MSK, HRV, TMG, and Soft Tissue Therapy


A lot of discussion on sympathetic and parasympathetic state on messageboards inspired me to post about therapy and scoring the effects of therapy and show a chart of what is going on now with measuring it. I find it interesting that so many coaches and therapists are convinced they are raising the dead with acute measurements or parroting research without true markers of change. Like the mistakes of lactate in the 80s and 90s with conjectures of fatigue, some HRV statements (recorded with screenshots) are simply not accurate or validated. Some of the best soft tissue therapists in world have a natural ability to manipulate not only tissue, but the systemic effect on the body. My experiment with the firstbeat system an athlete acquired made me think about what happens 30, 60, 90, and 180 minutes after therapy. What about the next day? What therapy seems to help soft tissue respond? What about the vibration and stiffness qualities of muscle? Is it just HRV?

I believe that in the future, we are going to see more and more therapists using EMS as well as conventional techniques that create better tone, and perhaps better Total HRV scores. Just giving someone a relaxation massage feels good during and people will walk away refreshed, but is it lasting? How dow we score therapy? Range of motion? Pain or removal of pain? How much lymph moved per minute? Amount of sympathetic arousal? Depth of muscle worked? Simply put the future will be with more sonic pulse use and other methods to capture what is going with the body without doing blood sampling. The parasympathetic and sympathetic discussions are simply dated and extremely limited, and we need to get better benchmarks of effectiveness. Who is doing this? Believe it or not it is begin done with some therapists, and that’s why athletes fly to see them instead of the therapists flying coach on Southwest for peanuts.

Recovery is based on the amount of quality work begin done, not on shotgun methods of bro science elixirs and thermotherapy. Who can produce more quality work and be healthy usually wins, as the purpose of recovery work is to push the body to new levels, not to pamper out of shape athletes. We are seeing an alarming trend of athletes going to spas intend of getting work done, since everyone is afraid to train. We are not overtraining but are out of shape and people are playing the blame game. Team coaches rarely change practices because of HRV scores, and where is the individualism in team sports? Sorry coach, we can run this play in practice because Joe Blow needs to sit down as his GPS score looks to be turning yellow. Recovery without training is pampering, and the reason why people are exhausted is that they are weak and slow. If they are fatigued, how much? Most recovery coaches never have any maximal scores in speed an power, indicating that they are the ones creating this mess.

If you are coach you may need to manage fatigue by being a figure head, but do your job training. If you are constantly doing the two step to side step you are dancing on the fine line of injury or poor performance because you were too afraid to stand up and present an effective argument why things need to be different. Without compliance from the other coaches, athletes, and administration, it’s just philosophy and not reality. By catering to athletes who walk in with a poor life style the problems will echo, and coaching needs to come back to discipline, not handing out blankets and recovery drinks.
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Carl Valle

Carl Valle

Track & Field Coach
Carl is an expert coach who has produced champions in swimming, track and numerous other sports. He is one of the foremost experts in the fields of nutrition and restoration.
Carl Valle

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