Clinical Massage

What is clinical rehabilitative massage?

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"Make the impossible, possible. The possible, easy. The easy, elegant." 

-Moshe Feldenkrais

Clinical massage, also referred to as medical massage, is an approach to massage therapy that is focused on pain relief and rehabilitation. Assessment, manual therapy, and massage techniques are used to support the resolution of chronic pain, injury, and movement complaints.

 

One of the principles I've found particularly effective over the years is that bones will go where muscles put them. Because of this, the focus of this therapy is on the manipulation of the soft tissues of the body (muscle, fascia, and connective tissue). The techniques I have trained in can be found below.

Orthopedic massage therapy is a comprehensive approach to massage that involves a thorough assessment of the individual prior to treatment. These assessments include range-of-motion testing, resistive testing, special orthopedic tests, and posture analysis. They will establish a fuller picture of what is occurring in your body. Once we know the "why" of your dysfunction we're empowered with the knowledge of "how" to treat it. After the assessment, a wide variety of treatment methods and techniques are used to address your specific soft-tissue and musculoskeletal disorders.

Fascial tissue makes up a large portion of your muscle tissue and is often overlooked in both manual and movement therapies. It is made up of layers of connective tissue with a viscous ground substance that acts as both a lubrication and shock absorber for your entire body. 

 

Myofascial release is a very slow massage technique that focuses on addressing adhesions and restrictions in the fascial tissue. Little to no cream is used and pressure is sustained for extended periods of time to realign and release any adhesions and restrictions. 

Trigger points are dense "knots" or areas of hypersensitivity that can be found in overworked muscle tissue. These trigger points can "refer" pain to other parts of the body. Sometimes they can travel great distances and the pain is nowhere near where the trigger point resides. A common example would be small trigger points in the neck that refer pain up into the head. In many instances, these trigger points are the culprit of tension headaches.

Trigger point release involves static holds and sustained pressure applied directly to the trigger point. This "de-activates" the trigger point and allows the muscle to return to its proper tone and function. 

Yoga has become ubiquitous in the health and wellness industry. This modality can be slowed down and refined to offer many therapeutic benefits. Many times, yoga poses and stretches can be used as an adjunct to the bodywork therapy you receive. These poses can act as wonderful "holder-overs" until you can return for your next session.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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What conditions do you treat?  - Injuries, chronic pain, and movement dysfunctions are my clinical interest. These include, but aren't limited to, whiplash, thoracic outlet syndrome, rotator cuff and/or shoulder impingement problems, biceps tendinosis, carpal tunnel syndrome, upper or lower back pain, sciatica, hip impingements, and runner's knee.

 

I also love working with those elusive, undiagnosable pain complaints that stubbornly resist other treatments.

How do I prepare? - Fill out your medical history form and arrive on time. Bring shorts (and a sports bra) so we can go through a posture analysis without being impeded by clothes.

What does a session entail? - A typical session consists of an evaluation of your medical history (intake forms) followed by a posture and movement analysis. The assessment gives us a more clear picture of what is going on in your body so we know what to treat.

 

After the assessment portion of the session, you'll lay on the massage table, be draped with linens, and the modalities listed above will be used to address your specific problem areas. 

Is it painful? - The sessions involve a certain level of discomfort. They should, however, never be painful. On a sensation scale of 1-10, our working level of discomfort will hover around a 4-5. It will "hurt so good." We are looking to resolve muscular dysfunction without adding to the problem by over-exciting your nervous system.

How long are the sessions? - Sessions are 60 or 90 minutes in length. A 90-minute session is recommended for your first visit to give us ample time for both the assessment and hands-on treatment. After the initial visit, a treatment plan will be discussed to determine the frequency and duration that will work for you.

How many sessions are required? - The short answer is that it depends. It will certainly take more than one session and it may take anywhere from 5-12 sessions to find a resolution. It may also require the help of other medical professionals, such as an orthopedist, physical therapist, or chiropractor. I will also let you know if massage will not be effective in supporting your recovery.

How much does it cost? - Your first session is 10% off. After that, sessions cost $100 ($95 cash) for an hour or $140 ($135 cash) for 90 minutes. 

Packages of three, hour-long sessions cost $279 ($93/sesssion)

Packages of three, 90-minute sessions cost $399 ($133/session) 

Do you accept Health Insurance? - I do not accept health insurance. An HSA or FSA, however, can be used to pay for sessions. Keep in mind that each insurance plan has its own requirements. Please check with your insurance company before using your card to pay for sessions.