How Chiropractic Care Can Help You Enjoy the Winter
Chiropractic care is vital during the winter. As the days get colder and the nights get longer, people can and will experience a wide variety of cold-related symptoms. While adjusting the thermostat or burrowing under the blankets can relieve symptoms, it’s only temporary. Thankfully, chiropractors can relieve some of the most common ailments during winter.
Cold and Flu-Related Symptoms
Sometimes going to the pharmacy isn’t enough. For some flu and cold sufferers, joint or muscle pain can linger five to seven days after initial exposure. If you have aches and pains that won’t go away, consider adding a chiropractor to your treatment plan. Chiropractic adjustments, a series of painless movements that realign your spine, can alleviate lasting flu symptoms.
Additionally, regular visits to your chiropractor can bolster your immune system and prevent illness. Subluxations and misalignments along the spine can cause your immune system to malfunction – meaning you’re more vulnerable to seasonal maladies. Visiting your local chiropractor for periodic adjustments can protect you and your family from common illnesses throughout winter.
Joint Pain and Stiffness
As it turns out, there is a scientific reason why your joints act up before a storm: according to thejoint.com, as the temperature drops, barometric pressure causes the fluid between our joints to move less freely. As a result, when the temperature hits 30 or lower, our joints become stiff or even painful. This effect is more pronounced in the elderly population and those who suffer from chronic pain.
Thankfully, regular visits to the chiropractor can alleviate joint pain and stiffness. Through gentle movements and adjustments, chiropractors can help the fluid in your joints move freely. The expert team at Allen County Family & Sports Chiropractic can help relieve your joint paint throughout the colder months.
Several studies have shown that chiropractic care can alleviate the symptoms of depression. While depression can affect everyone no matter the time of the year, a lack of sunlight may lead to SAD or seasonal affective disorder. Thankfully, increased blood flow and mobility improvement can help alleviate the symptoms of depression. Additionally, by performing a series of slow, gentle movements, chiropractors can relieve stress and, in turn, reduce anxiety and depression.
The winter months are well-known for an abundance of food. But all those delicious holidays treats come with a price – weight gain. While you likely won’t experience drastic weight gain during the holidays (Americans put on 1-2 pounds over the holiday season), the added weight can cause unnecessary strain on your joints. In turn, this leads to unnecessary joint pain and more weight gain.
If you or a loved one have weight-related joint pain, book a chiropractic appointment today! Regular chiropractic appointments are an investment in yourself and your future. Traveling to and from appointments will keep you moving, while regular treatment will relieve joint pain and encourage movement.
Ready to book an appointment? Head over to the Allen County Family & Sports Chiropractic’s page to schedule with us today! Dr. Hartle and his team can usually see patients the same day they call.
Chronic vs Acute Pain: How Chiropractors Help
Chiropractors are well-versed in treating pain. Whether it’s back, neck, or spinal complications, chiropractors correct ailments throughout the body. However, not all pain is temporary. Chronic pain, which the NHS defines as “persistent pain that carries on for twelve weeks” and resists medication, is a serious condition that causes unnecessary suffering. On the other hand, acute pain lasts less than three months and is typically the result of an injury. While chronic and acute pain can be debilitating, both conditions can be treated.
Chronic vs Acute Pain: What’s the Difference?
Before discussing how chiropractors treat different types of pain, we must understand the difference between chronic and acute pain. Chronic pain is constant: it can last for weeks, months, and even years. Caused by several factors, including, but not limited to poor posture, traumatic injury, spinal issues, and more, chronic pain lasts long after injuries have healed. Examples of chronic pain include:
- Lower back pain
- Cancer pain
- Arthritis pain
- Nerve damage
Acute pain, according to WebMD, “starts suddenly and usually feels sharp.” Unlike chronic pain, acute pain can last moments or even months. While acute pain normally signals an injury, it disappears after the injury has healed. Acute injuries include, but are not limited to:
- Broken bones
If left untreated, acute pain can become chronic pain.
