Scope of Practice of Registered Massage Therapy
The practice of massage therapy is the assessment of the soft tissue and joints of the body and the treatment and prevention of physical dysfunction and pain of the soft tissue and joints by manipulation to develop, maintain, rehabilitate or augment physical function, or relieve pain. (Massage Therapy Act 1991)
Also referred to as Swedish massage therapy, registered massage therapy is a great way to reduce the stress in your life. Not only are the physical effects very soothing, but there is often reduced anxiety and increased feelings of well-being. Massage has been proven to reduce levels of “stress hormones” that can be hazardous to your health. In addition to causing many types of health problems, some of these stress hormones are even thought to cause weight gain.
Muscular aches and pains, some joint pains, and some nerve impingements (pinched nerves) are often reduced or eliminated through massage therapy. Pain management and relief from conditions such as chronic low back pain, neck and shoulder pain, fibromyalgia, lupus, myofascial pain syndrome, migraines and other headaches, sciatica, carpal tunnel syndrome, whiplash, and arthritis is common.
Massage therapy can enhance tissue elasticity and flexibility and help increase the range of motion of your joints. It also improves flexibility and can relieve some forms of arthritis.
Massage therapy can improve your posture by releasing muscles and connective tissues that lead to poor posture. Better posture helps to relieve stress on joints and muscles, reducing pain, reducing chronic tension, and increasing energy.
Trigger Point Therapy
There are more than 620 points that have been identified in human muscles. Activation of trigger points may be caused by a number of factors, including acute or chronic muscle overload, activation by other trigger points, psychological distress, direct trauma to the region, and accident trauma, such as a car accident which stresses many muscles and causes instant trigger points.
These trigger points can be either active or latent. An active trigger point is one that actively refers pain either locally or to another location in the body along nerve pathways. A latent trigger point is one that exists, but does not yet refer pain actively, but may do so when pressure or strain is applied to the myoskeletal structure containing the trigger point. Latent trigger points can influence muscle activation patterns, which can result in poor muscle coordination and balance. During a trigger point therapy session, the therapist identifies the active trigger points and applies firm pressure in order to release the pain which is incurred by them.
A successful treatment protocol relies on identifying trigger points, resolving them and, if all trigger points have been deactivated, elongating the structures affected along their natural range of motion and length. In the case of muscles, this involves stretching the muscles using a combination of passive, and active stretching techniques.
Deep Tissue Massage
Deep tissue massage addresses the deep underlying tissue structure of the fascia and muscles, also referred to as connective tissue. This type of massage focuses on releasing muscle tension, adhesions, and scar tissue. This in turn promotes better circulation to the connective tissue. The strokes used in deep tissue massage are similar to those used in Swedish massage except that more pressure is used and strokes which go across the muscle grain are utilized as well.
This technique incorporates very gentle massage techniques in order to enhance the circulation of both blood and lymph. This enhances the elimination of toxins from the lymphatic system improving ones overall health.
Joint Mobilization Techniques
Also referred to as, Joint Play, are techniques that a therapist uses to increase the range of motion of a join by stretching tight joint capsules. Joint Play can also be used to decrease pain and spasm of the joints. Joint play techniques are passive mobilizations of the joints that are performed rhythmically to the area of treatment. This motion also encourages joint health by the successive action of the techniques.
Expectant moms are encouraged to receive massage therapy during their pregnancy in order to relieve back pain, and edema, which commonly occurs during the third trimester. In addition to relieving the aches and pains that often accompany the changes in the expectant mother’s body, massage also promotes better overall circulation. Massage during pregnancy is safe and effective.