Every person is unique and so is every therapeutic session
I draw from a wide variety of experiences and training to provide every client with a relaxing and effective treatment plan. A variety of techniques incorporating stretching, mobilization and neuromuscular stimulation and release target the muscles, joints, fascia and nervous system.
I am a bit of a course junky and have taken more than my share courses. I believe in learning from specialists, and this strategy has helped me (and continues to help me) to become a better therapist.
For the curious, I have attempted below to give a very brief overview of some of the tools I have acquired and that I often integrate into a typical therapeutic session after considering the client's situation, goals and expectations. If you are curious, read on.
Functional assessment, evaluation of range of motion and palpation are used to evaluate the biomechanical deficits so that the treatment can focus on what is found. A massokinesitherapy session will dedicate more time on treating a problem creating pain or tightness as compaired to a preventative therapeutic session. A variety of approaches (a few are described below) could be used according to the symptomes present, the assessment findings and toyour specific needs. We may also discuss lifestyle and habits that may contribute the the situation and excerises adapted to your abilities and needs will be suggested.
Who can benefit? If you are tired of your chronic pain and are committed to finding relief from your symptoms, we will work it out together.
Active Isolated Stretching ®
Active Isolated Stretching (AIS) helps to increase flexibility and improve muscle coordination. Many of us have been shown to relax and hold a single long stretch for 30 seconds or more. In contrast, with AIS the muscles work throughout the stretch and each stretch is held for only 2 seconds but repeated 3 to 10 times. This form of stretching rapidly relaxes overly tense muscles - many of which are too deep to easily release by manual therapy. Therapist-assisted AIS is also a rapid way of releasing body tension that leads to postural imbalances. With the proper coaching, many of the specific stretches can be performed at home using a strap.
Who can benefit? Everyone, but amateur and professional athletes alike particularly recognize how AIS can improve their performance and decrease their recovery time from injuries. Other clients that I have found truly benefit from this work the most are the elderly as well as anyone with extreme movement and mobility issues. Loose comfortable clothing is recommended.
Integrated Fasciatherapy and Structural Myofascial Therapy
The fascia is a multi-layered fibrous tissue that envelope, support and connect the bones, muscles and organs throughout the body and allow them to slide smoothly across adjacent structures during movement. Fasciatherapy manipulates this tissue and the intended focus is to 'persuade' the fascia to gently and slowly stretch and to improve the glide between layers. The potential benefits are the increased mobility and ease of movement in the tissues and muscles as well as reduced pain. Fasciatherapy is often combined with deep tissue massage and trigger point therapy to provide a deep therapeutic massage.
Who can benefit? Everyone. I have used a combination of techniques that fall under the fasciatherapy banner with most of my clients.
Trigger Point Therapy and Deep Tissue Massage
Since Trigger Points are muscle tender points with the characteristic that, when pressed, cause not only local pain but also predictable patterns of 'referred pain' in sometimes surprisingly remote areas of the body. These are frequently located within the deep tissue that is treated by easing gently through the surface layers to work with and release the deeper core muscles and tissues underneath. I sometimes surprise my clients by locating the cause of their headache symptoms in their shoulders and upper backs. By releasing the trigger points found the symptoms fade away. Because treating trigger points is by definition somewhat painful, the work is done with continual feedback in order to be certain that the pain intensity is well within the comfort level of the client.
The 'deep' in deep tissue massage refers to a location not an intensity scale! The intension is to work on the soft tissues located below the superficial layer that is more accessible from the skin surface. The truth of the matter is that just because the tissue is deep, it does not mean that working on them is necessarily painful as well.
Who can benefit? Individuals that still have recurring pain after having had a massage. These clients may still have trigger points in superficial and deep muscles that were not located and released.
Kinetic Swedish Massage ®
This is the closest to what is considered an oil-based 'relaxation' massage (although I frequently use Shea butter). As always, an emphasis is placed on treating the area of the body creating the symptom, rather than merely treating the symptoms that result from the underlying problem. Muscles, tendons joints and fascia are treated using oil and non-oil based modalities to release muscular tension, enhance mobility, resolve pain and relieve symptoms of stress.
Who can benefit? This is most similar to what you may know as a 'relaxation massage'. It is especially appropriate for those who have a low pain threshold are elderly or who bruise easily.
Thai Yoga Massage
The therapist brings the client into gentle passive stretching, slow relaxing movements and uses gentle compression to stimulate circulation and release tension. Using fingers, palms, forearms, knees and feet, the therapist is able to modulate the pressure applied as needed on different regions. The result is greater joint flexibility, increased range of motion, and relief of muscular tension and stiffness. Thai Yoga massage is both deeply relaxing and stimulating.
No products are applied and loose comfortable clothing is recommended. While traditionally performed on a comfortable floor mat, it can also be received on a standard massage table.
Who can benefit? This is a great stress relieving and relaxing massage! Although everyone can benefit, anyone who has limited range of movement and who is unable to move pain-free on their own can especially benefit from the passive stretches received. I also find that this can be very therapeutic for those who tend to hold a lot of tension in their muscles and have difficulty 'letting go'. The combination of massage and movement is also an exceptionally good way to develop body (or somatic) awareness.
Somatic and breathing awareness techniques
Somatic in latin means 'pertaining to the body'. Poor body awareness, especially in dysfunctional is very common. Poor breathing patterns also go hand-in-hand is poor somatic awareness, and can create surprising and long reaching issues due - not only to low CO2 waste removal and oxygen exchange - but due to body biomechanics being compromised in surprising and significant ways. It is essential that one develops better somatic awareness and become aware of poor habits to correct posture, movement and breathing patterns before they create more serious issues. This work is integrated in small but important ways in all my therapy sessions.
This is knowledge that I acquired in part from my manual therapy training, but mostly from years of personal practice and formal training in yoga and pilates as well as from gentle somatic gymnastics classes that I have followed over the years.
Who can benefit? Everyone! We live in a sedentary society where many earn a living sitting in front of a computer at their desk for 8 hours a day. Office workers must remain in static positions for long periods of time and find this kind of work very beneficial. Even people with overall excellent somatic awareness can appreciate having a light shone onto the few remote 'blind spots' that are creating issues.
Certified Massage Therapist and Kinesitherapist with the FQM