How Chiropractors Treat Acute and Chronic Pain
For those who suffer from prolonged pain, there is hope. There is a wide variety of medical and holistic treatments available to help treat pain. If you’ve exhausted all your medical options, chiropractic treatment may be right for you.
Chiropractors are well-versed in treating different types of chronic pain. First, your chiropractor will perform a physical assessment to local the pain. Next, they’ll develop a treatment plan. The most popular remedy for chronic pain is a spinal adjustment – a series of firm movements that apply pressure to vertebrae. For other issues, chiropractors may use the flexion-distraction technique (most commonly used for whiplash injuries) or instrument-assisted manipulation. As the name suggests, your chiropractor will use a small, hand-held instrument to apply gentle pressure to stretch soft tissue. This, in turn, will relieve pain.
Chiropractors treat chronic pain and acute pain similarly. To treat acute pain, a chiropractor will first perform a physical assessment. Next, they’ll work with you to develop a treatment plan. Your treatment will depend on your symptoms: for example, those suffering from subluxation or joint restriction as a result of a fracture should undergo a Gonstead chiropractic evaluation. Patients with burn scars may benefit from massage therapy, which controls the development of scar tissue and helps burn victims heal more quickly.
Allen County Family & Sports Chiropractic treats both acute and chronic pain using proven, natural methods. To help manage your pain, schedule an appointment with us today. Dr. Michael Hartle and his team of experts can usually see you the same day you call.
Five Types of Massage Therapy
Massage therapy is one of the best holistic treatments for various ailments. A proven method of pain and stress relief, massage therapy is astonishingly popular – over 47.5 million Americans sought out massage therapy in 2018. Today, we’ll look at five different types of massage therapies and the benefits they offer.
One of the most popular therapeutic massages, the Swedish Massage is both relaxing and energizing. Using long, even strokes and rhythmic tapping motions on the outermost layer of muscles, the Swedish Massage focuses on larger muscles (i.e. legs and arms) as well as smaller areas of the body. This massage focuses on deep movements that break down scar tissue and increases blood flow. More advanced masseuses may use effleurage (gliding strokes that relax muscles) or tapotement (short taps using cupped hands.)
Hot Stone Massage
The hot stone massage is another popular therapeutic massage. Created over 5,000 years ago, the hot stone massage was “reborn” in 1993 and experienced a surge in popularity during the next two decades. This therapeutic massage uses warm basalt stones to penetrate muscles and treat stiff limbs. The warm stones are used to massage muscles and relax the body. The heat improves blood flow and circulation while releasing accumulated toxins from the body. To increase effectiveness, have your chiropractor or masseuse place stones over the most stiff muscles in your body.
Deep Tissue Massage
Perfect for those who suffer from chronic pain and tension, the deep tissue massage eases pain and releases toxins from the body. Using deep pressure to penetrate the body, it fixes spammed and knotted muscles as well as heal fibrous adhesion and trigger points. The deep tissue massage can potentially offer relief from chronic conditions, such as fibromyalgia. It can also relieve chronic neck and back pain. Studies suggest that this massage can also improve posture, aid in sports-related muscle recovery, improve limited mobility, and aid in injury rehabilitation.
The Thai Massage
Dating back 7,000 years, the Thai massage is more “active” than other Western Massages. Instead of lying on a bed, customers lie on the floor and actively participate during the session. Thai massage is a combination of yoga, acupressure, and zen shiatsu. Practitioners will gently guide their clients into yoga-like poses and apply a slow, rhythmic massage that increases energy levels and blood flow. Participants can expect to transition from one position to the next to open the joints and facilitate limbering.
A Thai massage has four basic poses: lying supine, lying on one’s side, lying on the back, and sitting up. While the pressure may seem intense at first, an experienced chiropractor will adjust to their clients’ needs. The Thai massage has numerous benefits for the body, including increasing flexibility, eliminating pain, improving posture, stimulating blood circulation, and relieving swollen joints.
