What is Massage Therapy?
Massage therapy is the manipulation of soft tissues of the body including muscles, connective tissue, tendons, ligaments and joints. Massage therapy is a clinically-oriented healthcare option that helps alleviate the discomfort associated with every day occupational stresses, muscular over-use and many chronic pain conditions.
General Swedish Massage
One of the most common types of massage is General Swedish Massage which provides an overall relaxation effect. Swedish massage is exceptionally beneficial for increasing the level of oxygen in the blood, easing muscle tension and improving circulation and flexibility. You may choose to use this regularly as a preventative measure for overall health or to treat anxiety, depression, fatigue or generalized muscle aches.
Deep Tissue Techniques
Deep tissue massage uses a variety of specific techniques to target and release chronic muscle tension. We will agree on a pain scale to determine your tolerance level with specific techniques and you will provide feedback during the massage to ensure that we remain within your comfort zone.
‘Myofascial release’ is a soft tissue therapy used for the treatment of skeletal muscle immobility and pain. The aim is to relax contracted muscles, improve lymphatic and blood circulation, and stimulate the ‘stretch reflex’ in our muscles. Gentle, sustained pressure is applied over either a broad area or a specific trigger point in a muscle. This is generally done without lotion to enable me to accurately feel and manipulate the fibres of the fascia. It may take several minutes for each specific area to be worked on until the tissues soften and re-align. Often the area worked on may not be where the pain originates or where you feel the pain most prominently, as trigger points can refer pain in a pattern away from the site.
Therapeutic exercises may be prescribed as homecare for you to stretch or strengthen an area of the body. I will demonstrate the technique for you and ask you to perform the exercise so I may assess your comfort with it and correct your technique before you leave the office. Strengthening exercises are used for weak, underused areas. Stretching is used for tight, shortened, overused areas.
You will have the option of receiving hydrotherapy as part of your treatment when indicated. A heating pad (Thermophore) or gel ice pack may be applied to a specific area of the body to reduce inflammation, ease pain and prepare the underlying tissues for massage techniques. You will be informed of the reasons why hydrotherapy may be helpful and will be given an opportunity to ask questions. I will check in with you repeatedly to assess your comfort and to monitor the hydrotherapy’s effect. Your comfort and safety will be considered at all times.