TREATMENTS & TECHNIQUES
Wellness & Relaxation Massage
Wellness massage is wonderful for relieving stress and tension. Wellness and relaxation massage increases circulation, relaxes tense muscles and joints, reduces swelling, aids in a sense of calm and well being. Slow efflueage strokes increase muscle relaxation and calm the body. It is a vital part of keeping balance in our busy lives. Essential oils can be added during the treatment to increase calm and relaxation, if desired.
Deep Tissue & Injury Rehabilitation Massage
Chronically tight muscles and tissues can disrupt circulation and cause pain, limited range of motion, adversely affect posture and inflammation. Deep Tissue Massage Techniques focused on releasing deep layers of tissue and physically breaking up scar tissue and muscle "knots" to lessen chronic patterns of pain and adhesions (bands of painful, rigid tissue). It is a slower technique to release the deep, underlying tissue. The therapist will check in with the client about pressure and comfort level. This technique can be beneficial to relieve chronic tightness, improve posture, increase range of motion in joints, decrease pain and help recover from injuries.
A variety of therapeutic manual techniques can be used during an injury rehabilitation massage to aid in the client's individual needs. Deep tissue, myofascial release, active and passive range of motion, strain/counter strain techniques, trigger point therapy or scar tissue reducing techniques. Sessions can focus on full body massage or specific injury sites. This type of bodywork is helpful for sports injuries, “weekend warrior” injuries, post and pre operative, scar tissue, stroke and traumatic brain injury survivors, repetitive use injuries to break up adhesions and decrease tension.
Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD)
Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) is a specialized technique or form of massage focused on increasing flow of the lymphatic fluid in the body. It is a gentle, sequential form of massage used to decrease swelling and to direct lymphatic flow to be eliminated from the body. Excessive swelling can often be associated with medical conditions such as Lymphedema, Lipadema, cancer treatments, injury or surgery. Decreasing the swelling can lead to pain relief by supporting the lymphatic systems natural ability to re-establish fluid balance in the body. Prior to an MLD session, please contact the practitioner directly by phone to discuss any medical conditions, mobility issues or other concerns that might need to be discussed.
TECHNIQUES & MODALITIES
Myofascial Release techniques
Fascia is a dense layer of connective tissue, made mainly out of collagen, which attaches, supports, and stabilizes every muscle, bone, artery, vein and all of our internal organs. It is a continuous structure that connects our whole body from head to toe. In a healthy state, the fascial tissue is relaxed and mobile in nature. It can stretch and move without inhibition, allowing all that it surrounds (muscles, joints, organs, tendons, veins and arteries) to move and function freely. When trauma from injury, surgery or an inflammatory response in the body happens, constriction of the fascia tissue occurs. This can put pressure on the body structures it surrounds and create pain, stiffness, inhibited range of motion, and other challenges. Many people who have chronic pain or limited range of motion may have constricted fascia issues but are never treated for it. There are a variety of techniques that one can use to release the deep binding or adhesed connective tissue layers. Usually, techniques are slow and can be superficial or deeper in nature, incorporate pulling or stretching of the connective tissue to separate deep layers of fascia. Once the layers of connective tissue are opened and increased fluid and blood supply can flow, less restriction in the area can occur. The result can be improved range of motion and decreased pain and discomfort.
Trigger Point Therapy
Pain in the soft tissue (myofascial pain) can result from muscle injury or repetitive strain. When a muscle or muscle group are stressed or injured, the muscles often form trigger points, like contracted knots. These can cause pain and tightness. Sometimes they can refer pain to other parts of the body. Common ones are tight neck muscle trigger points that can refer pain into the head causing headaches or tension. Using techniques to release these trigger points can help alleviate local and referred pain and discomfort. The therapist will use moderate pressure on these points to help release the tight tissue fibers and help "melt" the trigger point. The recipient will often feel a local or referred symptom when the trigger point is located. As the tight trigger point tissues begin to release, the symptoms will lessen and diminish, bringing pain relief and relaxation to the body.
Scar tissue massage
Scar tissues from surgeries or injuries can limit blood flow to areas, constrict movement and range of motion, and cause pain to an area by limiting mobility of the tissue. Scar tissue massage is a technique used on a specific area over the scar to break it up and allow the body to create new, healthy tissue in the area. Cross fiber techniques, friction and mild stretching of the area can be involved to help break up the tough scar tissue. The increased blood flow to the scar site will bring in nutrients that will allow the body to repair and lay down healthy tissue that is more mobile.
Cups have been used since ancient times to aid in healing. Today, cups are used to create a suction or vacuum effect on the skin to allow upward movement of circulation and tissue layers. This can help with increasing circulation and blood flow to an area. By decreasing fascial and connective tissue tension, it helps relieve pain and increasing range of motion. On some people, there can be marks left by the cups from the blood flow coming to the surface of the tissue. This is normal. Depending on the individuals healing process, the marks can last 3 days or more, but will go away. The person will still feel the benefits of the cupping treatment, even if there are no marks creating during the session.
Essential oils can have beneficial effects on the body such as relieving stress or soothing sore muscles. They have also been shown to help with sleep, reduce anxiety and benefit depression (1) (2). At times, the therapist may use aroma therapy to enhance relaxation or the enjoyment of your treatment. These are always optional, depending on the individual and their preference.
(1) Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Volume 2017, Article ID 5869315, 21 pages
First published: 27 July 2015
Traumatic Brain Injury and Massage
Massage can be beneficial for the healing process of those who have survived a traumatic brain injury. It can help calm and relax the body and the nervous system, increase circulation, decrease cortisol levels and protective holding patterns in the body and overly toned muscle tissue.
Massage can be used for pain relief, stress reduction, and relaxation. It can enhance circulation and increase blood flow to the muscles, which means more oxygen and nutrients can get to tissue to aid with healing. It can decrease scar tissue and adhesions from injuries or surgeries. It can help with mobility by lessening inflammation, stretching connective tissues and decreasing pain.
Studies have shown that massage therapy can decrease the symptoms of concussion, such as dizziness, nausea, and headaches (1). Having worked in the field of Occupational Therapy with survivors of Acquired and Traumatic Brain Injury traumas, Joanna is skilled and familiar with the symptoms and challenges of concussion and brain injury. She is familiar with the balance challenges, vision issues, dizziness, physical and mobility, sensory overload, memory and cognitive challenges that survivors face. She adapts to each client to meet their needs, calm their body and allow healing to take place. Clients who are interested in receiving therapeutic massage after an acquired or traumatic brain injury to aid with their recovery, need to have a written medical clearance from their referring or primary care physician to confirm there are no issues that might be contraindicated or could result in harm to them from the treatment. This might include checking medications they are on, blood clotting issues, level or stage of wound healing, recent surgeries, or sensory issues. Please check with your physician about receiving massage with your specific situation before scheduling an appointment. To make your treatment as beneficial as possible, please contact Joanna directly (via phone) before scheduling to discuss any medical or adaptive needs you might have for the treatment (such as sensory, mobility or vision challenges).