MASSAGE and MANUAL THERAPY MODALITY DEFINITIONS
I combine a number of different massage and soft tissue modalities so as to provide an intuitive service that is holistic, unique and effective in the treatment and management of acute and chronic soft tissue pain. To help give a better understanding of what I do, and how I can potentially help meet your soft tissue needs, click the link below for a brief description of the modalities and techniques I've studied.
Dry needling is an alternate soft tissue technique where a sterile, single use, fine filament acupuncture needle is inserted into an active trigger point (knot) to stimulate underlying connective tissue. Once inserted, the needle induces a neurological response that affects the neural pathway between the brain and the muscle, diminishing pain, releasing contractile tissue and myofascial restriction, and inducing a reparative response that facilitates the improvement of dysfunctional tissue. One of the many benefits of dry needling is that is it a very precise way of accessing and releasing muscle tension, allowing a practitioner to target areas that may have be inaccessible or too dangerous for the performance of other manual therapy techniques.
Massage therapy is the therapeutic practice of manipulating the muscles and limbs by rubbing, kneading, patting, or the like, to stimulate circulation, increase suppleness, relieve tension, and relieve pain. Massage therapy can be a vital and effective part of a physical therapy treatment plan to help reduce symptoms and disorders or pain within muscles and the nervous system, and is also good for relieving stress.
REMEDIAL MASSAGE THERAPY
Remedial massage therapy is a complementary therapy which aims to treat muscles that are damaged, knotted, tense or immobile. It is used to locate and aid the repair of damaged tissue within the body, speeding up the bodies own healing process. Remedial massage therapy can increase tissue perfusion, joint mobility, and aids in the removal of waste products so they may be excreted.
TRIGGER POINT THERAPY
Trigger point therapy is a form of soft tissue therapy in which direct pressure is applied to specific points on tender muscle tissue to bring about a reduction in tension and pain. Trigger points or 'knots' are bands of tissue within the muscle that have become activated due to overuse, inflammation, trauma, electrolyte imbalances, emotional stress, infection, poor nutrition or poor posture. Trigger points are basically muscle fibres that remain in a dysfunctionally contracted state. Muscles with active trigger points are always weaker than normal muscles as their shortened length means they are unable to function properly or move through their entire range of motion. Other muscles are then recruited to help compensate for the short comings of the compromised muscle often resulting in the development of trigger points within the secondary muscle out of fatigue and overuse.
Myofascial release is a specialised manipulative soft tissue treatment that attempts to systemically release tension in the fascia (skin tissue) caused by overuse, trauma, infectious agents, poor posture, inflammation, inactivity or dysfunction. The membranous connective tissue called fascia surrounds, supports and protects all of the bodies internal tissue including; muscles, bones, nerves, and organs. Chronic tension causes points of restriction in the fascia, known as myofascial restriction, which inhibits blood flow, lymphatic circulation and places pressure on nerves, muscles and organs, causing soft tissue pain and further dysfunction. Myofascial release is the manipulation of the bodies fascial lines, and subsequent breaking up of restriction within the tissue, that can have a long lasting positive effects on the management and treatment of soft tissue pain issues.
Craniosacral therapy is an alternative treatment typically used to manipulate the joints of the cranium, spine and pelvis in order to affect the circulation of the cerebrospinal fluid and enhance the body's own self healing capabilities. Craniosacral therapy does not involve any spinal manipulation but rather through the use of light touch, applied pressure, and cyclical breathing, the body is encouraged to move back toward structural balance and a place of holistic homeostasis.
ACTIVE RELEASE TECHNIQUE
Active release technique is a movement based soft tissue technique that treats the body's tissue by combining trigger point therapy and myofascial manipulation. ART entails identifying, isolating, and targeting affected areas within the tissue to break up myofascial restriction, contractile tissue and scar tissue. This reestablishes proper motion and pain free biomechanics between muscle fibres and their protective sheath (fascia) while reducing fibrous adhesions and tension within the tissue, resulting in accelerated healing through increased blood flow and lymphatic circulation.
POSITIONAL RELEASE TECHNIQUE
Positional release therapy is a specialised technique that focuses on resolving pain and tissue dysfunction by putting the body and tissue in positions of comfort. Instead of forcefully compressing or stretching myofascial restrictions, positional release therapy moves the patients body part away from the restricted barrier allowing the tissue to unwind first prior to manipulation. This allows the neurological system to relax, interrupting the pain spasm cycle, and resets contracted muscle tissue allowing it to return back to its normal resting length. Used in conjunction with trigger point therapy and myofascial release this technique is excellent for further facilitating tissue perfusion and structural alignment.
DORN SPINAL THERAPY
Dorn spinal therapy is a manual, gentle, holistic alternate therapy used to correct misalignments of the joints within the spinal column and pelvis. Dorn spinal therapy offers alignment though targeted pressure on skeletal structures along with natural muscle movement in order to divert the muscles tension, and from his relaxed state, bring bones back into their natural alignment. Poor posture, overuse, unhealthy functional movement patterns, fatigue, work, sport and stress are all factors in producing unbalanced tensioning on the spine, pelvis and attached musculature. This tension causes misalignments within the skeletal system that can have negative effects on nerve function, and if left untreated, contribute to long term chronic illnesses.
Joint mobilisation is a specialised technique designed to attain a normal range of pain-free motion within a joint by loosening and stretching the intrinsic fascial tissue. Joint stiffness can be associated with any joint, muscle, tendon or ligament and is usually the result of a simple mis-alignment or control issue that has caused the joint to move in an awkward and unnatural position. For full pain free movement our joints need to be able to move freely in all directions as they were designed to do. If they become restricted in any particular direction, one may experience pain and/or stiffness. While a joint mobilisation treatment may vary depending on the associated joint, the dysfunction can be easily addressed and treated effectively via a targeted pin and stretch type of fascial technique that is both safe and elicits minimal discomfort.
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