Medical Massage in New York by Alexon Santos LMT staff massage therapist at Bodyworks DW Advanced Massage Therapy

Medical Massage in New York at Bodyworks DW

Alexon Santos, LMT, staff massage therapist at Bodyworks DW, writes about the benefits of medical massage at Bodyworks DW

Alexon Santos LMT - staff massage therapist at Bodyworks DW Advanced Massage Therapy

Medical massage therapy is massage offered for the purpose of a therapeutic benefit

All professional massage therapies have some therapeutic value. Medical massage is different because its ultimate goal is providing a therapeutic treatment, not just relaxation. This treatment takes different forms. Goals can vary considerably between different clients. Having a massage therapist with strong training in medical massage in New York is something you can count on. It's part of every licensed massage therapists' 1000+ hours of training during school. 

Medical massage is often recommended by another health professional. And is performed as part of a larger treatment plan. For example, your physical therapist may refer you for massage therapy. Medical massage can loosen your muscles, improve muscle tone, increase flexibility, and increase range of motion.

Qualified and licensed professionals are required for the best treatment

Licensed massage therapists use their extensive knowledge of physiology and anatomy to design sessions to be effective. Most professionally licensed massage therapists will tailor the sessions to the needs of each patient.

First you and your massage therapist will first sit down for a brief intake interview. During the intake you will get to discuss your affected areas and symptoms. In addition they will ask about your medical history. Then they will perform a general postural assessment. The first session will be structured to meet your needs and be part of a plan for future sessions. The goal is to find the fastest and least resource (time and money) consuming way to relieve your symptoms.

If you are looking for medical massage in New York, our massage therapists have more training than most other states. The average massage therapist in the United States has about 600 hours of training. In New York, massage therapists are required to have 1,000+ hours of training in order to be licensed. This includes many hours of medical massage training. Medical massage in New York can be done well by any practitioner with a New York State license.

In other states, you’ll want to research whether your massage therapist has post school training in medical massage to be sure they are qualified to work on your specific condition.

There are many issues that medical massage can be effective in treating

Injury Treatment and Prevention

Medical massage accelerates the healing process of freshly injured tissues by stimulating blood circulation to the area. This decreases swelling and helps to relieve the pain from new injuries. It also allow you to heal more quickly. This is true for Injuries caused by impact, overuse during sports or work, bad posture and body imbalances. Or simply by poor physical conditioning.

When it comes to injuries, massage therapy helps with all of the following:

  • Loosening muscles
  • Improving muscle tone
  • Increasing flexibility (range of motion)
  • Reducing adhesions
  • Preventing the formation of new scar tissue
  • Stretching old scar tissue to reduce its impact

Massage is important to accelerate the recovery process. Most common injuries can be treated in a medical massage studio. Including low back pain, neck pain, sprained ankles, sciatic symptoms, shin splints, tennis and golfer elbow, rotator cuff tears, and many others.

Pre Surgery Preparation & Post Surgery Recovery

Medical massage in the pre- and post-surgical period contributes to the success of the surgical intervention. It also shortens how much time recovery takes. Medical massage in the preoperative period helps prepare the body to better handle surgery. Massage stimulates lymphatic and blood circulation. This improves tissue oxygenation and decongests lymphatic pathways. Both outcomes will help you heal, lessen edema, and lessen pain after surgery. 

Medical massage helps in the tonicity of muscles and elimination of toxic waste to the body. Massage can also help break up any scar tissue and keep the muscles flexible so less scar tissue will develop at the surgical site. The increased range of motion and movement allows more blood to flow to the surgical site which allows for faster healing.

Treatment of Chronic Conditions

Medical massage can be very helpful in the treatment of autoimmune diseases. When combined with traditional medical treatments, medical massage can improve quality of life for patients.  Massage assists in relieving pains, lowering anxiety and depression, improving blood pressure, lessening stiffness in joints, and many other benefits.

Massage is certainly not a cure for these conditions. In fact, for most autoimmune conditions there is no traditional medical cure. Medical treatment usually consists of immunosuppressive medications that help to lower symptoms. These need to be taken regularly for maintenance. Regular massage therapy along with these medications can help you feel even better.

For any autoimmune disease, you should consult with your healthcare provider to see if massage is recommended.  Among cases of autoimmune diseases, medical massage has achieved great results in treatments of arthritis, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, lupus and many others.

Prenatal Massage

Medical massage can be a good option for anyone who’s preparing to be a parent. Massage during pregnancy is a therapeutic type of bodywork focusing on the needs of the parent-to-be. It helps to prepare your body to go through the changes of gestation.

