John Marsella: 972-672-6443 Kim Volpe: 972-839-8227
6021 Morriss Rd Suite 103, Flower Mound Tx 75028
What is Clinical Massage?
Clinical massage involves addressing the deeper muscles of the body versus a relaxation massage being performed with a very light touch on the surface of the skin. The therapist has extensive knowledge of anatomy and physiology and addresses the range of motion limitations by using a variety of modalities. Heat may be applied along with cold packs or hydrotherapy to relax the muscles and make them more responsive to the work. The massage releases muscles that have been traumatized either through repetitive action or by accident and brings them back to a natural state. This includes improving the range of motion of the joint or muscles involved. Over the years medical massage has grown in leaps and bounds. People no longer view it as something you do when you want to relax and eliminate stress. Most people respond to a good deep tissue medical massage. Often, they do not realize how restrictive their range of motion is until they get it back.
What is Myofascial Massage?
Fascia is the soft tissue component of the connective tissue that provides support and protection for most structures within the human body, including muscle. This soft tissue can become restricted due to psychogenic disease, overuse, trauma, infectious agents, or inactivity, often resulting in pain, muscle tension, and corresponding diminished blood flow. Although fascia and its corresponding muscle are the main targets of myofascial release, other tissue may be affected as well, including other connective tissue.
As in most tissue, irritation of fascia or muscle causes local inflammation. Chronic inflammation results in fibrosis, or thickening of the connective tissue, and this thickening causes pain and irritation, resulting in reflexive muscle tension that causes more inflammation. In this way, the cycle creates a positive feedback loop and can result in ischemia and somatic dysfunction even in the absence of the original offending agent. Myofascial techniques aim to break this cycle through a variety of methods acting on multiple stages of the cycle.
In medical literature, the term myofascial was historically used by Janet G. Travell, M.D. in the 1940s referring to musculoskeletal pain syndromes and trigger points. In 1976 Dr. Travell began using the term "Myofascial Trigger Point" and in 1983 published the reference "Myofascial Pain & Dysfunction: The Trigger Point Manual". There is no evidence she actually used what is now termed "myofascial release". Some practitioners use the term "Myofascial Therapy" or "Myofascial Trigger Point Therapy" referring to the treatment of trigger points, usually in medical-clinical sense. The phrase has also been loosely used for different manual therapy techniques, including soft tissue manipulation work such as connective tissue massage, soft tissue mobilization, foam rolling, structural integration, and strain-counterstrain techniques. However, in current medical terminology, myofascial release refers mainly to the soft tissue manipulation techniques described below.
Myofascial techniques generally fall under the two main categories of passive (patient stays completely relaxed) or active (patient provides resistance as necessary), with direct and indirect techniques used in each.
The direct myofascial release (or deep tissue work) method works through engaging the myofascial tissue restrictive barrier, the tissue is loaded with a constant force until tissue release occurs. Practitioners use knuckles, elbows, or other tools to slowly stretch the restricted fascia by applying a few kilograms-force or tens of newtons. Direct myofascial release seeks for changes in the myofascial structures by stretching, elongation of fascia, or mobilising adhesive tissues. The practitioner moves slowly through the layers of the fascia until the deep tissues are reached.
Robert Ward, DO suggested that the intermolecular forces direct method came from the osteopathy school in the 1920s by William Neidner, at which point it was called "fascial twist". German physiotherapist Elizabeth Dicke developed Connective Tissue Massage (Bindegewebsmassage) in the 1920s, which involved superficial stretching of the myofascia. Dr. Ida Rolf developed structural integration, in the 1950s, an holistic system of soft tissue manipulation and movement education based on yoga, osteopathic manipulation, and the movement schools of the early part of the twentieth century, with the goal of balancing the body by stretching the skin in oscillatory patterns. She discovered that she could improve a patient's body posture and structure by bringing the myofascial system back toward its normal pattern. Since Rolf's death in 1979, various structural integration schools have adopted and evolved her theory and methods.
Dr. Rolf reduced her practice to a maxim: "Put the tissue where it should be and then ask for movement."
Michael Stanborough summarized his style of direct myofascial release technique as follows:
• Land on the surface of the body with the appropriate 'tool' (knuckles, or forearm etc.).
• Sink into the soft tissue.
• Contact the first barrier/restricted layer.
• Put in a 'line of tension'.
• Engage the fascia by taking up the slack in the tissue.
• Finally, move or drag the fascia across the surface while staying in touch with the underlying layers.
• Exit gracefully.
Different practitioners bring their own sensibility, style, level of maturity, and awareness to their work with clients which can have a significant effect on the clients experience.
What is Neuromuscular Massage?
Neuromuscular Massage, or Integrative Neurosomatic Therapy, is a structurally integrative approach to pain relief. The method is based on finding improper structural and biomechanical patterns in the patient's body. In order to find these improper patterns, Paul St. John developed a way to analyze and chart dysfunctional postural patterns. Once these patterns are analyzed a comprehensive program is designed to guide the client through the five stages of rehabilitation:
1. Eliminate muscle spasm
2. Restore flexibility
3. Restore proper biomechanics
4. Increase muscle strength
5. Increase muscular endurance
Our purpose is to not only to eliminate the pain, but educate the patient on ways to prevent recurrence of the injury.
Integrative Neurosomatic Therapy fills a void left by traditional health care by analyzing soft tissue causes of pain. According to recent research approximately 90% of pain symptoms are considered idiopathic, which means there is no known cause. We believe the reason there is no known cause is that a proper investigation into the patient's soft tissues is not being performed. Integrative Neurosomatic Therapy is a way to analyze and thoroughly explore the muscles, tendons, and ligaments in order to find these hidden sources of pain.
Restoring proper structure and biomechanics not only alleviate pain, but can positively affect a variety of physiological conditions. One of the neurological laws that is the basis for Integrative Neurosomatic Therapy is Wolff's law. Simply stated, Wolff's law states “form follows function and function follows form." Thus, a distortion in the form of the body is often correlated to improper function of the body. For example, a slouching posture can decrease digestive function or a trigger point into the ear can affect hearing or balance. When proper structure is restored to the body, the accompanying physiological problems are often alleviated.
Your massage may consist of three types of massage: Clinical, Myofascial, and Neuromuscular. Find out what these massages are below.