Massage therapy is a comprehensive intervention involving a range of techniques to manipulate the soft tissues and joints of the body. The purpose of massage therapy is to prevent, develop, maintain, rehabilitate or augment physical function or relieve pain. It is a clinically-oriented health option that achieves undeniable results in the relief of an array of discomforts stemming from stress, muscular overuse and many chronic pain syndromes.
Registered massage therapists (RMT’s) use various techniques to treat muscles, fascia, tendons, ligaments and joints. Massage has effects on the heart and circulation, the nervous system, the digestion and elimination systems and most other systems of the body.
There are tremendous benefits to be achieved through regular massage therapy treatments from a Registered Massage Therapist. Whether your need is to have a moment of relaxation, reduce muscle tension or attain relief from chronic pain, a therapeutic massage can enhance your overall sense of emotional and physical well-being as well as your quality of life.
Massage therapy benefits people of all ages. While it benefits the injured, the ill and the stressed, the strength of massage therapy in preventing illness and conditions before they develop cannot be overlooked. Massage therapy can be used in the treatment of both acute and chronic stages of conditions.
BENEFITS OF MASSAGE THERAPY INCLUDE:
Reducing or eliminating pain
Improving joint mobility
Improving immune system functioning
Increasing lymphatic drainage
Reducing depression and anxiety
Reducing tension within muscles
Increasing body awareness
The following is a list of conditions for which massage therapy, when provided by a Registered Massage Therapist, can prove beneficial:
LASER THERAPY - Laser therapy is a treatment
which utilizes low level laser light (a.k.a. Low level laser therapy, LLLT, photobiomodulation therapy, cold laser therapy, laser acupuncture) to stimulates the body’s
own natural healing systems to relieve pain, reduce inflammation and
stimulate regeneration of tissue. It is non-invasive, safe and
TRIGGER POINT THERAPY - is a bodywork technique that involves the application of pressure to tender points in a muscle tissue in order to relieve pain and dysfunction. Some common causes of trigger points are birth trauma, an injury sustained in a fall or accident, poor posture, or overexertion.
LASER ACUPUNCTURE - is a specialty technique that Dave uses as a Registered Massage Therapist. Laser acupuncture is a specialty area of laser therapy (a.k.a. photobiomodulation therapy, low level laser therapy, LLLT, cold laser therapy). Laser acupuncture is based on the same principles of medical needle acupuncture but uses low level laser light (photonic energy), not needles to stimulate the body's natural healing processes. It is non-invasive, safe and pain-free.
DIAPHRAGMATIC BREATHING TECHNIQUE (DBT)
– To breathe with the diaphragm, one must draw air into the lungs in a
way which will expand the stomach and not the chest. It is generally
considered a healthier and fuller way to ingest oxygen, reduce stress
and cope with discomfort. Many people have little sensory awareness of
the diaphragm and almost no idea how to engage it more fully. Dave can
help you learn this effective and useful technique.
ACUPRESSURE - Acupressure (and acupuncture) has been practiced as a healing art for at least 5,000 years through Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). This complete health system has been documented for use in treating over 3,000 conditions that is totally natural and taps your own body’s ability to heal itself.
By using pressure with either the fingers, thumbs knuckles or elbow – acupressure works to stimulate specific “acu” points located along lines through the body called in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) “meridians”. There are 14 main meridian lines that contain over 600 “acu” points. These meridians cannot be physically seen - they are separate from the western anatomical interpretation of nerves, blood vessels and lymphatic ducts. TCM views meridians as series of channels that carry “qi” (aka “vital energy”, pronounced “chee”) through the body. When qi is able to flow through the meridians in a balanced and even way, the result is good health. When you experience pain or illness it is an indication that there is a block or leak in the energy flow within your body. By stimulating a specific combination of acupoints, the aim is to promote a “healing response” that restores proper balance and health in the body.
Scientifically, it is theorized that this “healing response” triggers an intricate internal process. Pain, injury or stimulation to your body alerts it to unleash a host of naturally occurring compounds to heal the affected area. The heart rate increases, blood pressure is altered and the delivery of endorphins and nutrients required for repair is excellerated. This speeds up the elimination of toxins from the damaged area, which also promotes healing. Acupressure induces this healing response by stimulating injury through pressure. When applied to specific acupoints along the meridians at different spots for different conditions, this pressure tricks the body into thinking it has been damaged. The body then produces endorphins to relieve distress in the organs and systems corresponding to that acupressure point. While the body is healing at the point of pain, it also produces a healing response all along the meridian.
DEEP TISSUE MASSAGE OR MYOFASCIAL RELEASE TECHNIQUE (MRT) – Fascia is pound for pound stronger than steel and surrounds and supports every muscle fiber and organ in the body. After an accident or injury, the fascia can develop adhesions or scar tissue and tighten causing pain or restricting movement. Fascia is so strong that these adhesions can become almost permanent unless they are treated using special methods. Myofascial Release Technique can break down fascial scar tissue and restore your body’s postural balance.
ACTIVE INHIBITION TECHNIQUE (AIT) or MUSCLE ENERGY TECHNIQUE (MET) – This approach uses a combination of breathing techniques, active movements and light stretching to release muscles. It works by stimulating the nervous system and is based on the principle of reciprocal inhibition. This principle 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.
SOFT TISSUE RELEASE (STR) - is a dynamic, highly effective technique that has an immediate and powerful effect on muscle and connective tissue. The technique involves applying precise pressure during a specific stretch performed in multiple planes of movement. The goal is to appeal to the autonomic nervous system in a way that leads to spontaneous release of the injured muscle, thus regaining the original resting length of that muscle. The result is fast and permanent reorganization of scar tissue, the targeted muscle(s) return to the proper resting length, muscle imbalances are corrected, associated pain is decreased or eliminated altogether, and muscle performance is improved.
POSITIONAL RELEASE TECHNIQUE (PRT) – This approach uses a combination of “mid-point” muscle positioning, light pressure point work and breathing to help release muscle spasms or tight muscles. A very non-invasive, pain-free technique great for those who do not tolerate pressure.
MEDICAL ACUPUNCTURE - Medical acupuncture blends well with massage therapy as they both focus on reducing stress, releasing tight muscles, breaking down adhesions/scar tissue, and freeing nerve pathways to restore function and well being. Please see the acupuncture page for more information.
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Dave Hanemaayer, RMT, CAMA
101 Lydia Street, Kitchener ON,