What is Therapeutic Massage the “Body Tune up?”
Therapeutic Massage is a term for a range of therapeutic approaches involving the practice manipulating a person’s muscles and other soft tissue with the intent of improving a person’s well-being or health. My therapeutic massage may include, kneading, stretching, compressing, gliding, or cross fiber friction. In addition I use a variety of advanced techniques including muscle energy, orthopedic massage, trigger point therapy of ice and stretching, craniosacral therapy and manual lymphatic drainage to facilitate change in the tissues of the body. I use different techniques and pressures after evaluating the condition of the patient and agreeing on the goals of the therapy. Therapeutic Massage is performed with the goal of providing treatment for a specific condition or imbalance in the body.
What are the Different Techniques of Therapeutic Massage?
Trigger point therapy: A trigger point is a painful area that, when stimulated, also elicits pain elsewhere in the body — such as the arm, the shoulder, or another area of the neck. Trigger points are releases with the application of cold stroked quickly over the muscles and then applying a stretch to those muscles.
Orthopedic Massage: “Orthopedic massage involves therapeutic assessment, manipulation and movement of locomotors of soft tissue to reduce pain and dysfunction. Restoring structural balance throughout the body allows us to focus on both prevention and rehabilitation of musculoskeletal dysfunctions. Orthopedic massage teats musculoskeletal pain conditions. Its objectives are to restore structural balance in the muscle groups throughout the body, and decompress arthritic or painful joints. Muscle groups shorten, due to prolonged poor posture or repetitive motions, and shortened muscle groups need to be stretched out or they will pull bones onto nerves and blood vessels, and cause or contribute to all sorts of orthopedic conditions.” By James Waslaski mentor
Manual Lymphatic Drainage: Manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) is very gentle patterned therapeutic massage used to increase lymph fluid movement. By increasing the lymph flow the body is able to eliminate excess fluid and improve the overall function of the cellular system. When the lymph system and lymph nodes are damaged through disease or surgery it is sometimes possible to re pattern the lymph flow to active nodes and restore balance to the system.
Craniosacral Therapy: Craniosacral Therapy (CST) is a light-touch approach that can create dramatic improvements in your life. It releases tensions deep in the body to relieve pain and dysfunction.
Myofascial Release: “Myofascial Release is a safe and very effective hands-on technique that involves applying gentle sustained pressure into the Myofascial connective tissue restrictions to eliminate pain and restore motion. This essential “time element” has to do with the viscous flow and the piezoelectric phenomenon: a low load (gentle pressure) applied slowly will allow a viscoelastic medium (fascia) to elongate. Improve whole-body health and performance.” By John F Barnes, PT
Muscle Energy Technique: Muscle energy technique (or MET) is based on the principle of reciprocal inhibition, a theory that explains that muscles on one side of a joint will always relax to accommodate the contraction of muscles on the other side of that joint when indirect pressure is applied. MET is often applied to patients who suffer from muscle spasms.
The goal of the session is to empower each individual to regain a sense of harmony, reverence, and balance to awaken the inner resources for healing.
Who Needs Therapeutic Massage?
- People who need therapeutic massage have an imbalance or injury in the soft tissue or fasciae system of the body. They suffer from headaches, neck pain, T.M.J., face pain, back pain, shoulder, arm, hand or knee pain.
- People with hyperirritable spots (trigger points) on the body that elicits pain when pressed. Normal tissue is not painful.
- People with myofascial pain – Pain caused by hardening or sticking of the fascia and muscles. Fasciae are the layers of connective tissue membrane that surround organs and structures of the body.
- People with ischemia – heat and redness on the skin due to constricted blood flow in the muscles or edema and swelling of tissue due to fluid retention.
How is Therapeutic Massage Done?
An intake form is filled out, with information to evaluate the best approach to the problems presented. After the forms are finished we talk to establish your goals and direct my efforts so that we can together achieve the out come you desire. Then there is a visual evaluation to alert me of the imbalances in your posture. I usually start with the patient face up and evaluate once more. And then begin to treat the patient with a series of techniques. Usually with out lotion, starting with the craniosacral release and lymph drainage and then working out the fascia restrictions and the trigger points. Then lotion, oil, coco butter or liniments are used with gentle to deep soothing strokes on the muscles and tendons to integrate the treatment. Treatments 30 minutes to 3 hours in length depending on your goals and our established protocol.
What exactly are the benefits of receiving therapeutic massage or bodywork treatments?
Useful for all of the conditions listed below and more, therapeutic massage can:
- Alleviate low-back pain and improve range of motion.
- Ease medication dependence.
- Enhance immunity by stimulating lymph flow—the body’s natural defense system.
- Help athletes of any level prepare for, and recover from, strenuous workouts.
- Improve the condition of the body’s largest organ—the skin.
- Increase joint flexibility.
- Lessen depression and anxiety.
- Promote tissue regeneration, reducing scar tissue and stretch marks.
- Pump oxygen and nutrients into tissues and vital organs, improving circulation.
- Reduce post surgery adhesions and swelling.
- Reduce spasms and cramping.
- Relax and soften injured, tired, and overused muscles.
- Massage Releases endorphins—amino acids that work as the body’s natural painkiller.
- Relieve headache pain.
- Relieve TMJ pain and release hypertonic muscles.
What are the Effects of Therapeutic Massage?
Research shows that with massage:
-Arthritis sufferers note fewer aches and less stiffness and pain
-Asthmatic children show better pulmonary function and increased peak air flow.
-Burn injury patients report reduced pain, itching, and anxiety.
-High blood pressure patients demonstrate lower diastolic blood pressure, anxiety, and stress hormones.
-Premenstrual syndrome sufferers have decreased water retention and cramping.
-Preterm infants have improved weight gain.
-In response to massage, specific physiological and chemical changes cascade throughout the body, with profound effects…
Increase the Benefits with Frequent Visits A long standing problem may take some time to correct. Frequency of treatment and getting on a regular treatment schedule can make the difference in the success of your treatment. Getting massage frequently can help re-pattern your system. Taking part in regularly scheduled massage / self-care can play a huge part in how healthy you’ll be and how youthful you’ll remain with each passing year. Budgeting time and money for bodywork/massage at consistent intervals is truly an investment in your health. And remember: just because massage feels like a pampering treat doesn’t mean it is any less therapeutic. Consider massage appointments a necessary piece of your health and wellness plan, and work with me to establish a treatment schedule that best meets your needs. Therapeutic massage can be a powerful ally in your healthcare regimen. There’s no denying the power of touch. Regardless of the reasons we seek it out a luxurious treat, stress relief, pain management. Experts estimate that upwards of ninety percent of disease is stress related. And perhaps nothing ages us faster, internally and externally, than high stress. While eliminating anxiety and pressure altogether in this fast-paced world may be idealistic, massage can, without a doubt, help manage stress. This translates into:
- Massage decreases anxiety.
- Enhanced sleep quality.
- Greater energy, Improved concentration.
- Massage increases circulation and reduces fatigue.
Furthermore, people often report a sense of perspective and clarity after receiving a massage. The emotional balance therapeutic massage provides can often be just as vital and valuable as the more tangible physical benefits. Since 1986 Deborah has refined these techniques for the treatment of injuries from, stress, accidents, injury, and life, with the goal of providing balance to the body. Deborah Karlan is a credentialed provider with the Pack Waver Medicaid pain management program and the Florida Medicaid Alternative Medicine Pain management program for chronic pain.