Deep Tissue Massage. Trigger Point Therapy. Fascial Therapy. These, and many more clinical modalities, make up what I call Therapeutic Massage. A Therapeutic Massage may not feel very relaxing; it may even hurt during the session. However, the pain you experience is the "good pain" that lets you know that even though you may feel a little sore after the session, effective work was done, and in a couple of days you will feel drastically improved. My goal in a therapeutic treatment session is to have you leave with whatever brought you in feeling significantly different, if not gone all together.
For a therapeutic massage, I use my experience with Orthopedic Assessment to determine what exactly is going on in the body, and how best to treat it on the table. The bulk of a session will likely consist of NMT and MFR techniques (see below), each one carefully chosen based on the specific issue I am trying to address in your unique body. Over the course of many treatments, as your tissue changes, the fascia unwinds, and your body begins to realign, you will notice the sessions will change accordingly, and may include techniques from sports massage, flexibility training, and even Swedish depending on what your body needs that day. Importantly, while I rely on my observations and experience, I am most effective when we listen to and follow your intuition. You are the expert on your body and its needs. As we work together on the process of healing your body, and you familiarize yourself with the various approaches I use, we will increasingly rely on your intuition to direct treatment modalities in your therapeutic session.
As a Certified Neuromusculartherapist, Neuromuscular therapy (NMT) provides the foundation of my therapeutic sessions. NMT is an anatomical approach to bodywork: we work your body muscle by muscle, fiber by fiber, scanning the specific areas for adhesion or hypertonicity (tension), and treating whatever we find. Hidden in the layers of tissues are little "knots," called trigger points, which, if left untreated, begin to radiate pain in predictable patterns. This "pain pattern" is often experienced as a chronic, diffuse, aching pain that doesn't seem to go away, no matter how deeply your work it. With NMT's anatomical, thorough approach, we go through the layers of tissues, treating every trigger point we find, forcing the brain to actively release the tension, so that by the time the massage is over, the chronic pain pattern is actually gone. It sounds amazing and too good to be true; one of the most rewarding parts of my day is seeing the mixture of relief and disbelief on my client's faces after their first NMT session. And it gets even better: after 3-6 successive treatments, we can actually create new neural pathways that keep the trigger points away for good. Imagine your life free of the chronic shoulder, neck or low back pain: if trigger points are the cause, NMT is a quick route to making that life a reality.
Sometimes, however, when trigger point patterns have been around for extended periods of time, and especially if combined with poor posture, sedentary lifestyles, or periods of injury, the fascial system of the body also needs to be addressed. I treat fascia using MyoFascial Release (MFR) techniques developed by PT/LMT John F. Barnes. These techniques often involve slow, sustained pressure against fascial adhesions to encourage unwinding and opening in the fascial chains of the body. After MFR, your body will feel longer, open, and more flexible. The results of MFR are also more long-lasting than NMT, and will last far beyond a single session.