Injury and chronic pain massage is one of the services offered at Qiworks and involves deep, soft tissue manipulation as well as education to help alleviate symptoms of pain in the body. The processes used to do so may include structural integration, deep tissue massage, and mind/body awareness to bring peace and integrity to the whole person.
I have been doing massage work for 20 years now and was experiencing a great deal of lower back, shoulder, neck, and knee pain when I initially went to massage school, all of which was alleviated through the processes indicated above. It was through this process that I became a believer in deeper massage work; that is why I do the work I do now, so that others may find relief from the pain they have in their body as well as awareness as to why these conditions may have manifested in the first place.
Deep tissue and structural integration can be a painful process and people’s issues are seldom remedied in one session, although people will experience some relief right away. The amount of day to day pain compared to a one hour session of discomfort pain cannot be taken without measure, most find it is well worth it. Tracking down what is the source of the issue can involve time and assessing the client’s body and where they are pulled over, leaned to one side or another, helps inform where we might begin to work on their particular issues. The muscles themselves are composed of opposing muscle groups and often the problem lies in the opposing muscles. This often confuses the client wondering why we are working on areas that are seemingly unrelated to the problem they are having. This is why people may find temporary relief from muscle pain by working on the painful area only for the pain to return in a short time period. This indicates that the muscle in question is being held “hostage” by another muscle or muscle group that is even tighter than the painful area.
The causes for many musculature issues are over-work or repetitive stress (RSI), misuse, improper nutrition, lack of hydration, and compensation; and the muscle pain is created by the muscle fibers or sarcomeres become partially contracted or hyper-contracted and the tissue and then muscle fibers need to be lengthened in order for the nerves in the area to be released from the strangulation that they are experiencing. Where the muscle tissue has a tendency to become shortened are called “trigger points”. The pain can be carried to other areas in the body, known as referred pain. Referred pain has very specific areas of origin which are the “trigger points”. Direct pressure is used to create a vacuum and when released floods the areas with blood that begins to carry the lactic acid, bradykinins, and histamines out of the area. Then cross-fiber friction is used to break up the area and length begins to be established,after which smoothing the muscle happens to reeducate it.
Different areas of the body represent the different ways we interact with our environment and education about those areas that have been affected often helps relax the muscle areas once the connection is made and makes it much easier to help the affected area release the tension stored there. This often requires a bit of reframing the way we interface with the environment that has caused the stress in the area.
The employment of acupuncture in this process is extremely helpful in balancing the energy after the environmental/personal relationship has been reframed. There is a certain amount of personal responsibility implied here as it is the client’s job to go out into the world and create the changes in their personal lives to further prevent future problems. This is not to say that the treatment will not be effective otherwise, rather we as therapists try to help the client look at the body/mind/emotional/spiritual connection that has helped create the problems in the first place.
Finally, some stretching exercises and suggested strengthening exercises are advised to help in this process as well.
Here is wishing you all the best in health on all levels.
Michael Thomas LMT