No one enjoys pain or being sidelined as a result of muscle injury. Muscles, like other parts of the body, have a memory and when stretched beyond their normal capacity, the result is cellular damage, tissue inflammation, sleepless nights, missed work, missed play and often unrelenting pain.
Professional athletes before working at any sport are trained to warm their muscles through stretching exercises. Amateurs and “Week-end Warriors” are not. The same applies to ordinary people as home and work related accidents often manifest as muscle injuries.
Although not a Registered Massage Therapist, I have had extensive training and experience in working in various massage techniques. As a Kinesiologist, how the body moves is my prime concern; this involves the skeleton, soft tissues and nerves. Whether through an accident or injury, incorrect postural positions or stress related muscle tension, any of the following massage techniques will increase blood and lymphatic circulation, reduce energy blockages, reduce scar tissue, reduce tightness and increase mobility resulting in healing and relaxation.
Acupressure:From the Oriental healing arts. Acupressure shares its roots with Shiatsu and Acupuncture. All of the Oriental therapies base their healing on treating imbalances in the level and flow of the body's Energy. Acupressure uses finger and thumb pressure on specific points along the Meridian Channels to manipulate any Energy imbalances. By manipulating these points, the energy can be strengthened, dispersed or calmed allowing for smooth flow of energy movement in the body.
Hot Rock Massage: Sometimes known as Hot Stone Massage, this massage technique makes use of special flat stones that retain their heat once warmed. When the stones are placed on key points of the body, the heat increases blood and lymphatic circulation enhancing relaxation and stimulating movement of toxins while calming the nervous system. This massage technique explores the therapeutic and energetic use of rocks to produce a deep relaxing experience and a connection with the energies of the earth.
Rehabilitative Exercise Programs
Deep Tissue Massage: This type of massage technique focuses on realigning the deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue. The strokes are similar to those used in classic massage therapy, but the pressure is deeper and the movement slower. Deep Tissue Massage is used to “breakdown” scar tissue and encourage circulation resulting in a release of muscle tension and unwanted stored calcium or mineral deposits.
Deep tissue massage is particularly effective for relief of chronic tension in the low back, neck and shoulder areas.
Trigger Point Therapy: Trigger points are hyperirritable points that appear in skeletal muscle tissue as palpable nodules in tight bands of muscle fibers. When these trigger points receive compression, there is usually a pain response either at the site or a referred pain response at another site. Once identified, these trigger points can be alleviated with gentle pressure and the affected muscle is then able to elicit a relaxation response.
The body thrives on food either from an emotional need or physical need. How well we choose the food we put into our bodies will directly affect how well our bodies will perform. Humans, like any other animal, must expend less energy acquiring food than what the food delivers. In other words, a wolf must get more energy (nutrition) from eating a rabbit then he or she spends chasing and killing it; otherwise, the wolf would be in a nutritional deficit and die.
Humans have become the epitome of this philosophy. We drive seated in our cars to the grocery store, pick up our packaged food, drive home; stick it in the microwave or conventional oven and when the timer goes off...we eat. Or worse yet, we drive to a speaker and tell a faceless voice what we would like to eat, drive to a window and are handed our food. When we look at the caloric consumption of the food we have eaten and the amount of calories we have expended on getting it into our mouths, no wonder we are an overweight, diabetic, exercised challenged society with high risk of cardiovascular disease and colon cancer.
Health challenges occur when systems of the body are out of balance. Often this imbalance is due to nutritional deficiencies and the over abundance of food that congests the body which in turn makes organ and gland function sluggish. Over time, if left unaddressed, this sluggishness leads to an actual tissue change in the body, by means of deposits, growths, under or over production of certain hormones and eventually a change in function. An example of this is Irritable Bowel Syndrome. First it presents as occasional bowel gas and cramping, then moves to a more immediate elimination by way of looser stools followed by bouts of constipation. Eventually, this inflammatory disorder gives way to polyps and the possibility of more serious cellular change with the end diagnosis of Colon Cancer.
Reflexology is a natural therapy which applies pressure primarily to the feet but also to the hands. This technique uses specific thumb, finger and hand strokes involving a mapped out system of zones and reflex sites which correlate to specific organs and glands in the body. By applying pressure to these reflex points on the feet and hands, a corresponding physical change may be felt in the body.
As a Certified Reflexologist and member of the Reflexology Registration Council of Ontario, I have incorporated this therapy into protocols to decrease pain, promote calming of the nervous system in such conditions as ADHD and stimulate circulation not only to the extremities but also to organs such as the brain, kidneys, intestines and liver. Reflexology is a wonderful therapy to promote relaxation while stimulating the body into its natural healing state.
Rehabilitative Exercise Programs
Soft tissue or joint disorders as a result of injury, poor posture or stress, tend to restrict movement and are often accompanied by pain. To facilitate the healing of damaged tissue, precise manipulation and strengthening movements are necessary.
As a Certified Pilates Instructor and Kinesiologist my background includes the understanding of the processes necessary to retrain and reprogram memory movements back into the muscle or muscle groups. This retraining is carried out by applying specific stretching and strengthening programs in the clinic and at home.
For individuals with chronic neck or back pain, I offer personal Pilates training designed to teach core muscle strengthening. For more information on Pilates, see Special Events.
Weight gain is an epidemic of our western society today. The World Health Organization has made many announcements concerning the excessive weight gain of our population; men, women and particularly children are all at risk. Being overweight does put the body and its structures at a higher risk for many diseases including diabetes, high blood pressure and other cardiovascular disorders, respiratory distress and unwanted stress on bones and joints.
The weight loss program I design includes a nutritional assessment as well as teaching the understanding of how to eat the proper "fuel" and the removal of foods that do not contribute well to the body. Our program is not a short term diet but rather a long term lifestyle nutritional change.
Weight gain for many women can also be as a result of hormonal imbalances, particularly thyroid, adrenal or estrogen / progesterone imbalances. Though assessment techniques, we can identify or eliminate this possibility. See Lab Services for further information on Salivary Hormone Testing.