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What is a Physical Therapist?

Physical therapists are licensed professionals who work with people that have impairments, or limitations in their overall physical function.

These deviations can be the result of disease, injury, postural or pathological processes.

Deep Tissue Massage

The Art of Caring

In America, Physical Therapy is known as “the Science of Healing and the Art of Caring”

In America, Physical Therapy is known as "the Science of Healing and the Art of Caring"

Therapeutic exercise and functional training are the cornerstones of physical therapist treatment. Depending on the particular needs of a patient, physical therapists may gently "manipulate" a joint (that is, perform certain types of passive movements at the end of the patient's range of motion) or massage a muscle to promote proper movement and function. Physical therapists may use other techniques such as electrotherapy, ultrasound (high-frequency waves that produce heat), hot packs, and ice in addition to other treatments when appropriate.

Physical therapists will also work with individuals to prevent loss of mobility by developing fitness- and wellness-oriented programs for healthier and more active lifestyles.

In other words 'many tools in the tool kit' both from the therapist and provided for the patient, to enable them to help themselves 24/7.


Deep Tissue Massage

What is Deep Tissue Massage?

Deep Tissue Massage is a massage technique that focuses on the deeper layers of muscle tissue. It aims to release the tension in the body through slow strokes and deep finger pressure on the contracted areas, either following or going across the fibres of the muscles, tendons and fascia.

Deep tissue massage is used to release chronic muscle tension through slower strokes and more direct deep pressure or friction applied across the grain of the muscles not with the grain. Deep tissue massage helps to break up and eliminate scar tissue. Deep tissue massage usually focuses on more specific areas and may cause some soreness during or right after the massage. However, if the massage is done correctly you should feel better than ever within a day or two.

The purpose of the massage is to "unstick" the fibres of a muscle while releasing deeply-held patterns of tension, removing toxins, while relaxing and soothing the muscle. It is both corrective and therapeutic.

Why get a Deep Tissue Massage?

It feels good and it is beneficial to your health. When muscles are stressed, they block oxygen and nutrients, leading to inflammation that builds up toxins in the muscle tissue. A deep-tissue massage helps loosen muscle tissues, release toxins from muscles and get blood and oxygen circulating properly. Because many toxins are released, it's important to drink plenty of water after a deep-tissue session to help eliminate these toxins from the body.

How does Deep Tissue Massage work?

When there is chronic muscle tension or injury, there are usually adhesions (bands of rigid tissue) in muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Adhesions can block circulation and cause limited movement, and inflammation.

Deep tissue massage works by physically breaking down these adhesions and restore normal movement. To do this, the massage therapist often uses direct deep pressure or friction applied across the grain of the muscles.

Massage therapists may use fingertips, knuckles, hands, elbows, and forearms during the deep tissue massage. You may be asked to breathe deeply as the massage therapist works on certain tense areas.

It is important to drink plenty of water as you can after the massage to flush metabolic waste from the tissues.

Will Deep Tissue Massage hurt?

At certain points during the massage, most people find there is usually some discomfort and pain. It is important to tell the massage therapist when things hurt and if any soreness or pain you experience is outside your comfort range. There is usually some stiffness or pain after a deep tissue massage, but it should subside within a day or so. The massage therapist may recommend applying ice to the area after the massage. However, people often notice improved range of motion immediately after a deep tissue massage.

What conditions is deep tissue massage used for?

Unlike classic massage therapy, which is used for relaxation, deep tissue massage usually focuses on specific problem areas, limited mobility, recovery from injuries (e.g. falls, sports injury), repetitive strains, postural problems, muscle tension or spasm.

According to the August 2005 issue of Consumer Reports magazine, 34,000 people ranked deep tissue massage more effective in relieving osteoarthritis than exercise, prescription medications, chiropractic, acupuncture, diet, glucosamine and over-the-counter drugs.


Frequenttly Asked Questions

How Long Does Physical Therapy Take?
How long will physical therapy take is a common question asked by many patients. Although the question itself is a simple one, the answer is much more difficult. It is very individual, both in duration of session and total required.

How Do I Set Appropriate Rehabilitation Goals?
Setting goals is the best way to achieve a successful rehabilitation outcome. When starting physical therapy, you must think what is it that you want to accomplish at the end of your program. The goals you set should be important to you. However, they must also be realistic and attainable. Your physical therapist will then work with you to devise an appropriate treatment program to help achieve your rehabilitation goals.

What Conditions Does Physical Therapy Treat?
There are many conditions for which physical therapy is one of the key forms of treatment. Due to this there are several speciality areas in the field of physical therapy. Although this is well known throughout the profession, it is often overlooked by the general public.


Precautions

Deep Tissue Massage is NOT recommended for certain people or in certain circumstances: People with infectious skin disease, rash, or open wounds; Immediately after surgery; Immediately after chemotherapy or radiation, unless recommended by your doctor; People with osteoporosis should consult their doctor before getting a massage; People prone to blood clots. There is a risk of blood clots being dislodged. If you have heart disease, check with your doctor before having a massage; Pregnant women should check with their doctor first if they are considering getting a massage. Massage in pregnant women should be done by massage therapists who are certified in pregnancy massage.

Massage should not be done directly over bruises, inflamed skin, unhealed wounds, tumours, abdominal hernia, or areas of recent fractures.

Additional tips - Don't eat a heavy meal before the massage and if it's your first time at the clinic, arrive at least 10 minutes early to complete the necessary health forms. Otherwise, arrive 5 minutes early so you can have a few minutes to rest and relax before starting the massage.

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