Meaning “finger pressure” in Japanese, the Shiatsu massage is based on applying rhythmic pressure to key points of the body. By applying pressure, the massage is said to restore vital energy (chi). There are many benefits to the Shiatsu massage, including pain relief, headache relief, and improved sleep quality.
If you’re looking for massage therapy that will treat your pain, Dr. Hartle and his team of experts have you covered! The professionals at Allen County Family & Sports Chiropractic are fast, efficient, and can usually see you the same day you call. Book an appointment today!
Why Do Chiropractors Use Massage Therapy?
Chiropractic massage therapy is one of the most popular, alternative medicines in the United States. According to Consumer Reports, a study of over 34,000 people found that the majority preferred a deep tissue massage over conventional medicine to treat pain. It’s no wonder the chiropractic massage is so popular: a deep-tissue massage has been proven to treat a wide variety of ailments, including back pain, fibromyalgia, and osteoarthritis. To help patients manage pain and other issues, many chiropractors incorporate massage therapy into their practices.
What is Chiropractic Massage Therapy?
Chiropractic massage therapy combines two practices (chiropractic care and massage therapy) to create one discipline that focuses on easing sore muscles and quickly healing injuries. Treating the spine and the central nervous system is the focus of chiropractic massage therapy. Think of your nervous system as a car or truck – its job is to carry signals (both good and bad) throughout the body. And, like any other automobile, it may need repairs. This is where chiropractic massage therapy comes in – through minute, medical gestures, chiropractic massage therapy “fixes” the human body. This discipline “reminds” our bodies to perform their jobs and ensures that your central nervous system sends signals correctly. Through proper care and alignment, experts theorize that chiropractic massage therapy can prepare your body for whatever challenges life might throw in your way.
What are the Benefits of Chiropractic Massage Therapy?
Chiropractic massage therapy does more than relieve pain: it can also prevent pain throughout the body. Due to the many benefits of chiropractic massage therapy, many people seek chiropractic massage therapy to maximize their body’s ability to stay well. As an added bonus, this deep-tissue massage relieves tension, stress, headaches, and anxiety.
What’s the Difference Between Chiropractic Massage Therapy and Massage Therapy?
Chiropractic massage therapy is a type of massage that focuses on the spine and body as a unit. It can realign vertebrae, treat discs, focus on low back pain, and relieve joint ailments. On the other hand, massage therapy focuses on alleviating tension, restoring flexibility, and increasing comfort. Massage therapy goes hand-in-hand with physical therapy and is often used to treat injuries. While massage therapy treats current pain, chiropractic massage therapy can prevent pain throughout the body.
Can Anyone Administer Chiropractic Massage Therapy?
A chiropractic massage therapist must have a doctorate in chiropractic care. These doctorates are administered by the state and ensure that your chiropractor has knowledge of and can properly treat your musculoskeletal and neuromuscular systems. Allen County Family & Sports Chiropractic’s own Dr. Hartle is a certified chiropractic physician that provides chiropractic massage therapy. He also holds several other certifications and is a board-certified Clinical Nutritionist (DACBN), a Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician (CCSP), an Active Release Technique (ART) provider since 1995. If you want to pursue an active and healthy lifestyle through the power of chiropractic massage therapy, schedule an appointment with him today!
Three of the Best Weekend Trips in Fort Wayne, Indiana
With a population of 267,633, Fort Wayne is a diverse city known for its gorgeous parks and family-friendly atmosphere. As the second-largest city in Indiana, Fort Wayne has plenty of “must-do” experiences, including restaurants, golf courses, museums, and more! With such a wide variety of attractions, it’s easy to plan a short “staycation” that will take you out of the house. If you’re looking for the best weekend getaways in Fort Wayne, here are our top three destinations.
The Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo
Located on Sherman Boulevard, The Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo is educational fun for the whole family! Split into five sections, The Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo holds over 1,000 animals from all over the world. With over 40 acres to explore, there’s plenty of exciting exhibits to entertain and delight your children. Explore the grassy savannahs of the African continent or come face-to-face with the endangered orangutans. Experience the colorful Indonesian rainforest or discover the outback and learn about the life cycle of crocodiles! The zoo’s bright and friendly atmosphere earned it a spot on Trip Advisor’s Top Seven Zoos in the U.S. back in 2015 and a Traveler’s Choice Award in 2020.
Foellinger-Friemann Botanical Conservatory
Founded in 1983, The Foellinger-Friemann Botanical Conservatory is a world-renowned greenhouse with over 25,000 square feet of indoor gardens. While the conservatory provides a safe haven for endangered plant species, it also hosts four changing showcases each year. The conservatory hosts a wide array of plant life – their greenhouse holds over 1,200 plants (or 500 species) and 72 different types of cacti. Their most popular gardens include:
- The main Showcase Garden, with four seasonal exhibits.
- A Tropical Garden which features waterfalls, goldfish, and 13 types of palm trees.
- The Desert Garden, which contains the Saguaro cacti, fishhook barrel cactus, and prickly pear cactus.
- The Streetside Garden, where ornamental grasses and shrubs surround beautiful bronze statues.
Eagle Marsh Nature Preserve
For aspiring hikers, boaters, and environmentalists, Eagle Marsh Nature Preserve offers a wide variety of activities in the great outdoors. Founded in 2005 with help from the federal Wetlands Reserve Program, Eagle Marsh was the site of the largest wetlands restoration project in Indiana. Today, the preserve is over 831 acres, with fourteen miles of extensive hiking trails. If you’re looking for a less intensive way to spend the weekend, Eagle Marsh is also a great place for bird watching and photography. The preserve boasts over 245 types of birds and 45,000 native trees and shrubs.
Communing with nature is a proven method of stress relief. However, if hiking isn’t enough to relieve your everyday stressors, try massage therapy at Allen County Family & Sports Chiropractic! We offer outstanding chiropractic, nutritional, and rehabilitative programs that will reduce stress symptoms. Allen County Family & Sports Chiropractic also offers massage therapy services which, according to the Mayo Clinic, can reduce stress, minimize muscle tension, and alleviate the symptoms of chronic pain. Our office is fast, efficient, and provides same-day services.
How Massage Therapy Helps with Chronic Pain
In the United States, 65 million Americans suffer from some episode of back-related pain recently in their lives. However, 16 million experience chronic pain, which interferes with their everyday activity. When pain takes over your life like that, you want to find a solution. For many victims, massage therapy is the answer.
Massage therapy uses pressure and long strokes to relieve muscle-related pain in our bodies. Many of us use this type of treatment for those frustrating flair-ups or bouts of acute pain. We then enjoy massages that relieve our suffering until the next round while providing a relaxing environment. But what about chronic illness?
Causes of Chronic Pain
Chronic pain is different from acute pain because it’s long-lasting and not related to one particular episode. On the other hand, chronic pain develops from repetitive stress, trauma, or injury. Muscle overuse is a common cause of chronic pain. When this happens, tension builds up, and muscles can no longer relax. It’s almost as if they’re in a constant state of contraction.
Injury or trauma can also cause chronic pain. Many athletes manage pain when an injury or stress fracture occurs. It isn’t a quick, acute flair-up, but rather long-lasting due to the injury itself.
Repeated positioning is another cause of chronic pain. This can be due to work, such as with professions that require you to sit or stand in one position. Over time, this creates tension and pain.
How Massage Therapy Helps
During massage therapy sessions, blood flow increases throughout the body, but most importantly, into the muscles. Circular movement and long strokes relax muscles and reduce tension, which brings back movement by enhancing the muscle tissues’ elasticity and flexibility. Add in relaxation techniques, and you have the perfect recipe to reduce pain.
