Thai Massage

A system of massage and manipulation developed in Thailand, and influenced by traditional medicine systems of China, India, Southeast Asia, as well as by yoga.  The massage generally follows designated lines (Sen) in the body.  The practitioner may use his legs and feet to fixate the body or limbs of the recipient while the hands do the massaging or stretching, or vice-versa.  The client may be positioned in a variety of yoga-like positions during the course of the massage, in conjunction with the application of deep static and rhythmic pressures.  

 

The school we attended in Chiang Mai, Thailand, referred to this as "yoga for lazy people."  We often use Thai massage pressing and stretching techniques as part of a treatment plan for many musculoskeletal dysfunctions, as well as to promote general relaxation and improved circulation of the body and mind. 

 
 

Tui Na

Translated as "push-pull", Tui Na is an ancient form of Chinese medical massage that is said to date back to 1700 B.C.  Using various techniques such as rolling, pushing, pulling, kneading, percussion, friction, rocking, vibration, and shaking, the practitioner manipulates the bones, muscles, and joints of the body. At the same time, the clinician is working with the energy of the body on a deeper level by stimulating acupressure points and opening blocked meridians. 

 

In addition to treatment of most orthopedic musculoskeletal diagnoses, Tui Na can be effective in treatment of constipation, headaches, stress, sympathetic nervous system overdrive, insomnia, and respiratory issues. There are specific protocols for treatment of the internal organs based upon traditional Chinese medicine theory. By attempting to create energetic, emotional, mental, and physical balance in the body, it is designed to not only correct existing problems, but to prevent them.  

 

Our highly-skilled manual therapy is heavily influenced by our training in Tui Na. Similar to the work of an osteopath or chiropractor, and of course depending upon the patient, we have the ability to adjust the skeleton in order to mobilize stiff joints, free up compromised neural segments, and realign the musculoskeletal system, as well as restore the proper flow of energy through the meridian system. 

 

Cupping

An ancient Chinese ancillary technique in which a local suction is created on the skin, fascia, and superficial muscle layer in order to break up stagnation and adhesions, detoxify, stimulate blood flow to promote healing, and sedate the nervous system.  Cupping draws stagnant qi, blood, and fluid that has accumulated around an injured area to the surface where it can be dispersed by massage and local application of Chinese herbs. 

 

In addition to treating conditions such as back and neck pain and stiffness, tight muscles, arthritic pain, swelling around joints, and fascial restrictions (myofascial release), cupping can be effective in helping anxiety, fatigue, headaches, and respiratory conditions like the common cold, bronchitis, and asthma.   Suction is created using heat (fire) or mechanical devices (hand pumps). The cups can be glided across regions of the body ("sliding cupping") and/or left in place.   

 

Classical Osteopathy

Osteopathic Manual Practitioners are educated and trained to work exclusively without the use of drugs or surgery and to use manual methods for structural assessment and treatment.  A Classical Osteopath in this context is different from an Osteopathic Physician (DO).  Classical Osteopathy utilizes a method of detailed assessment and treatment guided by the principles set forth by its founder, Dr. Andrew Taylor Still. It emphasizes the interrelationship between structure and function of the body; encouraging overall health and balance within the body, rather than solely focusing on treatment of disease.  A Classical Osteopath aims to encourage one's self-healing capacity through highly skilled manual treatment. 

 

Therapeutic Exercise

We believe that movement is a key component of one's healing process and maintenance of a healthy mind and body.  Qigong and the internal martial arts, of which tai chi is most commonly known, have been the greatest influence on our therapeutic exercise.  One's posturing, integration of breath with movement, mental focus, and relaxed, tension-free quality of movement is at the heart of the exercise we teach.  Taken from ancient Chinese routines, our exercises are developed to mobilize all joints of the spine and extremities, create flexibility and strength of all muscular and fascial lines, challenge static and dynamic balance, and train one to move in a truly integrated manner from feet to head.  Since machines or equipment are not necessary, all exercise we use can be done anywhere from the gym, to the living room, to the office.  With our practitioners having each spent time in the gym, on the field, or in the dance studio, we've complemented this with more western-style exercise, often using sport-specific movement with our more athletic population.  We develop a home exercise plan for each client based upon the initial and ongoing evaluation, functional needs, and everyday and athletic goals.  We regularly revisit each routine in the clinic, where quality of movement is fine-tuned and the routine is progressed as indicated.  

