THERAPEUTIC and MEDICAL BODYWORK
All therapeutic and medical bodywork sessions are provided by a nurse practitioner and licensed massage therapist. During a session, it is possible to have several theories/methods combined to meet the goals and needs of each client. A first time client may need to spend extra time initially, to complete an intake form detailing current and past health complaints and discuss this with the therapist. Once an agreed upon plan of action is developed with the client, the session may take on several forms. Therapeutic and Medical Bodywork sessions may include lymphatic drainage, fascia work (connective tissue release), Swedish or Deep tissue pressure, stretching and range of motion maneuvers, cold laser therapy, acupressure points, hot/cold therapy, trigger point work, balms/liniments/essential oils, or herbal compresses. Sessions may contain a relaxation element but also includes advanced techniques for pain and chronic health issues. Massage pressures can be light to deep depending upon client comfort and the area of the body being addressed.
In general bodywork should not hurt, as pain is never the goal of treatment. However, some discomfort during the procedure can be normal, as the muscles and areas of concern are often stressed and sore to begin with. Unlike many forms of traditional massage, therapeutic and medical bodywork may cause an initial increase in pain and discomfort. The pain should subside a day or two after your session, and you should feel an improvement in your symptoms.
Pain Relief – The Mayo Clinic notes that massage therapy [and bodywork] can be used to help manage pain. Sessions can target specific areas of pain like a sprained ankle, or they can be used to help manage the chronic pain that comes with conditions like arthritis or fibromyalgia. The focus of therapeutic and medical bodywork is the integration of function between the layers of muscle tissue, tendons/ligaments and fascia (the protective layer surrounding muscles, bones and joints), and skeleton. Athletes, dancers and people with physically demanding jobs can sustain muscle damage that goes deeply into the body. This can also be the case for people who have been in accidents, surgeries or who have physical limitations. Core muscles can tighten causing chronic pain and discomfort.
Don’t expect overnight relief of pain. Quite often the chronic pain and muscle damage has built up over time and it may take several sessions begin to heal. Though you will feel some immediate relief, expect to continue the therapy for a while before you decide if it’s helping you or not.
Considerations: it is important to communicate openly and honestly with your therapist especially regarding special needs and individual preferences. If you prefer oil to lotion or vice versa, if you do not like scented oils and lotions, whether the room is too warm or too cold, etc. These minor yet important concerns should be voiced to ensure an open and pleasant experience.