Massage during gestation, has remarkable effects. It causes the endocrine system to inhibit production of stress hormones. It also promotes the release of calming hormones. During gestation many people experience lower back pain, sciatica, sore feet, and labored breathing. In late pregnancy the uterus rests on the muscles of the pelvic floor and the lower back. Massage therapy can help release muscle tension and reducing inflammation on the nerves. It is especially helpful in lessening aches and pains during the 2nd and 3rd trimester.

Doctors used to advise not getting massage therapy during the 1st trimester. Studies have shown that this older advice was not warranted. There is a large body of science showing that massage during the 1st trimester is perfectly safe in most cases. If you are having abnormal medical conditions during the 1st trimester that are requiring bed rest, then avoid massage. Otherwise, there is no reason not to enjoy the benefits of medical massage during your entire term!

Medical Massage in Midtown and Fidi At Bodyworks DW

At Bodyworks DW, our medical massage therapists create programs of sessions that extend outside our studio. Our treatment plans include stretches and exercises for you that can help lessen the number of sessions you’ll need. And prevent pain from returning later.

Our team is highly prepared to offer diverse types of techniques that will help you in different ways. Including prevention of injury, maintenance of your wellness, and relieving more complex situations and problems.

We offer medical massage in Midtown and the Financial District in New York City. Would you like to schedule a professional medical massage with one of our highly trained massage therapists? Contact Bodyworks DW today or click on the button to book online at our medical massage midtown or medical massage fidi studios!

 

Neck Pain Massage Therapy_ Designing Effective Lasting Treatments @ Bodyworks DW with David Weintraub LMT

Neck Pain Massage Therapy: Designing Effective Lasting Treatments

David Weintraub, LMT and owner of Bodyworks DW, writes about neck pain and the positive effects of massage therapy to overcome it.

David Weintraub Licensed Massage Therapist and Owner at Bodyworks DW Advanced Massage Therapy

Why effective neck pain massage therapy shouldn't focus exclusively on your neck

Neck pain is a very common issue. Our phones and devices are constantly pulling our attention. Our head follows our eyes putting us in a "head forward" position. This pulls the muscles in the back of your neck into a constant stretch. And makes them work extra hard to fight the weight of your head. Muscles hate being stretched and working hard. So they yell at you with achy pain. Thankfully, neck pain massage in New York and can be an effective and lasting treatment...when done properly.

Does this sound like you?

a) Sitting at a desk staring at your screen for 40+ hours a week
b) Looking down at your phone multiple times a day
c) Reading your tablet in bed while propping your head up on a pillow

All of these habits tighten your anterior neck muscles (the ones in front). While simultaneously pulling on the posterior neck muscles (the ones in back).

My massage therapist should work mostly where the pain is, right?

Actually, no. That might feel good at the time. But it won't last more that a few hours to a few days if you are lucky.

The next day you may even feel worse. Like you were hit with a bag of hammers. Working only on what hurts won't do anything to relieve pain for the long term. Truly effective neck pain massage has to address what's causing your head to move forward in the first place. And the cause is usually not your neck!

For most common neck pain, the following three areas need to be released together at the same time. This will move your head into a more balanced position on top of the ribcage. When the head is balanced in gravity the muscles in the back of your neck and upper back get to relax. And stop yelling at you with achy pain.

The Three Main Areas to work on in a first session

1) Hip Flexor Muscles (any muscle that helps bring your knee towards your chest...there are more than 12!)

Your hip flexor muscles are tight from sitting all day. This pulls the top of your pelvis forward into an anterior tilt (forward tilt). Basically you can think of it as a small but significant fold forward in your hips. This forward fold pulls you entire upper body forward. If nothing else changed, you would feel stooped over.

2) The Ribcage Position

The position of your ribcage in relation to your pelvis is vitally important to relieving both back and neck pain. With an anteriorly tilted pelvis, the ribcage tilts backwards to compensate. The muscles in the mid back will work extra hard. Basically you will be doing a backbend all day long. You'll have to in order to keep the ribs balanced on top of your forward tilted pelvis. In addition to putting your head and neck in a poor position, this also puts a lot of strain on the low back.

3) The Pectoral & Anterior Neck Muscles

With the ribcage doing a backbend to balance the pelvis, your head needs to move forward to compensate. If it didn't, you'd be looking at the ceiling. As you head pulls forward it overstretches your posterior neck and upper shoulder muscles. Yes, we know that's where it hurts 🙂 However, working back there is not going to make a long term impact. The back of your neck is already over stretched. Releasing it into length even more (which is what massage does to muscles) is not going to help any. To really provide relief, the front side anterior neck muscles need to be released in order to give the back ones some slack.

