When I decided to expand my career in physical therapy to massage therapy, it was because I felt the healing practice had more than one box to draw from. So in addition to my comprehensive foundation of orthopedic exercise, physiology, and kinesiology, I pull these techniques from my toolbox…
Myoskeletal Alignment Technique
Erik Dalton Freedom From Pain Institute certified
Founded on the principles of Ida Rolf’s Structural Integration, Vladimir Janda’s Crossed Posture theory, and manipulative osteopathy, this modality incorporates muscle energy techniques, active release techniques, and passive and active-assisted stretching, using your bones as levers to release soft-tissue restrictions due to imbalanced performance. Releasing these restrictions allows your body to perform in it’s preferred state of symmetry. This is an interactive technique in which you participate in the amount of pressure and intensity, giving you more control within your session. For this reason, Myoskeletal is not generally considered a “relaxing” technique, although the result is the feeling of a more relaxed physical well-being and pain-free movement.
Trigger Point Therapy
Trigger points are tiny contracted knots in muscle tissue that refer pain in predictable patterns away from the actual site of contraction. Usually formed when a muscle is injured or overworked, releasing them through massage often brings instant relief. Although the release process can be considered “painful”, the pain at it’s highest should not be greater than 7/10 and for only a few breath cycles, with a noticeable decrease in intensity within a minute or two. Higher levels of intensity are of no benefit (more pain, more gain does not apply here) and you should feel free to communicate how you’re feeling through this process.
Deep Tissue Massage
First off, deep tissue massage does not have to hurt. Deep tissue massage gets to the innermost layers of muscles and tissue by moving through the more superficial (surface) layers intentionally and gradually. Medium to firm pressure can be applied and it does take time to get into these layers fluidly. You may need a 90- or 120-minute massage if you need extensive deep tissue work.
Fascia is a continuous structure of connective tissue wrapping around and separating each of our internal organs, muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves, blood vessels, and bones. It’s commonly visualized as the thin membrane you find between the meat and the skin of an uncooked chicken breast. Compositionally, it has a web-like structure and is subject to restrictions through friction overuse, inactivity, or trauma (such as surgery). Restrictions can cause pain and inflexibility. IT Band syndrome is one example. Myofascial Release aims to promote blood and lymph flow and allow your skin, muscles, nerves, and bones to move smoothly over their adjacent structures. The technique can be applied with a gentle sustained-pressure stretch or a rolling or gliding pattern. The result usually causes a warming sensation to the restricted area.
Thai (Yoga) Massage
Traditionally, Thai massage is performed on the floor with the client wearing sportswear to facilitate stretching maneuvers. My technique is a modified version performed on the table to incorporate with other modalities as needed. At times, I may need to get partially on the table with you to get the proper leverage and I will always communicate that need and get your approval before doing so. Increasing pain-free end-range-of-motion and flexibility is one goal of this modality and so I will never perform this technique if you are not comfortably attired or able to be draped appropriately.
This modality can be vigorous or restorative. It can be specific to an area or whole-body. The goal is both injury prevention and performance enhancement. Keeping your activity and performance level in mind, I focus on the muscle groups and kinesiology of your sport. Having worked with athletes in physical therapy rehab, I take your history of injury and complaints seriously and can consult with your coach, trainer, or doc as needed or desired.
Long, gliding strokes are characteristic of a Swedish massage. Pressure from light to firm can be employed and whole body relaxation is the desired effect. I will often utilize some amount of Swedish massage into your session regardless of any other modalities as I don’t want you walking out like Frankenstein’s monster or feeling that you got hit by a truck.