immensely satisfying form of bodywork where the therapist uses his feet in slow, firm compressions of the client’s muscles. It is done fully clothed and is very effective in relieving pain, healing injuries and improving athletic performance.
The majority of pain most people suffer from is soft tissue related. The body’s response to this pain is to tighten up or contract around an injury. After a while, we forget how to let go. Deep compressions release that and provide therapeutic, long lasting results not achieved by ordinary massage.
Compressions fire the stretch reflex in a muscle, causing it to relax. The pressure applied stretches the spindle cells in a muscle and triggers a momentary reflex contraction and an initial constriction of muscle fibers and capillaries.
To experience this, one can squeeze the last joint on one thumb with the thumb and index knuckle on the other hand for 20-30 seconds. The temporary loss of color is noticeable. You are literally squeezing the blood out of the cells. This is called ischemic pressure or pressure to blanching. Then release the squeeze, and feel all the new blood rushing through, cleaning and flushing out the metabolic wastes.
This “emptying” (caused by the compression) results in a return flooding of blood into the area, evinced by superficial redness. This ‘new’ blood feeds and oxygenates the tissue at the cellular level. In muscles, “reserve” capillaries enhancing cellular nutrition, are also called into play by this type of compression. These compressions also call into play the muscles’ “reserve” capillaries that enhance cellular nutrition.
The powers of compression are amazing. Muscles not only relax, but are cleansed, fed, healed and rejuvenated while pain is greatly reduced, then eliminated.
Deep tissue compressions release a neurotransmitter called acetyl choline which results in faster nerve firing and enables the muscles to contract and release quicker. When walking or running, for example, the quadriceps muscle in the front of the leg contracts while the hamstring in the back relaxes; then the hamstring contracts and the quad relaxes – if they both contracted at the same time, you would be locked up and unable to move. Quicker contraction/relaxation exchange results in the ability to run faster, hike faster, cycle faster. Marital artists can punch faster, tennis players can get to the ball quicker, soccer players can kick harder – typists, pianists and guitarists, etc., all play faster.
Why does Barefoot Compression Therapy feel so good?
Because the prolonged, deep compressions result in toning of the vagal nerve and parasympathetic dominance while stimulating the release of endorphins (which produce a hypnogogic trance or altered mood) and an improved healing state results. Mechanical compressions of nerve endings transduce endogenous morphines and other neurotransmitters of altered states. Clients universally report sleeping better than they have in many, many years.