Recently, a longtime friend that owns a hair salon locally, came to see me for his pesky elbow problem that started off small, but ended up severely limiting activities and negatively impacting his livelihood and the rest of his life. The nudge from his wife is what prompted him to seek treatment from me, as she was familiar with my work. Never had it occurred to him to seek therapeutic massage to heal a problem with his elbow. It would have also never occurred to me years ago, in my first career as a network engineer, but after twenty years of doing soft tissue therapy, I can attest to the healing powers of targeted soft tissue work, done well, on a pesky injury that otherwise just persists or gets worse. After just two treatments, he has a 75% improvement in his pain and can function almost normally. Prior to treatments, he had to limit both the hours he worked and the services he could perform due to the elbow pain. The 2 soft tissue treatments amounted to monumental progress for him after months of suffering and steadily increasing pain, to suddenly feel for the first time that it was getting better and felt hopeful again that it would finally heal!
So, if it works so much of the time, why don’t doctors prescribe massage therapy more often? Mostly because there is a big difference between a general massage and targeted soft tissue therapy. It’s also because of the wide range of available massage therapists and modalities, causing most people to think it’s mainly for pampering or relaxation. Most doctors do however prescribe physical therapy, but only a small percentage of physical therapists actually use soft tissue therapy mainly because it’s a skill that not everyone masters, plus insurance either doesn’t pay for it or doesn‘t pay well enough to support it.
Times are changing though! The latest research has shown on a cellular level that massage therapy helps heal the body. Even after one session, the body starts responding to massage therapy. Soft tissue injuries that receive therapeutic targeted massage experience measurable change at the cellular and chemical levels, increasing cellular metabolism and decreasing inflammation. It has also been proven to improve blood flow, carrying vital nutrients to the cell and improves the circulation of the lymph system, helping to speed recovery times. Conditions responding best to soft tissue therapy are those that are musculoskeletal in origin including:
- Tennis or Golfers Elbow
- Frozen Shoulder
- Musculoskeletal sprains and strains
- Chronic pain/Muscle Tension
- Sports Injuries
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Recovery from joint replacement or other major surgery such as open heart or C-section
- And many others!
The key is to see the right practitioner for the job! With over twenty years of experience as a therapeutic soft tissue specialist and a personal trainer, I understand pain patterns and work to unwind your knots, layer by layer, to help you get out of pain and feel your best! Call/Text for your treatment today!