Taut vs Tight
We don’t walk a taut rope. Or do we? In common vocabulary we use “tight” more often than “taut”. Sometimes, it even seems like the words are synonyms. When discussing muscles and massage, there is a difference. A significant difference and your massage therapist should know exactly what the difference is and how it affects the body.A muscle is “tight” when it is contracted or shortened. When a muscle contracts, it pulls on the bone it is attached to. Your bone is then pulled from its natural/neutral position and the muscle that performs the opposite action of the tight muscle (or antagonist) is then stretched…Which leads us to “taut”. A muscle is “taut” when it becomes over-stretched. Muscles do not like being over-stretched. They talk back to you when they are. They go into spasm. They cause that “knot” feeling. They cause you to feel pain.So what? Why does it matter? It’s important because it is the difference between addressing the problem or the symptom. Let’s say you have a pain in your neck. Most people come to me with a pain in the back of their neck. So you come in and I massage the back of your neck. Guess what? I just spent all of my time (and your time and money) addressing the symptom, your pain. Instead of dealing with the problem. The tight muscle, pulling on your bones needs to be dealt with not just the stretched muscle that is causing your pain.There I go again, looking for and trying to create balance in your body!