Muscle tension also impacts the bones and joints, which is why massage therapy partners well with regular chiropractic care. As chiropractors shift the bones into realignment, muscles will contract, and slowly your bones return to an incorrect position. By using massage to relieve that tension, your bones will stay in alignment for more extended periods, reducing pressure on joints, and pain.
Stress and Chronic Illness
Stress is an aggravator of chronic pain. When we feel anxious or stressed, our brain releases the hormone cortisol. Like a vicious cycle: pain causes stress, releasing cortisol, which exacerbates the pain even more. Massages are relaxing and can lower stress hormone levels. Aside from increasing blood flow and reduce muscle tension, massage can also help you feel better mentally, resulting in lower levels of pain.
Goodbye, Chronic Pain
When patients use massage therapy regularly, these techniques can reduce recurrent episodes of pain. This is true for any healing method — you can’t just do something once and get immediate results. To alleviate symptoms of chronic pain with massage, you must receive sessions regularly. Weekly or biweekly massages are an excellent place to start, and patients can reduce sessions to once a month or fewer once the pain begins to subside.
Five Benefits of Massage Therapy
Massage therapy is a standard method of relaxation. When picturing massage, it’s easy to envision scenes of soothing music, aromatherapy candles, and the melting of your worries. Although this is undoubtedly true, there are many more benefits of massage that are less obvious but just as helpful.
Massage Therapy for Everyone
Before we dive into these five advantages, it’s important to note that massage therapy is beneficial for everyone in many different ways. Regardless of age, physicality, job, gender identity, race, and more, massage is a great option that targets an array of issues. Some techniques are even specific to certain demographics, such as children, athletes, or those suffering physical injuries.
Benefit One: Stress Reduction
Let’s start with the prominent perk—stress reduction. It’s the reason why many people choose to begin massage therapy. Studies show that relaxation techniques in massage cause an observable reaction in the brain. These methods result in increased endorphins, as well as heightened levels of both serotonin and dopamine. These chemicals are all associated with the feeling of happiness and can help alleviate anxiety. Massage can also decrease cortisol, which is the hormone responsible for the stress we feel.
Benefit Two: Injury Healing and Prevention
A lot of patients turn to the benefits of massage because of an injury. When damage occurs to your body, especially with muscle, joints, and ligaments, specialized massage therapy can help. Strategic pressure and movement can enhance the healing process for sustained injuries by releasing muscle tightness, reducing swelling, and decreasing scar tissue. This technique is a common practice in sports chiropractic care.
Massage can also support the body in preventing future damage by increasing blood flow, lubrication, and stretching in muscles. Your body is “looser,” which enhances your range of motion. When this happens, injury is less likely to occur because your body can move better.
Benefit Three: Reduce Acute and Chronic Pain
The rhythmic motion along muscles works out what we call “knots,” which are tense muscle fibers. They can also contain a buildup of fascial tissue, which can cause something called a “trigger point.” At first, this muscle tightness can feel like small bits of pain, known as acute. But over time, that pain can become more frequent and even start to impact you chronically. By releasing these triggers, the accumulation of connective tissue dissipates, and your muscles are more loose and agile.
Benefit Four: Improved Circulation
As mentioned above, the rhythmic motion of massage increases blood flow in the body. When your blood is flowing more freely, that improves circulation. There are lots of benefits of massage therapy, but this one takes precedence. Poor circulation is responsible for various symptoms, including fatigue, digestive problems, cognitive decline, joint pain, swelling, numbness, and more. Addressing circulation issues can significantly improve your health.
Benefit Five: Enhance Immune System
Lastly, as massage improves circulation, that blood flow also enhances immune system function. Massage therapy can flush out toxins and increase the white blood cell activity in our bodies. Both of these results support immune functionality, but white blood cells are the ones that fight disease and can even lower cortisol.
