When you go to massage school you're taught the most basic of basics—history of massage, anatomy & physiology, kinesiology, simple pathology, Swedish massage techniques, ethics, sanitation, etc… I'm surprised tuition doesn't include a pair of Ugg boots and a pumpkin spice latte. Post-graduation it is up to you to determine your path of specialization and acquire that practical knowledge via continuing education credits. There are over 350 massage modalities in existence, so good luck with that. I knew that I would not thrive in a spa setting…unless the spa in question was looking for a smart-ass with a previously disclosed disdain for the word 'pamper'. I'm a science girl all the way, so I set my sights on an area where I was passionate and knew I would be of the most help—orthopedic massage.
What is Orthopedic Massage?
The simplest explanation is that it is a system of treating soft-tissue pain and injuries. It matches an orthopedic condition, like a muscle strain or a herniated disc, with a particular treatment approach or technique. This creates a physiological change in the body that aids in the healing process. In the words of Mark Watney, it sciences the shit out of it. Side note: If you haven't read The Martian, you should. Mark Watney is an absolute treasure—right up there with Dolly Parton and Betty White.
Where is Orthopedic Massage used?
Short answer: anywhere and everywhere. Private mobile massage practices like Myo bring the party straight to you. There's also on-site care for sports and dance teams, occupational therapy settings, and in the offices of physical therapists, chiropractors, and osteopaths. The list goes on and on.
What can I expect from an orthopedic massage treatment session?
Regardless of modality, every massage treatment session begins with a thorough intake process:
The client describes their pain/injury and relays pertinent background information, such as their profession, recreational activities, previous accidents or injuries, past or current illnesses, names of medications, sleeping habits, time of day or night where the issue is at its best/worst, etc...
The practitioner performs a visual observation.
Appropriate range of motion, manual resistive, and orthopedic assessments are administered. This is where orthopedic massage begins to differ itself from other massage modalities.
A plan of care is discussed and agreed upon by the client and the practitioner.
Following the intake, the plan of care is carried out in the form of massage and adjunct techniques (i.e., stretching, muscle scraping, taping, percussive therapy), home care is assigned (Yes, you get homework. It's part of the deal.), and future treatment sessions are scheduled.
Why should I go to an orthopedic massage therapist?
Orthopedic massage therapists have invested hundreds of continuing education hours to acquire an elevated knowledge of massage techniques, human movement (kinesiology), and common pain & injuries (pathology). This gives us the tools to assess the client's complaints and develop a solid plan of care. In other words, you are in very capable hands. Ha! Hands. See what I did there?
Here at Myo we specialize in relief from:
Sprains & strains,
IT Band Syndrome,
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, & MORE.