Adjust Your Health
Sports & Family Health Centre


 Massage Therapy
Massage Therapy has an affect on the entire body. 
Physiologically, the effects can be mechanical in nature such as releasing muscular adhesion, decreasing musculoskeletal pathology, improving vascular and lymphatic system flow, increasing nervous system communication and promoting proper gastrointestinal system function. 
Psychologically, the client receives many great benefits as a result of this positive touch. Stress reduction, alleviated depression and a sense of well being; a complete relaxation of body, mind and spirit are all common results after a treatment. 
The most profound changes from massage therapy seem to transpire in the body in areas that are experiencing a pathology, trauma, fibrosis (adhesions), ischemia (lack of blood supply), and/or pain.
 Types of Massage Available
Sports/Therapeutic Massage
 
Visceral Manipulation

Visceral Manipulation was developed by the French osteopaths Jean-Pierre Barral and Pierre Mercier.  Their theory is that among the internal organs or viscera, there is a relationship between the structure and function that is similar to the relationships of the components of the musculoskeletal system.  Visceral manipulation consists of assessment for visceral motion and direct and indirect fascial techniques to treat any dysfunctions found and restore normal visceral motion.

Lymphatic Drainage Therapy

The two most important functions of the lymphatic system are the maintenance of fluid levels within the body (our internal environment) and our immunity.
Working with flat hands, using all the fingers to stimulate gentle, specific wave-like movements, these subtle manual maneuvers map out inactive areas and  direct lymph flow back to natural channels.  Decreases congestion in lymph nodes and increases lymph and interstitial fluid circulation enhancing the function of the immune and parasympathetic nervous systems.
The Lymphatic System is one of the five main elimination channels in the body along with the skin, lungs, kidneys and bowels.  It is a major route for the absorption of nutrients from digestion into the tissues and is also the body’s metabolic waste disposal system.  It clears toxins, and waste which cannot be removed by any other means from the tissues and cells.
Lymphatic Drainage is beneficial for pain management, arthritis, detoxification, chronic fatigue, scars, stretch marks, cellulite, water retention stress, and increased sense of well being.

CranioSacral Therapy   

The movement of the cerebrospinal fluid can become restricted in the body, through falls, accidents and general nervous tension.  The practitioner can identify places where tensions are held and then follow the natural priorities for healing as directed by the clients’ own physiology. 
Gently working with the spine, the skull and its cranial sutures, diaphragm, and fascia, the restriction of nerve passages are eased.
The intention of CranioSacral Therapy is to facilitate the expression of the cerebrospinal fluid to enhance the body’s own self-healing and self-regulation capabilities. 
This therapy is useful for mental stress, neck and back pain, migraines, TMJ, and for chronic nervous conditions such as fibromyalgia.

Reiki

Reiki is a holistic, light-touch, energy-based modality, also known as a vibrational biofield therapy.  Working as a support mechanism to the body, Ki (life force energy) re-establishes a normal energy flow which enhances and accelerates the body’s innate healing ability. 
Extending Reiki to our clients supports their individual journey to self-awareness and wholeness.  We are but the circuit to help the mind, body, and spirit mend.  Reiki feels like a warm gentle sunshine and as the client’s body draws off the amount of energy that is required, it deeply relaxes – as though in a meditative state. When relaxed, the body releases stress, promotes healing and restores balance and harmony. Reiki offers the ability to create a healthier, happier and more abundant life, and is used to support both traditional and holistic treatments.
Reiki is not a religious belief system.  It is a simple transfer of energy that accelerates the body’s innate ability to heal.

Acupressure

is based on the Chinese meridian system. It uses stimulation of a specific point or points to correct the energy flow within the meridians. Release of muscular tension is often part of the treatment. Correction of the energy flows can have general or specific therapeutic effects on any or all systems of the body.

Thai Massage

Developed over 2500 years ago from meridian theory and Ayurvedic medicine which was brought to Thailand. The stretches and strokes, done to clothed clients on floor mats or low tables, open the joints and stimulate blood flow. At least 104 postures, from yogic origins, are used.


Research on Massage Therapy & Management of Pain
 
  Massage Therapy is an effective modality for managing pain.  Pain from nerve receptors in the body is processed in the spinal cord and then travels to the brain. There are various ways that massage can affect the perceived pain.  Massage can address the source of pain and stop the painful nerve firing.  Often there is a cycle of pain that begins with tissue ischemia (reduced local circulation) caused by a muscle spasm or fascial restriction.  This reduces blood flow and oxygen to the tissues ultimately causing pain. Massage can help break this cycle and eliminate the original source by increasing circulation to the affected tissue, breaking up the restrictions in the tissue, reducing the spasms and other imbalances within the body. 
 
A study performed on the effects of massage therapy and myofascial pain and muscle tension concluded that massage is very beneficial as after several treatments, a gradual decline in pain reduction and muscular spasm was noted in 21 out of 26 test patients (Danneskoid-Samsoe et al., Yates, 1990)Massage and Circulation.
 
Massage affects blood flow through the local release of vasodilators, which is essentially the opening of blood vessels.  The pressure of massage techniques stimulates the release of histamine and acetylcholine, natural chemicals made in the body, which then vasodilates the blood vessels.  This is accompanied by a increase in skin temperature promoting improved circulation (Yates, 1990; Grodin, 1998).
 
Specialized massage techniques are clearly proven to increase lymphatic flow in the superficial lymphatic capillaries.  This increase may be as much as nine times the amount of the normal flow rate (Yates, 1990).  Light Swedish techniques, such as stroking and kneading, also aid in the flow of lymph and to decrease amounts of swelling after injury. 
 
These techniques move lymph around by mechanically pumping the lymphatic fluid through the lymphatic capillaries. It has been proven that these techniques are actually more effective than a machine designed to do this type of specific work (Swedborg, 1985; Casley-Smith, Casley-Smith, 1986).Massage techniques are thorough at increasing lymphatic flow, reducing edema, pain, lowering the chance of scar tissue formation and facilitating the removal of metabolic wastes.
 
Massage Therapy has also been found to reduce the feelings of stress, anxiety, depression as well as providing the client with a feeling of overall healthiness. These effects have been well documented (Rattray, 2000).