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Clinical Massage

What is clinical massage?

Clinical massage therapy is massage with a purpose. When a client comes in seeking relief from pain injury or recovery, they typically they are coming to receive clinical massage. This type of massage uses a variety of modalities in order to treat the client.

What are some of the more common modalities used in clinical massage?

Clinical massage is not limited to the following modalities (a massage therapist's set of tools) nor to one specific modality in a singular session. Your massage thereapist will assess your needs and use a combination of modalities to help bring your body into rest and recovery mode.



Deep tissue massage

Deep tissue massage is a massage technique that’s mainly used to treat musculoskeletal issues, such as strains and sports injuries. It involves applying sustained pressure using slow, deep strokes to target the inner layers of your muscles and connective tissues. This helps to break up scar tissue that forms following an injury and reduce tension in muscle and tissue. Deep tissue massage offers both physical and psychological benefits. Unlike other massage techniques that focus on relaxation, deep tissue massage helps to treat muscle pain and improve stiffness. But it can still help to you unwind mentally, too.


Sports massage


Deep tissue massage is often administered as a full body massage, rather than focusing on a specific area of the body. Sports massage, on the other hand, is a targeted massage approach that focuses on specific areas of the body that are in need of healing or relief. Amateur and professional athletes alike use sports massage to help them recover from injuries or intensive training, reduce pain and prevent further damage - as well as to warm up, cool down or relax before or after exercise. Sports massage can help even if you don't exercise regularly. Many different movements and techniques are used in sports massage. Examples of these techniques include; Swedish style massage, effleurage (stroking), petrissage (kneading), compression, friction, tapotement (rhythmic striking), vibration, gliding, stretching, percussion, and trigger points. These movements and techniques are used to try to help the athlete's body achieve maximum performance and physical conditioning with a decreased chance of injury or pain and a quicker recovery. Some of the benefits of sports massage are increased joint range of motion, increased flexibility, increased sense of well-being, decreased muscle tension, decreased neurological excitability (nerves more relaxed), decreased muscle spasms, better sleep, increased blood flow, increased elimination of lactic acid, decreased chance of injury, and decreased recovery time between workouts.


Active Release Technique (ART)


ART is a soft tissue method  your massage therapist uses to relieve tissue tension by focusing on eliminating fibrosis or adhesions, which can develop in tissues as a result of overload due to repetitive use. These disorders may lead to muscular weakness, numbness, aching, tingling and burning sensations. ART is used to treat symptoms with muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia and nerves.  This techinique has a three fold design: to restore free and unimpeded motion of all soft tissues, to release entrapped nerves, vasculature and lymphatics, and to re-establish optimal texture, resilience and function of soft tissues. The massage therapist will apply deep tension at the area of tenderness while you are instructed to actively move the injury site from a shortened to a lengthened position. The active release technique can help adductor strains, hamstring flexibility, carpal tunnel syndrome, quadriceps inhibition and strength and more.


Myofascial Release

Myofascial Release is a safe and very effective hands-on technique that involves applying gentle sustained pressure into the Myofascial connective tissue restrictions to eliminate pain and restore motion. Trauma, inflammatory responses, surgical procedures create Myofascial restrictions or that can produce tensile pressures of approximately 2,000 pounds per square inch on pain sensitive structures that may not show up on basic imaging and tests. Myofascial release is performed without any oils or creams, enabling the therapist to accurately detect fascial restrictions and apply the appropriate amount of sustained pressure to facilitate release of the fascia. When we see a need for myofascial work in our clients, there is usually a need to help reeducate proper body mechanics, improve flexibility and/or bring postural and movement awareness. For this reason, we encourage our clients to pair myofascial release focused sessions with a physiokinetix session.

Trigger Point Therapy

Trigger point therapy and myofascial release go hand in hand. Trigger point therapy involves the applied pressure to painful, sensitive areas in order to alleviate pain. Active trigger points can cause muscle pain that transfer or "refers" pain and tenderness in other parts of the body when the trigger point is pressed. A "latent" trigger point is a trigger point that does not produce pain until they are pressed. These latent trigger points are believed to bring about joint stiffness and a loss of range of motion. Your massage therapists will put pressure on these painful trigger points to relax the muscle and affected tissues. When pressure is applied on the trigger point, it may cause significant discomfort, though it does sometimes produce the odd effect of feeling good at the very same time. You will find that your treatment will benefit from trigger point therapy, helping you move towards pain relief.



Reflexology is a form of bodywork that involves applying pressure to the hands and feet to produce changes in pain and other benefits elsewhere in the body. These “reflex areas” on your hands and feet are connected to specific organs and body parts throughout your body. By applying pressure to reflex areas, your therapist can help alleviate blockages and promote health in the related body area. Here are some examples of reflex areas and their corresponding body parts: The tips of the toes reflect the head, The heart and chest are around the ball of the foot, The liver, pancreas, and kidney are in the arch of the foot, and low back and intestines are towards the heel.

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