If your massage therapist only releases the front neck muscles and not the mid back muscles, your neck will feel a lot better. But you'll be stuck looking up at the ceiling. And if they open up the angle of your neck and your ribcage, but not the hip angle, you'll be left stooping over! So, to really release your neck muscles in a way that sticks, we need to make sure all three areas are in better balance. This will allow your head position to float back on top of your pelvis and ribs naturally, without effort. Finally your neck muscles get to rest!

For most neck pain and upper back pain clients, we sequence all three areas in a neck pain massage session. We work on releasing hip flexor muscles, then mid back muscles, then front of neck muscles. By the time we work on those back of the neck muscles, they are already super relaxed and ready for deeper work. You'll leave feeling your neck light and moveable in ways that you had forgotten exist 🙂

What Next? That felt great and lasted weeks! But now that familiar ache is starting to come back...

The above 3 step session is a basic outline of what would happen in a first session. It's going to provide a lot more relief than a standard massage session and it's going to last a lot longer than you are used to. In order to get that relief to last long term we recommend a series of sessions to address some or all of the following (depending on the client):

  • Any old ankle injuries your have that change the angle and shape of the foot: these usually cause hip flexor tightness
  • Your adductor muscles on the inner thigh that may be stuck together due to sports injuries: these also cause hip flexor tightness
  • The position of your shoulder blades on your ribcage: these are often "rolled forward" pulling on the muscles in the back of your neck in a similar way to the front neck muscles
  • Your side body fascia: if the ribcage isn't inflating and deflating while breathing, both the shoulder and neck muscles get "stuck"
  • Your jaw muscles - tension from trips to the dentist or daily unrelieved stress tightens these causing headaches and also neck and shoulder pain

As each of these related causes for neck pain is worked on, it will become easier and easier to balance your head on top of your ribcage. Eventually, usually after 4-7 sessions of neck pain massage, pain becomes a thing of the past.

Effective neck pain massage therapy addresses all of the forces pulling on your head

We've developed truly effective neck pain massage therapy that provides long term relief at Bodyworks DW.

First, we'll address your neck pain effectively by releasing each of the three main contributing factors in the same session. You will feel immediate relief at the end of the first session. And you won't feel sore or beat up the next day.

Next, to have a long term impact, we will follow up the first session with 3-6 custom designed sessions. These sessions will work on more detailed areas in cumulative layers. Each massage allows us to go deeper into the stuck front neck muscles and bring your head into better balance. With your head balanced on top of your spine all of the muscles work less. Less work = less pain!

We offer neck pain massage in Midtown and the Financial District in New York City. Would you like to schedule a fantastic neck pain massage with one of the best massage therapists this city has to offer? Contact Bodyworks DW today or click on the button to book online at our neck pain massage midtown or neck pain massage fidi studios!

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Low Back Pain Massage Therapy Treatment by David Weintraub

Lower Back Pain Treatment with Massage Therapy in New York

David Weintraub, LMT and owner of Bodyworks DW, writes about the benefits of massage therapy for lower back pain. And how massage therapy rather than using the traditional approach of surgery or medication can produce better results at a lower cost.

David Weintraub

Why medication or surgery is only masking the root cause of your pain

Massage therapy for lower back pain is an effective alternative treatment to surgery and medications. Additionally, in most cases the results are noticeably better than either of those traditional approaches. This is according to the newest research. (Excerpt from Vox article "A comprehensive guide to the new science of treating lower back pain").

Lower back pain from bulging or herniated discs often seems to come out of nowhere. In reality there are usually other root causes. An older ankle or knee injury can create an imbalance in the body leading to lower back pain. Compensation patterns from older injuries put asymmetrical pressure on the lumbar spine. The lumbar spine is the part of your spine located in your lower back. Eventually this pressure can cause one or more lumbar discs to bulge. If the bulge presses on nerve pathways, light to extreme pain can result.

How Traditional Approaches can Fail

The most common surgical approach is called a laminectomy. This surgery tries to correct pressure on the nerves by shaving down part of the bulging discs. However, the root cause older injury is still affecting your body. The pressure is still there on the lumbar spine. A laminectomy can eliminate the pain symptoms for a short period. However, in many cases a new bulge pops out in another disc later. This usually makes the problem even worse later on.

Medications such as pain relievers and anti-inflammatories mask symptoms. This feels good and sometimes can help you move through the issue by allowing you to stretch into the stuck area again.

However, the root cause is still not being addressed. Pain will likely come back to plague you in the future. Opioids are especially worrisome as they are highly addictive. This can lead to reliance on them to even function. In an increasing number of cases the addiction spirals out of control creating a far worse issue than the pain itself.

How Low Back Pain Massage in New York works differently

With back pain massage in New York, we work to discover why the disc is bulging in the first place. Meaning you'll get a more holistic approach. And of course we'll spend some time massaging the muscles in your low back.