Five Ways Massage Therapy Will Help You
Massage therapy is a widespread technique of holistic medicine, one that often complements other treatment methods. In chiropractic care, for example, massage is an excellent partner to regular adjustments. It uses pressure to manipulate the body’s muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Patients see relief with reduced stress and pain in trouble areas.
There are many different kinds of massage therapy, all that work towards a similar end goal by practicing different techniques. Each type delivers various benefits, so let’s look at the most common forms of massage.
Swedish massage is a popular style that is the most gentle on the body and promotes relaxation. Therapists use long strokes and circular movements to press into the muscle and skin. The pressure tends to stay on the surface, as the primary goal of a Swedish massage is to relax and reduce mental stress.
Although most patients who request a Swedish massage are looking for an hour of relaxation and stress relief, the technique has other benefits as well. The movements can treat minor muscle tension that tends to accumulate with everyday activities, such as sitting at a computer all day. Thanks to the relief of muscle strain, many patients leave their session feeling lighter, more buoyant, and with a sense of renewed energy.
Deep Tissue Massage
If you want to relax but also reap the muscular benefits, you can upgrade to a deep tissue massage. Using similar techniques of a Swedish massage (long strokes and circular movements), therapists apply more pressure to access the deeper muscles in the body. By reaching the deep layers of the inner muscles, this form of massage therapy can heal chronic or injury-related pain.
If you’re an athlete, you can benefit from sports massage. Using distinct strokes and techniques, this form of massage therapy helps to alleviate pain from past sports injuries, as well as work with the muscles to prevent future issues. The pressure will vary depending on each patient’s unique situation, but the end goal is the same: to reduce pain, increase mobility and flexibility, and prevent injury.
Trigger Point Massage
Trigger point massage focuses specifically on clusters of deep, tight muscle fibers. When these fibers connect deep into the muscle, it can cause chronic pain and reduce mobility. Therapists use bouts of prolonged pressure and short, circular movements to separate the connective tissues and fibers. Patients often feel a “popping” or “melting” sensation as the tight knot is released.
Besides the benefits of relaxation, stress management, pain relief, and sports-injury prevention, there are many other advantages to massage therapy. With regular practice, massage can relieve anxiety and stress, and therefore help reduce stress-related ailments such as insomnia. Many patients find relief with diseases such as digestive disorders, fibromyalgia, and myofascial pain syndrome.
Further, massage therapy has emotional and mental health benefits, as well. Taking the time to care for yourself with relaxing treatments gives patients a feeling of comfort and connection to their bodies. Massage can boost mood and sense of self, which can increase happiness, productivity, and focus.
What is Massage Therapy
Have you ever had a massage? If not, we recommend you schedule a “self-care Sunday” in your near future. Massages are great for stress reduction and relaxation. However, they can be more than that when massage therapy is brought into the mix.
What is a Massage?
In general, a message is a trained professional who puts degrees of pressure on the soft tissues in your body—things like your muscles, connective tissues, tendons, ligaments, and skin. There are dozens of types of massages, including the famous Swedish massage or even a deep tissue massage. Each has a goal; for example, the deep tissue will put higher levels of pressure and movement to reach the muscles and tissues deep in your body.
What is Massage Therapy?
Massage therapy is a type of massage. In this massage technique, a massage therapist will use therapeutic massage techniques to reduce or eliminate chronic low back pain, stress, and other issues.
The effectiveness of massage therapy is strange and not wholly understood – even if accepted. Massage therapy falls into the alternative part of complementary and alternative medicine. It’s not what people usually think of when they think of medicine, but it works nonetheless.
How Does Massage Therapy Help?
Our bodies are amazing machines – completely stopped in their tracks by stress and pain. However, what may surprise you is the effect stress has on healing and the body. While a massage will never cure a cancer patient, it can help them to reduce their stress and pain.
Go back to a regular massage for a moment. When you get any type of massage, the goal is to relax and stretch your muscles. This process often makes people fall asleep – the first sign they are distressing.
