Massage Techniques & Protocols
Therapeutic massage uses physical touch to manipulate the muscles and soft tissues of the body. There are many types of massage therapy, each focused on delivering results that include improved flexibility, circulation, relaxation, and elimination or prevention of scar tissue. At the El Paso Back Clinic we are pleased to offer professional massage treatment as a primary or complementary solution to promote healing and rejuvenation.
THE BENEFITS OF COMBINING MASSAGE THERAPY WITH CHIROPRACTIC CARE
Massage therapy and chiropractic care are often recommended as complementary therapies. These two treatment options offer a range of benefits, even when sought separately—together, their combined benefits can offer patients faster, more effective long-term relief from pain and stress.
- Patients who receive both massage therapy and chiropractic care for injuries or illnesses exhibit faster recovery times as the entire body works together in concert to heal and restore itself.
- Receiving a massage just prior to chiropractic adjustment can make the adjustment process easier and more effective because your muscles are more relaxed and less likely to cause resistance that could diminish the effects of your adjustment.
- Chronic stress and muscle tension can lead to subluxations that require chiropractic treatment to address. In addition to its physical benefits, massage therapy is an excellent relaxation technique that can reduce overall mental stress, eliminating the root cause of your pain.
- When used together, massage and chiropractic adjustment can achieve more effective results in terms of mobility and flexibility because the muscles and joints of the body must work together for proper movement.
GETTING THE MOST FROM YOUR MASSAGE
Therapeutic massage is a chance for your body and mind to receive the dedicated care needed for healing and relaxation. A few key tips can help you get the most from your massage therapy for faster recovery and improved wellness every day.
- Communicate: Communication is the key to an effective massage. Discuss symptoms such as stiffness and pain with your massage therapist to determine the best areas of focus during your treatment. Don’t be afraid to speak up during your massage to take an active role in your treatment—you’ll achieve the best results when you and your massage therapist are on the same page.
- Relax: Massage works best when you are relaxed. Take the time during your massage to focus on relaxation, rather than updating your mental “to do” list. Avoid eating a heavy meal right before your massage therapy session; if you think you’ll be hungry, have a piece of fruit or small snack so you’ll feel comfortable but not overly full.
ACTIVE RELEASE TECHNIQUE®
Active Release Technique® (ART) is a patented, state-of-the-art soft tissue management system that treats problems with muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia and nerves. Repetitive Strain Injuries and Cumulative Injuries Disorders can be resolved quickly and permanently with ART. These conditions all have one important thing in common: they are often a result of overused muscles.
Repetitive strain and/or cumulative injuries can cause your body to produce tough, dense scar tissue in the affected area. This scar tissue binds up and ties down tissues that need to move freely. As scar tissue builds up, muscles become shorter and weaker, causing tension on tendons, and nerves can become entrapped. This can cause reduced range of motion, loss of strength, and pain. I f a nerve is entrapped you may also feel tingling, numbness, and weakness.
Every ART session is actually a combination of examination and treatment. The ART provider uses his or her hands to evaluate the texture, tightness and movement of muscles, fascia, tendons, ligaments and nerves. Dysfunctional tissues are treated by combining precisely directed tension with very specific patient movements.
These treatment protocols – over 500 specific moves – are unique to ART. They allow providers to identify and correct the specific problems that are affecting each individual patient. ART is not a cookie-cutter approach.
ART has been developed, refined, and patented by P. Michael Leahy, DC, CCSP. Dr. Leahy noticed that his patients’ symptoms seemed to be related to changes in their soft tissue that could be felt by hand. By observing how muscles, fascia, tendons, ligaments and nerves responded to different types of work, Dr. Leahy was able to consistently resolve over 90% of his patients’ problems. Dr. Alex Jimenez has studied and been credentialed by Dr. Leahy since 1999.
Derived from the Latin words “myo” – meaning muscle, and “fascia” – for band; Myofascial Release Therapy (MRT) releases tension from the fibrous bands of connecting tissue (fascia) aiming to free constrictions or blockages in the fascia, thereby alleviating problems with connective tissue scarring or injury.
MRT utilizes gentle, kneading manipulation that softly stretches, lengthens and realigns fascia. After careful observation of ones posture, a myofascial release therapist will feel for restricted areas of the body. When restricted areas are found, the myofascial release therapist will gently stretch tissues along the direction of the muscle fibers. This stretch is held until a softening or release is felt. The process is then repeated until the tension is felt no more. By using MRT, disruptions of the fascial network are freed and tension on bones, muscles, joints and nerves is relieved. Myofascial release is often used in conjunction with other manipulative techniques to aid in optimal tissue texture and function.
Cross-friction Release (CRT) is a manual therapy that is applied directly to the lesion and transverse to the direction of the soft-tissue fibers. The application of CRT causes an analgesic effect and realigns individual muscle, tendon, and ligament fibers at the site of injury. The technique is often used in conjunction with other manipulative techniques to aid in optimal tissue texture and function.
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