In addition, we'll work to identify and address any older injuries that caused the low back tightness to begin with. Once the older injured joints are moving better, your low back will have less work to do. Pressure lessens on the lumbar spine. This allows pain to decrease naturally without medications or surgery.

This pathway might be slower than popping a pill. But you'll know that your pain is being reduced in a healthy way. And you'll gain the tools to keep it from coming back in the future.

[T]here are perceptions that opioid therapy for chronic pain is less expensive than more time-intensive nonpharmacologic management approaches. [However,] many pain treatments, including acetaminophen, NSAIDs, tricyclic antidepressants, and massage therapy, are associated with lower mean and median annual costs. [As] compared with opioid therapy. (excerpt from CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain — United States, 2016)

We offer back pain massage in Midtown and the Financial District in New York City

If you are in acute or chronic low back pain we recommend booking as soon as you can make an appointment.

Are you suffering from lower back pain? There are many advantages to working with our team of trained medical massage therapists.

At Bodyworks DW, we evaluate how the rest of your body and posture is affecting your low back pain. Together we'll make a plan for a series of back pain massage sessions. This will help to unwind any seemingly unrelated issues. As your whole body opens up, pressure on the low back is relieved. This allows the discs to return to their normal shape over time. With less and less pressure on the nerves, pain slowly but surely goes away.

If you would like to schedule a fantastic back pain massage and experience the benefits above, please contact Bodyworks DW today or click on the button to book online for back pain massage in midtown or fidi!

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physical therapy meets massage therapy

Doing Physical Therapy? Massage Therapy Can Improve Results!

David Weintraub, LMT and owner of Bodyworks DW, writes about the benefits of supplementing your physical therapy plan with massage therapy treatment.

David Weintraub

7 Reasons why this powerful combination works

Pain sucks. As a massage therapist, I would know. Almost everyone who comes to see me does so because they're in pain!

Most of the time, my clients have such a powerful response to massage therapy they don't need additional therapies. However, that isn't always the case. I always look for clues that indicate I need to refer a client to another practitioner, such as a physical therapist. 

Physical therapy and massage therapy are both powerful methods for treating pain. By focusing on correcting the underlying muscular imbalances that have caused it in the first place. When used together, they can help clients achieve faster and better results. 

There are several reasons why massage therapy is effective for anyone who is already receiving physical therapy.

Here are the top 7:

  1. Providing pain relief, often times after the first session
  2. Increasing range of motion so that the body can move better
  3. Decreasing local inflammation by working above and below the area
  4. Lessening the pain clients may be feeling during or after physical therapy exercises
  5. Decreasing the pain clients may feel post-surgery
  6. Bringing faster results than just physical therapy alone 
  7. Motivating clients to stick to their physical therapy treatment plan

That's the short version of why massage therapy and physical therapy are a powerful combination. If you're interested in a more detailed explanation, read below! 

The Breakdown: 

1) Massage therapy helps by treating short and overused muscles. 

The goal of many physical therapy exercises is to help strengthen any weak muscles that are causing pain symptoms. The goal is that by strengthening weak muscles, the body will move & feel healthier. But that's only half the picture. 

When it comes to muscles, imbalance happens when one muscle is weak and long while another muscle is overused and short. In order to correct this, BOTH of these problems need to be addressed. This means following the exercises provided by a physical therapist teaching clients how to engage and strengthen muscles that are weak. It also means using massage therapy to address the muscles that are chronically overused.

The right massage therapist will focus on releasing these tight muscles as well as lengthening them when they've gotten short. This can help effectively decrease pain while also improving range of motion and helping the nervous system learn how to move better! 

2) Massage therapy will help with physical therapy. 

Studies show that one major obstacle to physical therapy treatment is that many will stop coming in if the exercises are painful to do, or if their pain doesn't decrease right away. (Source: Read this article) Basically, if the work is too hard and painful, people are a lot less likely to do it. Massage therapy can decrease pain often with immediate results, which will help provide motivation to stick to the physical therapist's treatment plan. 

3) Massage therapy can help post-surgery.

Sometimes people will experience new aches and pains after their recovery from a surgery, even while doing physical therapy. This can happen due to a change in the body alignment and how the body moves after the procedure. If clients are already doing regular physical therapy and still experiencing pain post-surgery, I suggest asking a doctor if it’s medically safe to try massage therapy.

For more detailed information on how massage therapy can help post-surgery, please check out this in-depth article: Click Here!

 

In summary, we see that combining physical therapy and massage therapy help clients move better and feel better by working on correcting any muscular imbalances that can be causing or contributing to pain. 

Want to read more about how we work at Bodyworks DW? 

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