Now, massage therapy is done by trained doctors who understand various health conditions and risks. Variations like the sports massage can focus on getting your relaxed and recuperate before a big game. At the same time, other types can heal, reduce the stress and pain of cancer, heart disease, and stomach problems.
Is It an Effective Treatment?
That depends on what you plan to achieve from the treatment. If you want to mend broken bones or heal health issues, no. However, if you’re going to reduce stress, increase flexibility, and – in some cases – reduce pain, then the answer is yes.
Modern health care is more than accepting of the benefits of massage therapy. In addition, it’s got plenty of good with minimal side effects that usually pass, revealing overall increases in health and wellness.
Similar to Chiropractic Care
In many ways, getting a massage is a lot like going to the chiropractor (after all, you’re reading this blog!) Massage therapists and chiropractors understand the body and how each muscle is connected to the bones and tissues around it. Using this understanding, we can manipulate your skeleton and help you feel better.
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Introduction to Massage
Massage and bodywork have been used, in one form or another, for thousands of years to promote health and well being. The Chinese culture has practiced ‘Amma’ techniques since around 3000 B.C., as the Cong Fou of Tao-Tse attests. In the Indian medicinal practice of Ayurveda, Tshanpau has been used since about 1800 B.C.
In the West, we find them integrated into rehabilitation programs, but also (and often) these practices are helpful in a large variety of other situations, such as comforting prenatal mothers-to-be, as palliative care for hospice patients, or for general relaxation and decrease in stress levels, as examples. I think massage therapy should be a vital and useful part of every individual’s overall health routine.
Practicing as a massage therapist for 15 years, I have had the privilege to be a part of thousands of clients individual health protocols. In one such case, I was working with a client who had some range of motion restriction and pain when raising their right arm overhead. This client had seen a few other bodyworkers, but the cause of the issue was elusive. As it turns out, after a functional assessment of that shoulder, as well as palpation of the muscles connected to it, we discovered that the client had a range of motion restrictions in the right pectoralis minor, as well as the latissimus dorsi, anterior deltoid, and biceps brachii. In this case, the patient’s history showed an old exercise injury, with muscular and fascial scar tissue present.
We decided to proceed with a protocol that involved contrast (hot/cold) therapy, a daily stretching routine, functional exercises, as well as some deep scar tissue massage work. This type of massage is more goal-oriented, and tends to not be the most comfortable modality. The client understood this and stayed faithful to the protocol, knowing that the results would follow. After 1 month, the client showed an increase in range of motion of more than +50% compared to the initial assessment, and by month two, had improved that to +80%. When we reassessed the client at the 3 month mark, they had nearly ALL of the range of motion restored, and were substantially stronger in the previously weaker/restricted muscles.
This was certainly a situation where immediate pain was present, but this is not always the case. In my practice, I also use massage and bodywork to help athlete’s muscular and nervous systems prepare for competition, to recuperate afterwards, to facilitate lymph movement in the reduction of swelling, to improve overall blood and interstitial fluid flow, etc.
Keep in mind, not all benefits of massage or bodywork are physical. Psychological and neurological benefits have also been reported in many studies. One of the more famous studies on the need for massage therapy and it’s emotional ramifications was conducted by a pediatrician named Dr. Fritz Talbot. He concluded that human beings are creatures that NEED human contact and touch to thrive.
There are times where I have found that massage is needed in a more short-term, symptomatic situation, such as in the case of a calf cramp or minor headache. In other cases, clients may require long-term treatment, such as athletes who need to keep fluid and flexible, or those gaining in years who just want to keep as mobile and ambulatory as possible.
From the very first session, massage can (and should be) customizable to YOUR individual needs. I have seen many clients who simply needed to “walk out feeling better than when they walked in”. In my practice, I strive to be flexible enough to suit as many needs as I may. I look forward to seeing you in the near future!