Massage Therapy

The Acupuncture Healing Clinic offers a variety of massage options with our experienced and specialized therapist.  In addition to traditional massage, our clinic offers medical and therapeutic massage with any of our experienced Licensed Massage Therapist.  Our clinic also offers more specialized modalities, including deep tissue massage, craniosacral massage, and Rei-Ki massage.

What is Deep Tissue Massage?

Deep tissue massage is a type of massage therapy that focuses on realigning deeper layers of muscles and connective tissue. It is especially helpful for chronic aches and pains and contracted areas such as stiff neck and upper back, low back pain, leg muscle tightness, and sore shoulders.

Some of the same strokes are used as classic massage therapy, but the movement is slower and the pressure is deeper and concentrated on areas of tension and pain in order to reach the sub-layer of muscles and the fascia (the connective tissue surrounding muscles).

How Does It Work?

When there is chronic muscle tension or injury, there are usually adhesions (bands of painful, rigid tissue) in muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Adhesions can block circulation and cause pain, limited movement, and inflammation.

Deep tissue massage works by physically breaking down these adhesions to relieve pain and restore normal movement. To do this, the massage therapist uses massage oil and often uses direct deep pressure. Muscles must be relaxed in order for the therapist to reach the deeper musculature.

Does Deep Tissue Massage Hurt?

At certain points during the massage, most people find there is usually some discomfort and pain.

It is important to tell the massage therapist when things hurt and if any soreness or pain you experience is outside your comfort range.

There is usually some stiffness or pain after a deep tissue massage, but it should subside within a day or so. The massage therapist may recommend applying ice to the area after the massage.

Benefits of Deep Tissue Massage?

Deep tissue massage usually focuses on a specific problem, such as chronic muscle pain, injury rehabilitation, and the following conditions:

  • Chronic pain
  • Lower back pain
  • Limited mobility
  • Recovery from injuries (e.g. whiplash, falls, sports injury)
  • Repetitive strain injury, such as carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Postural problems
  • Muscle tension in the hamstrings, glutes, IT band, legs, quadriceps, rhomboids, upper back
  • Ostearthritis pain
  • Sciatica
  • Piriformis syndrome
  • Tennis elbow
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Muscle tension or spasm
  • After a workout or bodybuilding

According to Consumer Reports magazine, 34,000 people ranked deep tissue massage more effective in relieving osteoarthritis pain than physical therapy, exercise, prescription medications, chiropractic, acupuncture, diet, glucosamine and over-the-counter drugs.

Deep tissue massage also received a top ranking for fibromyalgia pain. People often notice improved range of motion immediately after a deep tissue massage.

What Can I Expect During My Visit?

Massage therapists may use fingertips, knuckles, hands, elbows, and forearms during the deep tissue massage.

You may be asked to breathe deeply as the massage therapist works on certain tense areas.

Medical massage is outcome-based massage, primarily the application of a specific treatment targeted to the specific problem(s) the patient presents with a diagnosis and are administered after a thorough assessment/evaluation by the medical massage therapist with specific outcomes being the basis for treatment. It is also known as clinical massage or treatment massage.

There are many massage schools and programs claiming to teach ‘Medical Massage’ technique. There is no one technique that is medical massage. It is taking whatever style of massage the practitioner does or knows and applying that technique to various conditions.

What Types of Massage Therapy are considered Medical Massage?

All forms of Massage Therapy can be therapeutic when applied by a skillful and knowledgeable Therapist; therefore Medical Massage is not limited to any particular specific technique. 

We incorporate several approaches in our Medical Massage Practitioner training, including, but not limited to, Muscle Testing, Neuromuscular Therapy, Myofascial Release, Positional Release, Trigger Point Therapy, and Rehabilitative Stretching Procedures. 

It is common for some to play down the effects of so called Relaxation Massage and to even call it “Fluff “but as we learn more about the stress response and it’s role in creating disease, we see a definite need for this type of service when necessary. Cardiologists and Psychiatrists are excellent referral sources.

The capacity to combine the intuitive and scientifically proven principles defines the art and science of Medical Massage Therapy.

What are the benefits of Medical Massage Therapy?

The following lists  many of the benefits of Medical Massage Therapy.

  • Releases tight and sore muscles which can cause Ischemia (Ischemia: A lack of blood supply to soft tissues, which causes hypersensitivity to the touch and allows for further injury to the tissues)
  • Helps relieve nerve compression or entrapment. (Pressure on a nerve by soft tissue, cartilage or bone, which can contribute to muscle atrophy, referred pain, paresthesia, and conditions such as pseudo sciatica, piriformis syndrome, pseudo angina, and others.)
  • Deactivates Myofascial Trigger Points (Trigger Points: Areas of high neurological activity, which refer pain to other parts of the body. Research has shown, trigger points may be responsible for as much as 74% of everyday pain.)
  • Decreases Pain And Inflammation:Massage can restore suppleness and strength to your muscles, improving their overall function. It’s the ideal treatment for releasing tension or muscles in spasm and helps to release toxins such as lactic acid (produced by muscle tissue during exercise).
  • Alleviates Stress and Improves Circulation:
    Proper circulation is vital to continued health. Your blood and lymph carry nourishment to the trillions of cells throughout your body and then carry away the waste to be eliminated from the cells. Massage encourages a better exchange of nutrients at the cellular level and more thorough detoxification. Remember, the future “you” is determined by how well your army of cells regenerate themselves, so this is indeed a critical part of remaining healthy.  Massage has been practiced for thousands of years and is one of the earliest health treatments known to man.  That is why it remains one of the best ways of dealing with everyday stress.
  • Aids in Digestion:Massage can improve digestive motility.
  • Increases Flexibility And Range Of Motion:By reducing hypertonicity and hypotonicity the muscles allow for normal ranges of motion to be restored. This also reduces the forces being applied to the joint capsule and diminishes the potential for joint and disk degeneration.
  • Calms The Nervous System:
    The first sense to develop is your sense of touch. It’s not surprising when you consider that each square inch of your skin contains roughly 50 nerve endings. With as many as five million total touch receptors in your skin relaying messages on to your brain, your body’s initial response to massage is to relax and de-stimulate. Even a simple touch has been shown to lower blood pressure and reduce the heart rate. Touch can also signal the brain to produce endorphins, your body’s natural pain suppressors. The nervous system is your communication network, sending messages constantly that determine proper functioning throughout your body. Stress can affect the ability of the nervous system to do its job. The many nerve endings found in the skin and muscles are soothed by massage, and this contributes to keeping your internal lines of communication open and operational.
  • Improves Posture And Coordination
  • Medical Massage is cost effective.
    By assisting the client towards a quicker recovery from acute headaches, neck and back pain, skeletal muscular strains, sprains, etc. he or she is able to return to a normal productive life.
  • Medical Massage also helps to prevent future chronic pain conditions by effectively dealing with the cause of the problem and eliminating it. It is shown in scientific literature that over 80% of the pain is coming from soft tissue injuries, and over 74% is directly attributed to Trigger Points.  Overall Medical Massage achieves results and substantial cost savings to the client, employer and to society.  As the general public becomes more familiar with the role of the Medical Massage Therapist they will be better able to handle their everyday soft-tissue pains.