There is such much more to “Massage Therapy” than just relaxation techniques!
Orthopedic massage therapy is not a technique. It is a way of addressing each clients individual complaints in a systematic way by using orthopedic tests and deductive reasoning before treatment begins. Using this assessment skill set in conjunction with a spectrum of techniques can result it rapid changes in pain perception and increase range of motion in the joints.
There is so much more to Deep Tissue Massage than just pushing hard or using your elbows. Deep tissue massage involves getting into the “deeper” levels of the muscle tissue. This technique does not necessarily require extreme levels of force. The skill in order to get deep into the muscle tissue fibers requires slow, deliberate, and precise pressure along with much patience. You can not rush into deep tissue. Many who have received hard pressure massage come away with the feeling of just being bruised. That’s because the therapist was pushing through without checking in with their client. This technique involves the clients ability to breathe and relax along with proper communication from both therapist and client. This vital communication in deep tissue underlies the main difference between increasing the healing process and torturing someone.
At the base of many large muscle pains and aches, lay the small area of pain that triggered it all. When you can find the root cause of the problem you can then easily address it and change an area 10x the size. The key to this technique is getting the right angle, pressure, length of time and communication with the client to get the body to “reset”. Once the brain recognizes a problem in a muscle, it will increase circulation to the area to bring in fresh blood to repair the injury. The problem begins when this signal doesn’t turn off. The increased blood flow then becomes unwanted inflammation. This is turn sets off a snow ball effect that turns a large area into an achy pain. By resetting this signal, helping the brain body connection to normalize, you can clear out the effected area quite rapidly of pain and inflammation.
Fascia is best explained as layers upon layers of “saran wrap” like tissue that interconnects everything in your body together. It is directly underneath your skin, surrounds your muscles, nerves, blood vessels and organs. When there is damage to a muscle, the surrounding fascia can become dense and less flexible. Even when the muscle has repaired itself, the surround fascia can still make the effected area feel restricted. Since our fascia is intertwined throughout our bodies, we can even have sensations of pain in areas that were not injured. When tight fascia is stretched you will feel a burning sensation. This undesirable feeling is sometimes unavoidable if you want complete recovery from an injury. Here again is were good communication comes in between therapist and client. The therapist should only go as far and as fast as the client is willing and able to allow. Once the fascial tissue is release, one should feel a sense of being liberated.
PNF- Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation. Now say that five times fast! PNF takes stretching to an entirely new level. We all remember in high school gym class, when the teacher had us all stretch to our limit and then bounce so we could stretch farther. This teaching has been one of the greatest disservices to our physical education. When you stretch to your full limit, and then add a bounce, sure you can stretch farther, but you are ripping the muscle tissue to do it. PNF stretching was designed way back in the 40’s and 50’s, but did not start to become mainstream until after the 80’s. Simply stated, PNF stretching incorporates hold-relax techniques. This technique utilizes the “golgi tendon organ”, which relaxes a muscle after a sustained contraction has been applied to it for longer than 6 seconds. By doing this, especially with the help of a trained therapist, you can achieve incredible increases in your flexibility without endangering the muscle tissue.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Intake Paperwork (5mins-30mins)
Loose fitting clothing (t-shirt, tank-top, shorts, sweats, etc.) or
Draping will be provided and/or
Medical Gown may be provided
Modesty WILL be maintained at ALL times
If you have been in a car accident you should have received a letter from your insurance company regarding your coverage. Included in this form will be your claim number along with all necessary billing information. If you are coming in shortly after your car accident and you have yet to receive these forms we still can continue as long as you have a claim number, your date of injury and the name of YOUR insurance company. Also, if you have already seen a doctor for your injuries, please bring your prescription for massage therapy along with your treating doctors contact information. If you have yet to see a doctor, we can discuss referral options for doctors who specialize in car accident recovery.
LMT is a Licensed Massage Therapist. All massage therapists must meet the minimum requirements by the Oregon State Board of Massage Therapy and pass a written and practical exam with at least 70% in order to obtain their state license. It is ILLEGAL to practice massage therapy without a license in the State of Oregon. All massage therapists must renew their licenses every two years and meet the minimum requirements for continuing education. Each massage therapist may choose to obtain extra training in order to specialize in a particular field of massage.
