Sports Massage and Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Therapy (IASTM)

The main goal of sports massage therapy is to help relieve stress and tension which cumulates in the body’s soft tissues. It incorporates techniques such as stretching, compression, friction, trigger point response techniques, muscle energy techniques and soft tissue release.

Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilisation, or IASTM, describes the use of instruments or tools to massage, mobilise or manipulate soft tissues. IASTM has its origins in the Chinese medicine technique ‘Gua Sha’ or ‘skin scraping’ which is the stroking of the skin using a round edged instrument to invigorate the ‘chi’ in the tissues.


Tanya has been a member of the Acupuncture Association of Chartered Physiotherapists (AACP) for 10 years. The Western model of acupuncture is based on scientific research and clinical evidence showing that acupuncture can reduce pain by stimulating the brain and spinal cord to produce natural pain-relieving chemicals. These chemicals assist the body's healing processes and offer pain relief as a precursor to other treatments. Physiotherapists use acupuncture as part of a combined approach to the management of pain and inflammation.

Pilates and movement re-education

The body will adapt quickly to accommodate injury, habitual posture and movements. These inefficient movement patterns can then dominate leading to stiff, weak, short muscles, poor loading through joints and ultimately pain and discomfort. Movement retraining is a key part of the treatment received at Copford Physiotherapy Practice. Once restrictions have been released and poor movement patterns identified you will be given exercises to retrain more efficient movement.

Myofascial release

Fascia is the connective tissue that surrounds, permeates and protects every other tissue, tendon, muscle, bone, ligament and organ of the body. It can be likened to the pith in an orange. The fascial system provides cushioning and support, allowing free movement without restriction or pain. Following physical and emotional trauma and through poor posture, fascia scars and hardens in the affected site and creates tension on adjacent pain-sensitive structures and those along the fascial pull. The fascial pull can be imagined by scrunching a corner of your clothing and observing how the clothing creases from that point and spreads out into other areas.

A continuous, gentle, pressure for five to eight minutes is applied, following the tissue as it releases and allowing the fascia to elongate naturally and return to its normal resting length.

The Integrated Systems Model (ISM) (Lee & Lee) and The Thoracic Ring Approach (LJ Lee)

Physiotherapists worldwide have been trained by Diane Lee and LJ Lee in this approach. These original models combine scientific evidence with advanced clinical expertise and provide a framework to assess and treat the whole person. The assessment process is designed around an impaired movement or action rather than focusing solely on where the pain is. This way, the exact underlying cause or ‘driver’ for the patient’s problem can be determined. Treatment can then be targeted at the true cause of the patient’s pain and not just the painful area or ‘victim’ of the dysfunction.

Craniosacral therapy and Visceral Manipulation

Tanya has begun a programme of study with the Upledger Institute in craniosacral therapy and the Barral Institute in visceral manipulation and is successfully integrating the newly acquired techniques into her treatments.

The craniosacral system consists of the soft tissues and fluids around the brain and spinal cord. Restrictions of the tissue in the craniosacral system can impact on the central nervous system, endocrine system and other body systems.

Viscera relates to the internal organs of the body, such as the liver, kidneys and intestines which are suspended in the body cavities by ligaments and connective tissue. Strains in the connective tissue of the viscera can result from surgical scars, adhesions, illness, posture or injury. This can lead to pain and dysfunction away from the problem area and can be the missing link for the treatment of some chronic musculoskeletal conditions