Restorative Massage for Pain Relief

Restorative massage therapy creates harmony and balance in our muscular structure by reducing the stress hormones and detoxifying the body. The Touch Research Institute at the University of South Florida has conducted over 100 studies on the positive effects of massage therapy on many functions and medical conditions. They have studied the effects of massage therapy at all stages of life, from newborns to senior citizens. The Touch Research Institute article was published in the Journal of Clinical Rheumatology the massage therapy subjects reported that their pain was diminished, and they had less stiffness, less fatigue, and improved sleep. Tests showed lower stress hormones which translated to lower stress, anxiety, and depression. Many muscle pain problems respond positively to restorative massage including post-surgery knee and hip replacements, trigger points, shoulder referral pain, and neck, and back pain and spasms. Patients with hypersensitive responses do well to the lighter touch therapy of Craniosacral therapy and Manual Lymph Drainage. Although fibromyalgia is a neurologic body inflammation problem that generally affects the entire body. Trigger points can refer to pain in a pattern some distance from the real problem.

restorative massage therapy

Neuromuscular therapy is very effective in treating TP’S. The illustration shows a typical headache trigger point that responds to treatment. I find techniques that work vary with each patient, some respond with very light manual lymph drainage while others get significant relief from deeper neuromuscular therapy. As we age it is important to take care of ourselves so that we can stay active and feel good.

Lymphatic Drainage Speeds Recovery and Reduces Pain by Deborah Karlan, L.M.T.

Our lymphatic system works to keep us healthy. Without our lymphatic system working we would swell up like a balloon and stagnant fluid would swamp our cells.  When our lymphatic system was sluggish, we can suffer from aches, pains, and low energy. Lymph Drainage Massage can stimulate the opening of the Lymphatic one-way valves and increase the volume of lymph flow. Joint replacement, cosmetic surgery, and acute injury can traumatize tissues causing swelling and damage to lymph vessels.

Lisa had the right hip replaced in June. She developed pain and swelling in the right knee months after the hip surgery. I found pain and spasms in the right lumbar, sacral area, the hip scare area, and the leg muscles. I used a combination of light neuromuscular therapy, myofascial release, and lymphatic drainage to relieve the spasm and swelling. I then stabilized the knee and back with the application of KT tape. Lisa will follow up with 3 weekly treatments.

After Ashley had 360 Liposuction and a Brazilian Butt Lift she had swelling, bruising, and pain. The lymphatic massage eases pain, channels lymph fluid to the nodes, and smooths tissue that can become lumpy. I am seeing Ashley two times a week and she has greatly improved. We will continue treating her for the next few weeks as she heals improving the results.

Manual Lymphatic Drainage can be used both before an operation to prepare the tissue and post-operative to relieve pain, swelling, and cellular debris caused by the trauma of surgery or injury.

Cranio-Sacral Therapy for Pain Relief

We are all aware of the rhythm of the breath and the rhythm of our heart. There is also another important body rhythm, the Craniosacral Rhythm. The normal rhythm of the Cranio-Sacral system is between 10- 12 cycles per minute. Trauma and health issues can cause deviation from the normal rhythm.

Jamie came to me with complaints of headaches and low back pain. About two years ago her pain began after a fall. She landed on her tail bone. According to Jamie’s doctor’s report, there were no structural problems to explain her pain. However, her fall could have caused a disruption of the Cranio-Sacral rhythm. She responded well to a combination of therapy which included Craniosacral Therapy (CST), a light-touch approach that gently works with the skull and its cranial sutures, the diaphragms, and the bodies’ fascia and muscles to balance the Cranio-Sacral rhythm.

Craniosacral therapy releases tensions deep in the body to relieve pain and dysfunction and improve whole-body health and performance. In this way, the restrictions of nerve passages are eased, the movement of cerebrospinal fluid through the spinal cord is optimized, and harmony is restored to the body. Because Cranio-Sacral therapy is so gentle, it can be effective for all ages, from newborns to elders. The conditions that I have most helped with Craniosacral therapy are migraines, tensions headaches, and chronic neck pain, back pain, stress, tension-related disorders, learning disabilities, dyslexia, fibromyalgia, and TMJ syndrome. Our Craniosacral rhythm is important to our health, our structure, and our immune system.  Masks are worn in the clinic and during therapy treatments. We sanitize between treatments and we have VU filters in the lobby and in my treatment room. Be safe and well.

A Massage Therapist’s Hands, Tools and Tape

My hands are great tools for facilitating changes in the body’s soft tissue by stroking, kneading, and stretching the skin and muscles. My hands and fingers use both my body and leverage to increase the power of my strokes.

Many techniques, like myofascial release, skin rolling, and lymph drainage, require that you do not add lotion of oil to the skin. To release the fascia and lymph start out on dry skin for the best results. After releasing the fascia and channeling the lymph, I apply therapeutic oil, lotion, or analgesic liniment to work more deeply into the muscles. However, when I find areas of pain and spasm, I sometimes use tools to increase blood flow or change the electron charge in the cell to increase tissue activity to promote healing.

Electric E-stim pens are good at making changes to sore muscles and tissue. They can be used to deactivate trigger points: changing the tissue charge, increasing the fluid flow in the tissue and relaxing both muscles and nerves. Hot packs also increase blood flow, while cold packs quiet nerves. In addition, I also use the TRX Cold Laser from Jaken Medical. Cold laser therapy uses a low-intensity light to stimulate healing and to reduce inflammation and swelling and pain. The last step is to use a therapy tape like KT or Rock tape to stabilize an area that had acute pain or swelling. All tools and modalities are included in the hourly fee. Together this approach to healing through massage therapy is successful for restoring balance and healing body pain, swelling and inflammation.

I have been vaccinated but I am still applying covid protocols. I still request masking in clinic common areas and if you have not been vaccinated. Be safe and pain free.

When headaches are really in your face and cranium!heada

Published in May Issue of Tampa Bay Magazine

 Many patients arrive with mystery headaches, they have been to many doctors, and they have had MRI’s of the neck and head which found no tumors nor cancers and no reason for the pressure, tightness, and pain in the head. 

When I touch the muscles at the side of the neck, I often find pain and tightness in the head. In addition, tight neck muscles with a forward head posture often indicate an irregular opening and closing of the jaw. Sometimes the eyes and ears are not quite symmetrical or level, and the scalp is often very tight and painful.

Recently I had an interesting case with all of these symptoms.  Jane’s story was this: 25 years ago she was in a severe auto accident during which she hit the windshield. She was treated over the years with chiropractic as well as by other doctors. She related that she had head pain and tightness in her low back. Jane was given a dental splint for her jaw pain (TMJ), which she said did not help. Nothing seemed to help, and over the years her head got tighter and tighter with pain and pressure. She had tests and MRI’s, but nothing much was discovered. Continue reading