MFR differs from massage in that it uses an applied slow, steady pressure with sustained stretching of underlying tissue to free up tension and soften the underlying fascia. This allows for improved joint and muscle mobility and reduces associated pain and discomfort. This technique is generally administered without the use of any massage creams or lotions. The fascia or connective tissue is a linking network throughout our body connecting muscles, bone, organs and nerves. Keeping it flexible is vital to our mobility & health.
Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Massage employs the use of ergonomic tools with a variety of shapes, sizes and materials that contour to different body regions. The therapist uses gliding or scrapping techniques to break up areas of restrictions and adhesions which encourages soft tissue healing and remodeling to improve function.
Cupping therapy is an ancient medicinal treatment that has been used throughout the world for thousands of years. In China it has been a medicinal technique for over 3,000 years The most common, modern application of cupping is for the treatment of musculoskeletal pain. The cups are applied to the skin with a vacuum to create a suction over the specific treatment area. In doing so, congestion in blood, or underlying tissues such as fascial, muscle, nerve is reduced, and the circulation of blood and lymph is enhanced. This allows for nutrient delivery and the removal of metabolic waste materials, resulting in pain relief and improved tissue function.
There is an old Chinese maxim which states “Where there’s stagnation, there will be pain. Remove the stagnation, and you remove the pain.
Assisted Stretching is a form of bodywork where the therapist applies a variety of range-of-motion (ROM) movements on the table or mat, to safely improve flexibility thereby improving mobility and activities of daily living. Stretching breaks through fascial and scar tissue restrictions that arise from previous injuries, traumas, or habitual postural patterns increasing ROM and thereby minimizing the potential for further injury and pain. Aging, sedentary or tablet lifestyles change the pliability of fascia in our bodies, directly impacting our joints and muscles by creating a condition of unbalanced tension. These tight areas not only restrict movement, but also reduce blood flow and oxygen supply to tissues, ultimately leading to alignment issue, pain, and quality of life. Stretching techniques may include passive stretching, active stretching, or proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF/contract-relax). Each style has their purpose, and a session will often combine techniques for optimal results.
Kinesio taping is a rehabilitative method involving an elastic tape strategically placed to aid in the body’s natural healing process. During this treatment, kinesio tape provides stability to joints and muscles without restricting the body’s range of motion. It can also provide soft tissue manipulation, which will prolong the benefits of manual therapy. When applied correctly, kinesio tape works by targeting the sensory receptors of the skin and having a lifting effect. The tactile sensation and lifting affect are what alleviates pain and facilitates lymphatic drainage, allowing for decreased inflammation in the affected area.
Kinesio tape can be used to treat injuries, support weak zones, re-educate muscles, enhance performance and manage scars. It is a helpful treatment for the following conditions: joint pain (shoulder, knee, neck, ankle, wrist) sprains, back pain, tendinitis (i.e., tennis elbow), or reduce bruising.
Both hot and cold therapy can be healing and beneficial to your body and they each have their own unique powers.
There are some great benefits to getting a hot treatment massage. Heat acts to relax both your muscles and your nervous system, which is often the reasons you seek out a massage. If you struggle with sore muscles or the stress of daily life, you’ll benefit from a hot stone massage or the application of hot towels in your sessions. Not only will the heat relax you, but it will act as a pain reliever. Heat therapy is an analgesic that counteracts irritation in a painful area. It can also help loosen stiff joints if you are struggling with limited range of motion.
Hot applications dilate your blood vessels, increase circulation and enhance waste removal via the lymphatic system (massage does this in general but heat assists the process).
For women, hot stone massages can relieve menstrual symptoms since it draws swelling away from the uterus.
On the other hand, cold therapy comes with its own set of benefits. While heat therapy is associated with relaxation, cold therapy heals in a different manner.
Cold therapy works as a stimulant which will reduce inflammation and swelling of injured tissues. It helps with pain relief and numbing of an area which makes it both an anesthetic and analgesic. It helps to relieve headaches and migraines by constricting dilated blood vessels. And it also relieves problematic trigger points by increase blood flow to the treatment area and surrounding tissues.
Some sessions may offer a hot and cold contrast therapy, in which ice is used for a couple of minutes followed by heat for up to 5 minutes. This is a great way to bring you back to homeostasis. Cold stone therapy is an option to get this type of treatment. Marble works well to draw heat out of the body and it’s a great tool for working on your muscular injuries or for reinvigorating your body. Also called cryotherapy, using cold temperatures for therapy will cause your blood vessels to constrict, the muscles to contract, and your pain signals to be reduced.
Hot and cold therapy offers much more than your traditional massage and can be very beneficial if you are suffering from a particular ailment that needs a little more attention.
Much like traditional massage, a wide variety of techniques are employed to meet the client’s needs. Prenatal massage utilizes special cushions and props for positioning to ensure a safe treatment for mother & baby. Certain modifications are made in the presence of morning sickness, heartburn, low back pain, varicosities, gestational diabetes, or edema. Contraindications for massage may include pre-eclampsia, DVTs, or placenta issues. Clinical studies have concluded that infants born to mothers who receive massage have lower cortisol levels, better neonatal outcomes and fewer incidences of low birth weight and prematurity.
Pregnancy Massage Benefits include:
Alleviating back + leg pain
Reducing labor pain during childbirth Lessening postoperative pain
Reducing anxiety + stress
Improving mood + lifting depression