Massage Therapy at Aligned Health Chiropractic
Massage is one of the therapies Aligned Health Chiropractic uses in conjunction with our chiropractic care services to help our patients deal with pain and stress.
Swedish massage is the style that comes to mind when most people think about massage. It was developed in Stockholm a couple of centuries ago and is the most common and best-known type form of bodywork performed today.
The goal is relaxing the entire body and this is accomplished by rubbing the muscles with long gliding strokes in the direction of blood returning to the heart. Additional techniques include circular pressure applied by the hands and palms, firm kneading, percussion-like tapping, bending and stretching. Lotion is often used to reduce friction and stimulate the skin.
Swedish massage is exceptional for increasing the level of oxygen in the blood, decreasing muscle toxins, improving circulation and flexibility while easing tension.
Deep Tissue Massage
Deep tissue massage is similar to Swedish massage but is used to target knots and release chronic muscle tension. Other benefits include reducing inflammation and helping to eliminate scar tissue. The focus is on the deepest layers of muscle tissue, tendons, and fascia (the protective layer surrounding muscles, bones and joints).
Deep tissue massage uses strokes across the grain of the muscles, not with the grain as in Swedish massage. The more intense movements and techniques such as deep finger pressure may be slightly uncomfortable and cause soreness that lasts a couple of days before resulting in the desired relaxation and pain relief.
Sports massage is geared toward athletes of every kind, from world-class professionals to weekend joggers. The particulars of the massage are specific to the athlete’s sport of choice and are often focused on a particular troublesome area like a knee or shoulder.
Aspects of massage are gaining popularity as useful components in a balanced training regimen. Sports massage can be used as a means to enhance pre-event preparation and reduce recovery time for maximum performance during training or after an event. Athletes have discovered that specifically designed massage promotes flexibility, removes fatigue, improves endurance, helps prevent injuries, and prepares them to compete at their absolute best.
Cranial sacral therapy (also known as craniosacral therapy) is a gentle, noninvasive form of alternative medicine that deals with the movement of the fluid surrounding the skull and spine. Cranial sacral therapists ease the restrictions of nerve passages by focusing on the membranes that encase the central nervous system.
Cranial sacral therapy seeks to restore misaligned bones to their proper position and is thought to eliminate the negative effects of stress as well as provide relief from migraine headaches, neck and back pain, temporomandibular joint disorder (the inflammation of the joint that connects the lower jaw to the skull) and more.
Deep Tissue Hot Stone
Discover the benefits of Deep Tissue Hot Stone therapy. Deep Tissue Hot Stone Therapy melts away tension, eases muscle stiffness, and increases circulation and metabolism. Each 90 minute Deep Tissue Hot Stone session features the placement of smooth, water heated stones at key points on the body to allow for deeper relaxation of the muscles.
Deep Tissue Hot Stone Therapy is ideal for:
- Muscular aches
- Back pain
- Stress and anxiety
- Poor circulation
Deep Tissue Hot Stone Therapy is gaining popularity for its ability to provide deeper muscle and tissue relaxation, which in turn releases more toxins and improves circulation. The benefits of Deep Tissue Hot Stone Therapy have even been used in the treatment of insomnia and depression.
Bodywork therapy feels GREAT and is beneficial on many levels! It wakes the body up and makes it feel invigorated, at the same time producing a profound level of healing through nervous system sedation. It stimulates the skin by increasing circulation and promoting a hydrated glow, while separating fused tissue layers and draining lymph. It works deeper by loosening adhesions, facilitating the muscles to operate more independently and stimulating healthy elimination of accumulated debris in the tissues, organs and systems.
Conditions That Respond to Medical Cupping Bodywork Therapy:
Fibromyalgia, Poor Circulation, Sciatica, Insomnia, Anxiety, Cellulite, Toxicity, Asthma, Pneumonia, TMJ Dysfunction, Diabetes, Parkinson’s Disease, Chronic Pain, Menopause, Arthritis, Neuralgia, Migraines, Tension, Sluggish Colon, Athletic Stress, Scars, Aches, Spider Veins
Reflexology is a branch of massage that focuses solely on the hands and feet. Originally developed as “one therapy” in the early twentieth century, reflexology uses specifically targeted points on the extremities to send signals to the brain and balance the nervous system.
A reflexologist stretches and moves the hands and feet, applying pressure on reflex areas that correspond to specific organs and other parts of the body. Endorphins are released throughout the entire body, reducing stress and returning the body to equilibrium. Reflexology has been known to provide relief from ailments such as tension headaches, arthritis, digestive issues and back pain.
Myofascial release is a highly specialized stretching technique to treat patients with a variety of soft tissue problems.
To understand what myofascial release is and why it works, you have to understand a little about fascia. Fascia is a thin tissue that covers all the organs of the body. This tissue covers every muscle and every fiber within each muscle. All muscle stretching, then, is actually stretching of the fascia and the muscle, the myofascial unit. When muscle fibers are injured, the fibers and the fascia which surrounds it become short and tight. This uneven stress can be transmitted through the fascia to other parts of the body, causing pain and a variety of other symptoms in areas you often wouldn’t expect. Myofascial release treats these symptoms by releasing the uneven tightness in injured fascia.
In other words, myofascial release is stretching of the fascia. The stretch is guided by feedback the therapist feels from the patient’s body. This feedback tells the therapist how much force to use, the direction of the stretch and how long to stretch. Small areas of muscle are stretched at a time. Sometimes the therapist uses only two fingers to stretch a small part of a muscle. The feedback the therapist feels determines which muscles are stretched and in what order.
Each myofascial release technique contains the same components. The therapist finds the area of tightness. A light stretch is applied to the tight area. The therapist waits for the tissue to relax and then increases the stretch. The process is repeated until the area is fully relaxed. Then, the next area is stretched.
The therapist will be able to find sore spots just by feel. Often, patients are unable to pinpoint some sore spots or have grown used to them until the therapist finds them. The size and sensitivity of these sore spots, called myofascial trigger points, will decrease with treatment.
Most patients are surprised by how gentle myofascial release is. Some patients fall asleep during treatment. Others later go home and take a nap. Most patients find myofascial release to be a very relaxing form of treatment.
Myofascial release is not massage. Myofascial release is used to equalize muscle tension throughout the body. Unequal muscle tension can compress nerves and muscles causing pain. Progress is measured by a decrease in the patient’s pain and by an improvement in overall posture.
Massage can relieve post-operative pain and edema, and promote the removal of toxins as it assists in the flow of lymph, blood, and oxygen. Over time, clients will experience increased range of motion, reduced scar tissue, restored feeling and sensation by stimulating nerve endings, an improved body image and may become more aware and reconnected to themselves.