Registered Massage Therapist & Kinesiologist
What is it?
Massage therapy is a manual therapy that uses a variety of different techniques such as soft touch myofascial release, deep muscle stripping, trigger point therapy, and everything in between. The technique used is specific to your needs: some people need to relax the body and the mind; and others need a deeper massage to affect the tissue to relieve pain from chronic headaches, frozen shoulder, bursitis, or even an ankle sprain, and this treatment will be a little bit more clinical.
Why would someone see a massage therapist?
Massage therapy is for everyone and for many different reasons. It doesn’t just have to be for relaxation or pain relief. The goal is to feel healthy: body, mind, and soul. If someone is in pain, in a bad mood, or tense from stress, the end result is to feel better at the end of session; and ultimately over several sessions, to feel more in control and balanced.
What symptoms would be addressed by a massage therapist?
The benefits to massage therapy are truly endless.
It helps with circulation of your lymph fluid, which helps to support your immune system. It helps to bring fresh blood and inflammation to the surface to start the healing process for a muscle strain or ligament sprain.
Massage therapy can provide relief from stress and anxiety, and elevate your mood by removing toxins from the muscle tissues. It can even alleviate dry cough by working on the muscles in the anterior neck, especially the longus coli. People who struggle with chest pains or panic attacks may find relief after their psoas and iliacus, are treated. Massage therapy can also provide relief for those who suffer from chronic headaches, sinus congestion and inflammation.
In addition to feeling cared for from an authentic connection, massage therapy can be found to be helpful for digestive disorders, fibromyalgia, insomnia, and TMJ pain.
Alexa Dutchak is a registered massage therapist (RMT) and a Kinesiologist (BA) and an integral member of the Safe Harbour team.
What would an appointment look like?
Prior to the appointment, you may fill out a health history form (click here for the online booking website) or arrive 10-15 minutes before hand. (Drinking lots of water and avoiding heavy meals an hour before your massage can be helpful).
Before you enter the massage therapy room, you’ll have an opportunity to use the restroom or help yourself to a glass of water. Once in the room, the RMT will discuss your health history, presenting symptoms, massage preferences, and goals for the session. You have the choice about what clothing you wear during the session and can talk about your preferences with your therapist.
The RMT will leave the room while you get comfortable on the heated, padded, bed. RMT’s are well trained in draping methods to ensure your comfort and privacy while they work on the body part that is exposed for treatment. The RMT will ask about the pressure throughout the session but feel free to communicate your preference at any time. Each approach used in the session will be communicated to you beforehand.
While being massaged, light music and subtle scents from a diffuser may be running, depending on your preference. Warm towels may be used at different points of the massage to assist in the relaxing of muscles as well. You can have light conversation while being massaged or enjoy quiet silence.
When the massage is complete, the RMT will let you know, and will leave the room to allow you to get dressed. If you wish to have some water, your therapist will be happy to provide some for you. When you’re ready, you can open the door as a signal to let the therapist know they can join you in the room again. At that time, advice and treatment recommendations will be provided. You are able to ask questions at this time and rebook a follow-up appointment.
Please remember to drink lots of water to flush out the toxins released during the session and rehydrate your tissues.
How does it work?
Generally, massage therapists manipulate the muscles and other soft tissues (tendons and ligaments) in the body using light to deep pressure. A deep tissue massage uses slower, more powerful strokes to target the deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue to help repair muscles from injury. Myofascial trigger point therapy focuses on areas that are tight when the muscle fibres have formed in an overused or injured area. A relaxation massage is gentle with long strokes to calm your body and mind.
Who developed this approach?
Massage has evolved over the years but interestingly, there is evidence of massage therapy that’s been documented in ancient writings in China, Japan, India and Egypt!