Clinical massage therapy is a highly specialized health care modality that focuses on both the evaluation and the treatment of soft tissue dysfunction through manual manipulation. The purpose of clinical massage therapy is to develop, maintain, rehabilitate, or augment the physical function of the massage patient.
The goals of clinical massage therapy include:
- 1. Reduce pain
- 2. Release muscle tightness
- 3. Repair injured tissues, muscles, tendons, ligaments
- 4. Release adhesions
- 5. Release scar tissue
- 6. Release nerve compression
- 7. Greater flexibility and range of motion
Deep Tissue Massage
Deep Tissue Massage is a general term covering a range of strategies that deal with assisted muscle release at a deeper level.
Deep Tissue Massage therapy usually involves warming the skin and superficial soft tissue of your body prior to the therapist using greater pressure to access the deeper connected tissue underneath. Neuromuscular massage techniques are employed to detect muscle tissues that have become distressed. Manipulation of stiff or painful musculature using specific hand positions, strokes and specialized techniques, bring about relief from muscle tensions and increase flexibility.
Treatment for low back and shoulder pain, carpal tunnel, sciatica, headaches, knees and neck are amongst the common complaints that Deep Tissue specialists treat.
Typically, sports massage is utilized to alleviate and promote healing of specific complaints. Trained in Sports Massage, the Massage Therapist performs massage techniques based upon knowledge of anatomy, physiology, and related massage therapy principles relevant to human sports performance. It would be hard to imagine a professional team or program anywhere that does not employ the services of a qualified sports massage therapist.
One does not need to have a serious physical complaint to greatly benefit from sports massage. It is now more common for athletes of all ages and proficiency levels to seek the services of a trained sports massage therapist. There are typically five time periods when sports massage is appropriate: Pre-event, Inter-event, Post event, Rehabilitation, and Maintenance Specific sports are known to habitually affect particular muscles or groups of muscles, tendons and ligaments that are used in a repetitive fashion. By concentrating on the specific muscle groups most used in a given sport, a massage therapist can help an athlete increase mobility, range of motion, oxygen supply, blood flow and help maintain higher performance.
As in most massage therapy modalities, you will fill out a medical history form complete with disclosure of any conditions or complications that have arisen as a result of sporting activities or other causes. Together, you and your therapist will discuss your sports activity agenda and what you wish to get out of your massage therapy. A treatment plan will be devised that deals effectively with your condition.
The frequency of your visits will vary according to your needs. Your therapist may also recommend specific exercises to be performed at home.
Orthopedic massage is a therapeutic system made up of a variety of different techniques. There are several underlying principles that are essential to the system.
The first is assessment and evaluation skills. When working with soft tissue pain and injury it is essential the practitioner be able to assess the nature of the condition and understand its physiological make-up. In order to determine if massage is appropriate, and what kind of massage, if any, should be done, the practitioner must have some method of systematic evaluation of the client’s condition.
The second component of the orthopedic massage system is to match the physiology of the injury with the physiological effects of the treatment technique. No single massage modality will effectively treat all of the diverse types of pain and injury conditions. In some situations a particular technique will be highly beneficial, yet when used on another condition it may be contraindicated. Therefore, the massage therapist must understand the physiological effects of the treatment that s/he chooses.
The third component of orthopedic massage is treatment adaptability. Clearly, with the diversity of conditions, the practitioner should not rigidly adhere to one set of techniques. Each client will provide a unique presentation of pain or injury symptoms. As such, the practitioner will most effectively treat their client with a protocol that is customized to that individual.
Finally, the orthopedic massage system recommends understanding the rehabilitation protocol. Rehabilitation protocol is a phrase used to describe the most effective progression through the stages of soft tissue healing. It includes knowledge of proper tissue healing and injury prevention. While it is not appropriate for the massage therapist to prescribe a rehabilitation plan, the practitioner of orthopedic massage often works in conjunction with other health professionals and it is important that s/he understand these rehabilitation factors.
The word 'my' means 'muscle'. The word 'fascia' means the 'band' or 'connective soft tissue' that supports your entire body. If you could see connective tissue beneath your skin you would observe that it is fibrous, densely woven, continuously connects and surrounds our internal organs, permeates the entire body from head to toe, and has characteristics that provide cushioning and support to our complete body.
Time, injury, wear and tear, poor posture, stress and other factors can cause this connective tissue to manifest tension, restrictions and imbalance within our bodies. Myofascial Release is a very effective hands-on technique that works to 'release' and rebalance our muscle and connective soft tissue system.
Your therapist will first observe your posture and discuss any pains or physical conditions that cause you discomfort or restrict movements. Skill and knowledgebase allows your practitioner to feel, observe and sense where varied degrees of pressure, stretching, kneading and palpitation will help eliminate pain and restore range of motion.
General discomfort, chronic pain, sporting injuries, headache, back pain, whiplash injury, general injury, muscle spasms, restriction of motion, poor posture and specific ailments related to everyday living such as carpal tunnel and neurological dysfunction all benefit from this work. Myofascial restrictions can be manipulated to restore range of motion and alleviate pain. The goal is to provide safe and effective treatment that encourages your body to restore, realign and balance your myofascial system.
Neuromuscular Therapy (NMT) is a comprehensive program of soft tissue manipulation techniques that balance the central nervous system (brain, spinal cord and nerves) with the structure and form of the musculoskeletal system.
NMT is a deep form of bodywork that treats the many causes of acute pain, postural disorders and soft tissue damage.
This technique is based on neurological laws that explain how the central nervous system maintains homeostatic balance. These same laws dictate how the central nervous system initiates pain responses. NMT considers five different reasons for soft tissue pain:
- Ischemia - lack of circulation (blood and oxygen) to a specific area of the body.
- Trigger Points- A localized area of increased nerve facilitation resulting in hypertonicity of a muscular bundle with referred pain patterns.
- Nerve Impingement -Pressure against a nerve by Skin, Fascia, Muscles, Ligaments or joints.
- Postural Distortion - The anatomical malalignment of the major structural muscles that support the body against gravity.
- Biomechanical Dysfunction- - Improper balancing of the body as it moves through various anatomical planes.
A results-oriented therapy, medical massage works toward resolving specific conditions that a physician has diagnosed in a patient.
More a style than a set of techniques, medical massage therapy employs a variety of modalities and procedures to treat the particular areas of a patient's body suffering from injury or pain. Working hand-in-hand with physicians, medical massage therapists aim to achieve the best possible health outcomes for the patient.