What we offer
At Family First Chiropractic, we utilize a wide range of techniques aimed at improving musculoskeletal function, quality of life, and overall wellness to compliment and bolster your chiropractic care.
Massage therapy involves direct physical action on the soft tissues of the body. The target structures include your muscles, tendons, ligaments, or other connective tissue such as fascia. The best-known example of a soft tissue technique is massage. Soft tissue techniques include a whole range of massage depths, pressures, and durations.
Most commonly, techniques such as Swedish massage, deep tissue, sports massage, myofascial release, and trigger point therapy are terms you may have become familiar with, our goal is to give you more specific insight to what you sessions incorporate.
■ Swedish massage techniques include: long strokes, kneading, friction, tapping, percussion, vibration, effleurage, and shaking motions. Swedish massage is primarily a relaxation style massage that can be enjoyed by all ages.
■ Deep tissue massage is a type of massage aimed at the deeper tissue structures of the muscle and fascia, also called connective tissue.
Deep tissue massage uses many of the same movements and techniques as lighter styles eg Swedish massage, but the pressure will generally be more intense. It is also a more focused type of massage, as the therapist works to release chronic muscle tension or knots.
A quality deep-tissue massage helps to:
■ loosen muscle tissues,
■ release toxins from muscles, and
■ get blood and oxygen circulating properly.
Will A Deep Tissue Massage Hurt?
It shouldn’t hurt, but it’s likely to be a bit more uncomfortable than a lighter style Swedish massage especially if you have some large chronic knots.
How Fast Will I Get Results With A Deep Tissue Massage?
Most people report unbelievable relief immediately after their very first deep tissue style massage. It is normal to feel mildly bruised in the 1-3 days following a deep tissue massage, due to the lactic acid being flushed out of the congested tissues.
I suppose it’s a bit like the soreness you can experience when you first start back into exercise and slightly overdo it. After that things will normally only get better… and you’ll feel much looser, rejuvenated and energetic.
What Can Help to Reduce Soreness?
It’s always hard to gauge just how firm your first deep tissue massage should be, so keep your massage therapist informed if you feel it is too much or too little.
It’s important to drink a lot of water after a deep tissue massage to help flush lactic acid out of the tissues. If you don’t, you’re more likely to be sore the next day.
How Deep Should Your Massage Be?
It’s important to be realistic about what one deep tissue massage can achieve. Many people ask for more pressure, thinking that if the therapist just pushes hard enough, they can get rid of all their knots in an hour. This just won’t happen. In fact, undoing chronic knots and tension built up over a lifetime is best achieved with an integrated program that includes exercise, work on your posture and ways of moving, relaxation techniques and a regular program of massage to retain your muscle tension habits.
■ Sports massage is treatment given with the understanding not only of anatomy and physiology but also of the particular demands placed upon the body by the client and their specific sport.
■ Sports massage is done with the principal mandate of returning you to your desired sports activity with the same or an even better level of function. Sports massages can include more aggressive techniques that approach muscles more deeply.
■ Sports massage will often utilise a variety of modalities such as trigger point therapy, cross fiber techniques and deep tissue work. Primarily, the difference lies with function. That is, returning you to your chosen activity in optimal functionality.
■ Myofascial release is a manual massage technique for stretching the fascia with the aim to balance the body.
Fascia is located between the skin and the underlying structure of muscle and bone, it is a seamless web of connective tissue that covers and connects the muscles, organs, and skeletal structures in our body.
Injuries, stress, trauma, and poor posture can cause restriction to fascia. The goal of myofascial release is to release fascia restriction and restore its tissue.
■ Trigger Point Therapy is a form of therapy in which direct pressure is applied to specific points on tender muscle tissue to bring about reduction in muscle tension and pain relief.
What Activates a Trigger Point?
Each muscle has potential trigger points which can become activated by muscle overuse, inflammation, trauma, electrolyte imbalances, infections and nerve pain.
These trigger points can cause pain over the muscle affected or refer pain and thus be felt in another area of the body. Other trigger points are only felt when the muscle is directly palpated by the therapist.
How Can Trigger Point Therapy Help You?
Trigger Point Therapy is for almost everyone. Muscles with active trigger points are always weaker than normal muscles and unable to move through their full range of motion. Often because they are unable to perform their normal function, other muscles are compensating to perform the activity of the compromised muscle. These secondary muscles can go on to develop trigger points themselves if the original muscle is not treated.
How Much Trigger Point Therapy Treatment Will You Need?
The response to Trigger Point Therapy treatment varies from person to person. Generally, for recent injuries or current conditions, only a few Trigger Point Therapy treatments are needed in a short space of time.
Chronic conditions involving severe pain, or conditions that have been drawn out, may require some intense initial treatment followed by ongoing treatment on a monthly or six-weekly cycle to simply maintain your improvement.
The taut bands of muscle that accompany trigger points are often easily identified on palpation and pain can quickly be minimized with sustained compression on the affected tissue for 30 to 90 seconds. Some discomfort may be experienced when the compression is applied but the therapist will position the muscle to minimize the discomfort until such time it subsides completely. You will usually receive home exercises to perform to assist with the restoration of function.
What Conditions Does Trigger Point Therapy Help?
Trigger Point Therapy is recognised as an effective treatment for pain.
The main reason behind its success appears to be related to chronic pain patterns. The establishment of chronic pain patterns occurs within a few months of an injury.
Once established, these pain patterns are difficult to reverse by other conservative treatment techniques. Trigger Point Therapy is often very useful in breaking this pain cycle.
In particular, Trigger Point Therapy is useful when other forms of traditional western treatments have failed to fully eliminate your pain. In our experience, Trigger Point Therapy is very useful in the relief of:
■ Back pain
■ Neck pain
■ Shoulder pain
■ Knee pain
■ Muscle & joint pain
■ Prenatal massage provides relaxation & reduces stress.
■ Relief of muscle cramps, spasms, & myofascial pain, especially in the lower back, neck, hips, & legs.
■ Increase in blood & lymph circulation, which can reduce swelling.
■ Reduces stress on weight-bearing joints.
■ Improves outcome of labor & eases labor pain. A further note on massage and manual therapy. You may have heard both terms mentioned through the course of treatment. In effort to further clarify,
Manual Therapy VS. Massage, What’s The Difference?
At first glance it is easy to mistake manual therapy for a massage. However, there are significant differences between these two treatment methods.
A massage commonly uses rhythmically applied pressure to the skin and soft tissues of the body. Massage is used to reduce tension, anxiety, stress, and promote overall circulation, relaxation, and flexibility.
Manual therapy is the application of hands-on techniques to body tissues with intent to therapeutically assess and treat. Through proper assessment of the involved body structures, massage therapists can utilize manual therapy techniques to enhance the healing process and correct positional faults of the irritated tissues. Some manual therapy techniques utilized by massage therapists include soft tissue
mobilization, myofascial release, joint mobilizations and manipulations, and mobilization with movement. Manual therapy can be utilized to assess dysfunction, increase joint range of motion, decrease pain, and improve healing.
Both massage and manual therapy can be utilized as part of a plan to promote an individual’s overall health and wellness.
Family First Chiropractic thanks you for being part of our family. We are here to be informative, inspiring, and give back to our community. Be good to yourselves and each other!