Holistic Health and Healing Centre
Using touch to influence the human energy system balancing the energy field and energy centres, positively affecting the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual aspects of the person and his/her healing potential.
Holistic Health and Healing Centre - Massage and Dry Needling
There are many ways in which the benefits of massage can improve the quality of your life. Many people think the benefits of massage are restricted to relaxation (which in itself is hugely important!). But there are numerous other health and wellbeing benefits.
Massage assists the body's natural ability to heal itself. It relaxes and tones the muscles preventing injuries, increases circulation and therefore improves the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to all body cells.
Peer-reviewed medical research has shown that the benefits of massage include:
- reducing anxiety and depression,
- reducing blood pressure, heart rate,
- balancing the nervous system by soothing or stimulating it, depending on which is needed,
- improving function of the oil and sweat glands that lubricate, clean and cool the skin,
- indirectly or directly stimulating the nerves that supply internal organs,
- stimulating the immune system by increasing blood flow and lymph drainage,
- improving circulation and relieving congestion in the tissues,
- helping clear muscles of lactic and uric acid that build up during exercise and relaxes
- muscle hypertonicity as well as relieves muscle tension
- releasing endorphins and serotonin which can:
- prevent fibrosis or scar tissue,
- increase the flow of lymph, and
- improve sleep.
One of the best benefits of massage is that it makes you feel great!
- "I just had the most wonderful massage! I feel relaxed, yet invigorated. I am so looking forward to trying the Raindrop Technique next week, thank you Chris."
(Michelle Murphy, Facebook, 11 July 2013)
- "Thank you Chris for an absolutely awesome massage. I feel incredibly relaxed and rejuvenated."
(Nic Spooner, Facebook, 16 October 2013)
Trigger Point Therapy (Remedial Massage)
Trigger Point Therapy is a form of Remedial Massage Therapy in which direct pressure is applied to specified points on tender muscle tissue to bring about a reduction in muscle tension and pain relief.
Muscles need to contract and relax for movement to occur. Without that action system we would be immobile. The difference is in how much, and how well these contractions occur. When muscles are loaded with a trigger point, they become tighter. Sort of like tying a knot in a rope. Once the knot is there, the rope naturally shortens from its original length. Therefore it loses its original range of motion. This is exactly what happens to a muscle.
Each muscle has potential trigger points which can become activated by muscle overuse, inflammation, trauma, electrolyte imbalances, infections and nerve pain. These trigger points can cause pain over the muscle affected or refer pain and thus be felt in another area of the body. Other trigger points are only felt when the muscle is directly palpated by the therapist.
Muscles with active trigger points are always weaker than normal muscles and unable to move through their full range of motion. All of the bones these muscles are attached to become negatively influenced because the joints now lose motion. All of a sudden everything gets tight and restricted. Our first inclination is to stretch out the tightness because it feels good (temporarily), and we are trying to gain flexibility. But it never seems to last and can even feel worse. Have you ever wondered why? Try this … take a rope, string, strap, belt or band and tie a loose knot in it. Now take both ends and start to pull them apart. What happens to the knot? It gets tighter!!
What does that mean to a muscle? A muscle is literally thousands of individual bands linked together to form a single functioning unit. When you tighten these bands over time, the body reacts in an attempt to protect itself from injury. When you keep stretching and pulling this tightness, your brain will kick in the nervous system sending a signal to that muscle to deactivate (decrease tone and contraction) in an attempt to prevent a rupture or tear. As a result of this signal, the muscle relaxes too much and you become weaker and less stable. That is…until your body attempts to find that stability elsewhere and adds tightness to another region.
The taut bands of muscle that accompany trigger points are often easily identified on palpation and pain can quickly be minimized with sustained compression on the affected tissue for 30 to 90 seconds. Some discomfort may be experienced when the compression is applied but the therapist will position the muscle to minimize the discomfort until such time it subsides completely. You will usually receive home exercises to perform to assist with the restoration of function.