While all licensed therapists must meet the minimum standards in education and pass the Oregon State board exam, every therapist must choose which direction to take in their careers through the courses chosen in their college of massage. Some may choose relaxation/spa massage while others may choose to increase their education levels to work with injury recovery. The latter group spend years accumulating experience in the varying types of modalities.
Some therapists may excel in giving a relaxing Swedish massage, yet they may lack the experience and confidence needed to assess the needs of a client who is suffering from an acute injury sustained from a high velocity car accident. The danger involved in choosing a massage therapist that does not have the proper training is the likelihood of increased recovery time and even the possibility of unnecessary pain and making the injury worse.
Some professionals will tell you that all you need to recover from an injury is exercise and stretch. But natural instinct tells us that right after we hurt ourselves we need to rest the injured area. While exercising and stretching are key factors in a complete recovery they should only come after the affected area is healed. Then exercising to restore strength and stretching to restore flexibility would be indicated.
This has been a question that many healthcare providers have vacillated on. In past 10 years or more there has been a change from using varying hot and cold packs every 24 hours. Now the understanding is that heat should be used for chronic muscle stiffness and ice should be used for acute muscle pain. To understand how and when to use these modalities we need to understand the basic functions of hot and cold on the human body. Cold constricts while heat inflames. When considering an injury we first and foremost need to control the inflammatory response. Using ice for 10-15 minutes will decrease the inflammation and decrease the pain response. Using ice for more than 15 minutes increases the chance for frostbite and will also trigger the body’s natural protective response to sustained cold by increasing blood flow to the affected area. This increased blood flow will undue the positive affects by again increasing inflammation. Heat should only be used with a chronic problem area in order to temporarily increase blood flow. For example, before stretching or exercising. As a rule of thumb, never use heat after any activities since the body temperature and ensuing inflammatory response is already heightened.
This is one of the most frequently asked and difficult questions to answer. In short… it depends on you. Since everyone’s injury is unique, along with their individual body’s natural ability to heal, the length can vary greatly. Commonly, those who were more active before the injury occurred seem to heal more rapidly due to their better overall health. Considering they refrain from activity during the healing process. That being said, even the healthiest amongst us will need ample time to heal from an accident with a lot of velocity. The key to a rapid recovery starts with getting treatment as soon as possible after the injury. The body’s amazing ability to heal and adjust can be both a blessing and a curse. If left on its own, without proper guidance, the body may mask over the pain and immobilize the affected area with scar tissue. At times this happens without notice since our body will naturally adapt to its new circumstances. If left for too long, these adaptations may become permanent. The sooner we can get the body healing itself correctly the sooner you can return to your normal way of life.
While there is some truth to the old adage, “no pain, no gain”, there needs to be a balance struck. This is where an experience massage therapist is absolutely essential. There are times when treatment might produce discomfort at the moment and then quickly vanish afterwards and/or be completely pain free and noticed the next few days. This is the body’s natural process to alert you that there is an injury that needs to be addressed. While some discomfort is unavoidable there should always be proper and immediate communication between client and therapist as to how the treatment is going. The therapist is able to feel the muscle tissue, but is unable to determine how this touch translates into the mind of the client. No professional therapist should take any offense to a client’s concern nor to a request to stop immediately.
If a massage therapist is providing the “exact” same service to a client they can not then “up-charge” an insurance company double than what they would normally charge someone if they paid the same day of service. This would be considered insurance fraud. We first need to determine if we are comparing the same services, apples to apples. For example, we would not expect a mechanic to charge the same price to replace brake pads as they would charge to replace an engine. The later requires more skill and time. So when does the service change when it comes to massage therapy?
When someone goes to a massage therapist for a relaxation massage:
Minimal, if any, intake paperwork
Client in charge of their own options
Client pays at time of service
No paperwork made after session
No support given after session
Minimal education level needed to provide a relaxation massage
When someone goes to a massage therapist for treatment from a car accident:
Lengthy intake paperwork
In depth consultation and assessment of injury
Understanding and ability to follow closely the treating Doctor’s prescription
Constant contact with referring physician’s office
Treatment “SOAP notes” or chart notes are made after every treatment session to include Subjective and Objective findings along with Assessment and Plan of action
Billing is filed and sent to insurance company
Continual contact with insurance company for reimbursement (3-4 month process)
Support given to any legal services rendered
In depth knowledge of human body in the recovery process
Understanding of medical and insurance terminologies