benefits of therapeutic massage
improves circulation, blood flow and lymphatic drainage
improves the connection between the brain and the body
can decrease pain, spasms and cramps
helps increase range of movement
calms the nervous system, improving length and quality of sleep
can help in the treatment of stress, depression and anxiety
TREATMENTS + TECHNIQUES
Traditional Swedish Massage
One of the most commonly offered massage techniques, Swedish massage is sometimes considered the “classic massage.” It involves soft, long kneading strokes. It's a lighter technique and can be performed in a rhythm. This can relieve muscle tension, increase blood flow and lymphatic drainage. It can be both relaxing and energizing. It improves mental and physical health. It can also involve active and passive movements of joints.
Deep Tissue / Specific Techniques
Deep tissue massage targets the deeps layers such as muscles, tendons, fascia and dense connective tissue. Pressure can sometimes cause pain or tenderness that will be monitored throughout the treatment. Tissues will be warmed up with a lighter massage and gradually increase in depth and pressure. We will discuss any prior injuries, comfort levels, goals and expectations, and levels of pressure. It can cause soreness and or tenderness for 24 to 48 hours after treatment. These treatments can be followed by hydrotherapy such as ice and heat, and can also be followed by home care stretching. Depending on injuries, health history and condition of tissue, some of these techniques may be contraindicated.
Joint Mobilization / Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation
Joint mobilizations are a natural form of therapy. It is NOT joint manipulations with a “thrust” such as cracking or popping. It is a gentle movement of the bones at their joints. It is performed by bringing a joint slowly through a small and specific range of motion (ROM). We remain within the range of motion of the joint, which loosens deep intrinsic ligaments and joint capsules. surrounding muscles, tendons and ligaments.
Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) includes passive stretching and isometric muscle contractions. It involves a specific pattern of contracting, stretching and repositioning. Benefits include increased ROM, longer resting muscles, increased relaxation, and reduce joint stiffness. Athletes often enjoy PNF for improvement in performance.
Hydrotherapy is the use of heat or cold techniques. Heat is often used to assist the therapist with increasing blood flow to a region, which allows the therapist to reduce tightness and increase the nutrients the muscles need. It has a relaxing and comforting physiological effect. Heat can be used post-treatment of tight fascia and chronic muscular pain. Cold has been used more in acute stages of injury like strains, sprains and injuries that cause inflammation to an area. It reduces temperature on the skin, muscles and joints. It can reduce inflammation and block pain transmission. It is common for people to make the mistake of using the wrong temperature on specific conditions they are trying to treat. For example, during muscle spasms cold is often used to reduce the firing of the muscle spindles, which cause neural impulses to the muscles. Heat and cold can also be used together, in a specific pattern to perform what is called a “vascular flush.” This can treat sub-acute injuries.
There is always a layer between the skin and the hydrotherapy application. This is to protect the skin from any temperature-related harm. Hydrotherapy can also be used in home care and will be discussed at the end of the treatment.
Also known as rehabilitation exercise, remedial exercise is an important part of the treatment plan. This can be performed as self-care at home. It is important to be a part of your own health and recovery and can speed up recovery time. It can be a specific area such as neck tension or can involve the whole body such as postal exercises. It can include stretching or strengthening exercises for the muscles.
We will discuss each exercise, detailing frequency and duration. I will demonstrate the exercises, and have you perform them back before leaving. This allows for any corrections or questions to be answered.
Cupping originated in China, and has since become widely recognized in Western medicine (thanks Michael Phelps!). The modern form of cupping now uses plastic cups which are hygienic and easily sterilized for use.
Cupping therapy utilizes negative pressure (pulling), rather than tissue compression (pushing). It lifts connective tissue, releases the rigid tissue and loosens adhesions. It pulls stagnated blood and waste to the skin level where it can easily be flushed out by the lymphatic and circulatory system. It also engages the nervous system allowing for deep relaxation throughout the entire body.
Cupping can be beneficial for the following:
IT band issues
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
Low back pain
The marks that can occur from cupping are NOT bruises. Bruises are caused by trauma. The marks from cupping are metabolic waste, blood and other stagnant material that have been freed from the underlying tissues.
These marks can last anywhere from a couple hours to a couple weeks, and can be tender for 24-48 hrs.
Cupping therapy is being offered in combination with massage, or on it's own.