Trigger Point Therapy is recognised as an effective treatment for pain and is very useful in the relief of:
- Back Pain
- Neck Pain
- Shoulder Pain
- Knee Pain
- Muscle Pain
- Joint Pain
The results and benefits of trigger point therapy are releasing constricted areas in the muscles thus alleviating pain. You can experience a significant decrease in pain after just one treatment. Receiving massage with trigger point therapy on a regular basis can help naturally manage pain and stress from chronic injuries.
The Lymphatic system is our front line of defence in fighting bodily infections, detoxifying the body and transporting metabolic wastes, excess water, bacteria and toxins out of the body. The Lymph glands (at neck, armpits, groin, etc) are connected by a broad network of vessels which transplant the fluid. Muscular movement is required to move it, as there is no ‘heart’ to pump it.
Lymphatic Massage is a gentle whole body treatment that relaxes the nervous system and aids the body's immune system. Using fluid pressure movements, this is a very gentle technique which follows the Lymphatic System.
It is highly recommended for those prone to and recovering from sore throats, colds, infections, on-going tiredness, excess fluids, low immunity, swollen node and also for the physically inactive.
Dry needling is an invasive procedure in which a thin filament needle is inserted into the skin and muscle directly at a myofascial trigger point. A myofascial trigger point is a focus of small muscle fibre contraction knots, which are related to the production and maintenance of the pain cycle. They often occur as a result of neuromuscular dysfunction and in areas of musculoskeletal stress.
Dry Needling works by changing the way your body senses pain (neurological effects), and by helping the body heal stubborn muscle spasm associated with trigger points (myofascial effects). There are additional electrical and chemical changes associated with dry needling therapy which assist in the healing process. It is important to see the needles as just one part of your overall treatment.
It is not at all the same as Acupuncture. Acupuncture is part of Traditional Chinese Medicine, whereas dry needling is a western medicine and technique. There is a clear scientific understanding of dry needling.
A needle will be chosen for your condition and body size, and then inserted through the skin at the appropriate place. You may not feel the insertion of the needle; you may feel a small pinprick. Depending on the type of needle technique chosen by your therapist, you may also feel a muscle ache and a muscle twitch. These are all normal and good sensations, and mean that you will experience good relief from your symptoms. The specific needle manipulation is intended to produce a local twitch response that can elicit a very brief (less than a second) painful response some patients describe as a deep ache or cramping sensation. Again, the therapeutic response occurs with the elicitation of the local twitch response and is a desirable reaction.
In general, there is very little risk associated with this technique. As new, disposable and sterile needles are being used, infections are extremely rare. As the needles are very small and do not have a cutting edge, the likelihood of any significant tissue trauma from Dry Needling is unlikely. However, a needle may be placed inadvertently in an artery or vein. If an artery or vein is punctured with the needle, a hematoma (or bruise) will develop. If a nerve is touched, it may cause paresthesia (a prickling sensation) which is usually brief, but it may continue for a couple of days. On rare occasions, people may feel very happy, tearful, sweaty or cold. These symptoms all fade quickly. There are no lasting ill effects of these side effects.
Dry needling is not a miracle cure. It is vital that you do the exercises and follow any advice your therapist gives you in conjunction with the needling, application of ice, stretches and applications of heat for optimal recovery.
The benefits of Dry Needling frequently include more than just relief from a particular condition. Many people find that it can also lead to increased energy levels, better appetite and sleep as well as an enhanced sense of overall wellbeing.
Trigger Point Therapy is usually incorporated into your Dry Needling session.
- "I had my first dry needling session with Chris yesterday and left feeling amazing. Headache gone ringing in my ears gone and my head does not feel like a lead ball on my shoulders. Thanks so much Chris you are amazing."
(Paula Robinson, Facebook, 11 June 2016)
- "Just had some dry needling done the sensation was very different but feeling a lot beta already thanks to Chris."
(Kurt Roser, Facebook, 3 June 2016)
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