 

Craniosacral Therapy

A holistic healing practice that uses light touching to balance the craniosacral system in the body, including the bones, nerves, fluids, and connective tissues of the cranium, spine, pelvis, and extremities.  The cranium, spine, and sacrum are joined by a continuous membrane of connective tissue deep inside the body, called the dura mater. The dura mater encloses the brain and spinal cord. Cerebral spinal fluid fills and empties within the semi-hydraulic compartment of the dura mater. This is known as the craniosacral rhythm (CSR). 

 

A trained therapist can feel the CSR in the body by lightly touching different areas of the body, particularly the base of the skull or the sacrum. During a session, he or she feels for disturbances in the rate, amplitude, symmetry, and quality of flow of the CSR. By using gentle touch, the therapist works to balance the flow of the CSR and release fascial restrictions. Once the cerebrospinal fluid moves freely, the body's natural healing responses can function. 

 

Craniosacral therapy can be effective in treating many disorders. We often use it as part of a treatment plan in addressing neck pain, back pain, sacral/pelvic pain, headaches, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, sciatica, chronic sinus infections, chronic fatigue, depression, TMJ dysfunction, whiplash, gastrointestinal issues, sympathetic nervous system overdrive, and stress.

 

Acupuncture

A treatment modality that originated with Chinese medicine. The efficacy and simplicity of acupuncture treatment have caused it to spread far in advance of the rest of Chinese medical knowledge. It was recommended as the preferred treatment for lower back spasm and sciatica in 1892 in William Osler’s The Principles and Practice of Medicine, the primary clinical text used in North American medical schools until World War II. The classical texts lay out the pathways of the meridians or channels, their relationships to each other and their functions, as well as general information about the balance of energies in the human body. 

 

In general, the needles of an acupuncture treatment adjust the level and balance of this energy that is moving along these distinct meridians. In the language of Chinese medicine, they “adjust Yin and Yang.”  In addition, an acupuncturist guided by the principles of Chinese medicine, may use cupping, moxabustion, herbal liniments and poultices, a scraping therapy called guasha, and tui na (bodywork/manual therapy) to achieve results. All of this comprises a detailed and technical understanding of what health is and how to promote it, and of what disease is and how to intervene when it occurs.

 

Herbal Application

Powerful concoctions of herbs in the forms of poultices, plasters liniments, and herbal soaks are typically derived from ancient China that are applied externally over the skin or by soaking the affected body part. These herbal treatments are effective in treatment of bruises, sprains, strains, muscle pain, stiffness, fracture, skin disease, and wounds by reducing inflammation, swelling, and pain, and promoting increased circulation to injured area.     

 

Deep Tissue Massage

Mobilization of one's soft tissue, including fascia, muscles, tendons and ligaments, is usually essential in the treatment of an injury or dysfunction, as well as in prevention of pain and maintenance of physical health for both the active and sedentary person.  It is our belief that the mobilization and alignment of one's axial and appendicular skeleton should be preceded by soft tissue mobilization, or deep tissue massage. 

 

Our highly sensitive and well-trained hands change structure and heal injury by reducing the resting tension of the neuromuscular system, releasing and elongating shortened fascia and muscle (myofascial release), and calming the all-too-common overdrive of the sympathetic nervous system.  And, of course, we all know there's nothing quite like a massage for temporarily escaping the grind of city life, releasing the persistent tension of the body, and rebalancing the mind and spirit.