Massage and Manual Therapies - Change the way your body feels

Types of Massage:

Deep Tissue: This is the most commonly asked form type of massage in our office. This form of massage can help with relaxation as well as some issues of pain. It is a slower moving session to allow for the therapist to reach deeper tissues. One thing to note about Deep Tissue massages, they should not be overly painful. If your therapist uses too much pressure at any point, tell them and they will adjust.

Sports: This form of massage has two stages in office, maintenance and recovery.  The maintenance stage is similar to deep tissue massage with more stretching and range of motion testing particular to the activity you would be participating in. The recovery stage is done after the race and is usually similar to a lymphatic type massage to move fluids and promote healing. There are also race day sports therapies that are done on site. These are pre and post-race. Pre-race will wake up tissues and create blood flow, while post-race will move fluids and remove inflammation.

Neuromuscular Therapy: This is a form of massage in which pain is tried to be controlled by applying pressure to areas located within a muscle called Myofascial Trigger Points. These points are created when a muscle is working too hard and trying to create balance. Occasionally these points become irritated and will need to be released. Neuromuscular Therapy is usually worked into a session when a client comes in requiring pain relief.

Orthopedic: This form of massage utilizes specific orthopedic tests to better determine what condition a person might be suffering from so that a therapist’s work and a client’s time are maximized. Once the tests have allowed a therapist to determine the best course of action, a specific protocol to alleviate the condition is used. Orthopedic massage is usually worked into a session when needed.

Types of Bodywork:

          First we want to take a minute and explain to you the difference between massage and bodywork. Bodywork is not a primarily symptom driven and does not necessarily or immediately seek to address where clients are hurting; it looks beyond the immediate symptoms to find an underlying pattern that may have given rise to that symptom or cluster of symptoms; It looks for deeper causes. Very often the place that first registers pain is really the ‘weakest link’ in a complex web of imbalances.
          Change throughout the myofascial network system cannot be made all at once. The work therefore proceeds somewhat stepwise by a series of approximations towards a more harmonious condition of structural balance. This implies that a series of sessions is required, with enough time between to allow the person to adjust to the changes.
          Each person’s structure is unique. Certainly there are some structural patterns and themes that are widespread, and some generalizations can be made, effective bodywork must be tailored to the client’s structural idiosyncrasies. Adjustments mad to the body and types of strokes must be selected with care and cannot be protocol driven.
          For these reasons when someone asks us the difference we will usually tell them that bodywork is a ‘goal oriented, site specific type of therapy focused on helping balance the body.’

Myofascial Release:  Fascia is a specialized system of the body that has an appearance similar to a spider's web or a sweater. Fascia is very densely woven, covering and interpenetrating every muscle, bone, nerve, artery and vein, as well as, all of our internal organs including the heart, lungs, brain and spinal cord. The most interesting aspect of the fascial system is that it is not just a system of separate coverings. It is actually one continuous structure that exists from head to toe without interruption. In this way you can begin to see that each part of the entire body is connected to every other part by the fascia, like the yarn in a sweater. 
          Myofascial Release is a safe and very effective hands-on technique that involves applying gentle sustained pressure into the Myofascial connective tissue restrictions to eliminate pain and restore motion. This essential “time element” has to do with the viscous flow and the piezoelectric phenomenon: a low load (gentle pressure) applied slowly will allow a viscoelastic medium (fascia) to elongate. This elongation done in the correct place during the correct session can create an overall change to the fascial system.

Structural Integration: Following many of the same principles of Myofascial Release, Structural Integration focuses on slowly lengthening and organizing fascial tissues in the body to help establish a balance and organized postural stance. This process is often done over a series of sessions, improving and changing one pattern in the body at a time, which in turn lays the ground work for each subsequent session to be more effective and thus leads to longer lasting results.
          The number of sessions someone may need to see improvement can often vary, as no two people have exactly the same issues. A therapist will work with the client as they progress through sessions to ensure that the correct focus and goals are being achieved and that their body is continuing to establish an improved postural balance and increased movement health.

Cranio-Sacral Therapy:  Few structures have as much influence over the body’s ability to function properly as the brain and spinal cord that make up the central nervous system. And, the central nervous system is heavily influenced by the craniosacral system – the membranes and fluid that surround, protect and nourish the brain and spinal cord. Unfortunately, these changes often cause body tissues to tighten and distort the craniosacral system. These distortions can then cause tension to form around the brain and spinal cord resulting in restrictions. This can create a barrier to the healthy performance of the central nervous system, and potentially every other system it interacts with.
Fortunately, such restrictions can be detected and corrected using simple methods of touch. With a light touch, (5 grams, or the weight of a nickel) the CST practitioner uses his or her hands to evaluate the craniosacral system by gently feeling various locations of the body to test for the ease of motion and rhythm of the cerebrospinal fluid pulsing around the brain and spinal cord. By normalizing the environment around the brain and spinal cord and enhancing the body’s ability to self-correct, CranioSacral Therapy is able to alleviate a wide variety of dysfunctions.

Postural Assessment: This is not a form of a massage as much as it is a tool we use to help us understand what is going on in your body. We will have you stand in front of us against a posture chart so that we can better see if there are any imbalances. We will also have you walk for us as well as maybe run you through some range of motion tests. This is all part of our evaluation process that will give you the best results for your time.

Functional Movement Screening and Corrective Movement Program: FMS is the screening tool used to identify limitations or asymmetries in seven fundamental movement patterns that are key to functional movement quality in individuals with no current pain complaint or known musculoskeletal injury. These movement patterns are designed to provide observable performance of basic loco motor, manipulative and stabilizing movements by placing an individual in extreme positions where weaknesses and imbalances become noticeable if appropriate mobility and motor control is not utilized. We at Hands On Healing use this information for both evaluation as well as a ‘homework program’ to help maintain the progress obtained during the hands-on treatment. The two together produce effective longer lasting results.

6944 Vaughn Road, Montgomery, AL  36116
Phone (334) 279-4263, Fax (334) 279-5813