What to expect at your first massage treatment
You will be asked to fill out a health history form. This is to ensure that:
- The treatment you receive will be safe and effective for you.
- The treatment will be geared towards addressing your current issues without your therapist having to guess at the best place to start in order to reach your goals for that day/week/year.
- Your treatment will be modified for your safety and with your goals and personal requests in mind.
- In order to be truly therapeutic it is helpful to trace your current symptoms back to the original cause, this is helpful in working towards more permanently fixing the problem. Your health history is used as a guide in this case.
You will have a private discussion with your therapist regarding your health history and your reason for seeking massage. Your therapist will ask questions to determine the best course of action for you. Your assessment is considered part of the hour treatment and many insurance companies require therapists to demonstrate why the massage is needed. Assessment may include some orthopedic tests to determine the possible cause of your complaint. We are taught the same tests that your physiotherapist, chiropractor and medical doctor are taught in their training. This allows us to discuss your case with your other caregivers if you deem necessary. Your therapist will explain the test to you, explain what they are testing for, and explain any risks that there may be with the tests. Tests are only performed with your consent.
Your therapist will suggest a treatment plan once they have formed a clinical impression based on your assessment. The entire plan will be explained to you including what areas will be treated, how they will be treated, alternatives, risks, benefits, and side effects of the treatment. You will have the chance to ask questions about the treatment plan and will be asked to give consent.
Getting on the table
Your therapist will instruct you to remove whatever clothing you feel comfortable removing. Everyone is different. Although we prefer to have access to the tissues directly, we will happily massage through the clothes if that is what you are most comfortable with. Only the parts of your body that are being worked on will be uncovered, the rest of your body will be covered by sheets and/or blankets You will be shown how to get on the table, be given a chance to ask questions, and then the therapist will leave the room while you disrobe and get on the table.
Types of Massage offered at Natural Path Wellness
Swedish Massage is the most common form of therapeutic massage. It is full of flowing strokes and can be used for rehabilitation, relaxation or stimulation.
Massage has an immense impact on the body, it can:
- Decrease or eliminate muscle pain
- Increase circulation
- Increase lymph drainage
- Improves range of motion in the joints
- Decrease muscular tension
- Decrease blood pressure
Both acute and chronic conditions can be addressed with massage:
It can decrease stress by inducing relaxation and decreasing corticosteroids within the body. This is especially helpful for those with insomnia.
The digestive system is affected by massage with an increase in motility and a decrease in stomach acidity.
Massage is also quite beneficial to those with headaches. Many non-Swedish techniques can be added to a massage to increase its effectiveness.
A few conditions addressed by massage are:
- Anxiety and depression
- Cancer symptoms
- Gastrointestinal Disorders
- Inflammatory conditions like arthritis
- Pregnancy-Pre and Post
- Sports Injuries
- and much more
Feel free to speak to your therapist about any specific questions or concerns that you may have. If you don’t have a therapist and have questions don’t hesitate to phone or email us.
Pregnancy is not an illness. At Natural Path we view pregnancy as a condition of wellness. We are here to ease your transition into the physical changes that take place within your body during this time. We aid you in maintaining health and prevent any problems from occurring concerning posture and bio mechanics that may lead to pain.
Some of the conditions related to pregnancy that we treat are:
- Low back and leg pain
- Pelvic pain
- Edema (swelling)
- Breast congestion
- Piriformis syndrome
- Carpal tunnel treatments
You can speak with your therapist concerning anything else that you are experiencing, keeping in mind that massage therapists do not diagnose medical concerns and will refer you back to your MD for anything out of our scope of practice.
TMJ Treatment (Jaw Pain)
What is the TMJ?
The Temporal Mandibular Joint (TMJ) connects the lower jaw to the skull, and is responsible for the movement of the jaw and the opening and closing of the mouth. This is the most used joint in the body and it affects our ability to talk, to chew, and to swallow. Any disruption or damage to these joints can lead to severe joint and muscle pain.
Causes and risk factors for TMJ dysfunction:
- Clenching or grinding
- A blow to the jaw from sports or other accidents
- Motor vehicle accident injuries (like whiplash)
- Poor posture and body mechanics
- Damage to teeth causing tooth loss or misalignment of the bite
- Overuse such as with gum chewing, biting nails, thrusting the jaw forward during talking or exercising
- People who have to talk a lot for work, singers, violin players etc.
Do you have TMJ Dysfunction?
- Clicking and popping of the jaw when you open or close your mouth
- Pain in the TMJ area (directly in front of the ears) when opening and closing the mouth
- Pain when yawning, chewing or biting
- Earaches or fullness in your ear
- Jaw pain or tenderness
- Jaws that get stuck or locked (notably, when at the dentist or talking for extended periods)
- Neck pain
- Shoulder pain
Types of TMJ Treatments at NPW
Because the TMJ is supported and suspended solely by soft tissue this makes it the ideal condition to be treated with massage therapy.
The massage therapists at Natural Path Wellness have been specially trained to isolate and treat the muscles of mastication that cause TMJ pain to help relieve pain, decompress the joint and correct asymmetrical tightness of the muscles.
What to expect during massage treatment:
- Assessment to identify which muscles are involved. This includes having you move your jaw while the therapists watches for any anomalies.
- Massage of the neck and shoulder muscles that are involved in head and neck posture and treatment of any trigger points that may be present causing referral pain that aggravates the TMJ.
- Massage the muscles of the face and head. This helps to loosen and relieve any muscles attached in and around the external TMJ.
- Using a gloved hand, massage of the muscles inside the mouth. This allows for access to the small muscles that are directly attached to the TMJ and can have dramatic affects on the outcome of the treatment.
Children benefit from massage therapy as much, if not more, than adults.
- reduction in anxiety symptoms
- reduction in muscle tension
- better sleep
- better body awareness
- stress reduction
Your child’s massage therapist will help your child learn basic breathing techniques for relaxation, skills to take control of their muscles and relax them at will. They will also be encouraged and empowered to take control of their bodies by telling their massage therapist exactly where and how they want to be massaged. They get to give the orders!
Parents are encouraged to quietly stay in the room during treatments.
Parents are welcome to ask the therapist about techniques for massaging their child at home, massaging your child can help create more bonding time and increase a sense of acceptance, safety and calm especially in children with anxiety.
What to bring to a child massage:
Children should have a pair of comfy, stretchy shorts and a tank top. Teens can wear clothes or be draped as adults.
A woman’s breasts are a symbol of femininity, sexuality and motherhood. This symbolism sometimes makes us forget that breasts are made of our body’s tissues. At sometime in each woman’s life she may experience congestion or tenderness.
This could be related to a woman’s life cycle (menstruation, pregnancy, lactation, or menopause), trauma, or a medical procedure.
Massage is an effective and gentle way to relieve these symptoms and promote health within the breast tissue.
In North America breasts are usually compressed in tight fitted clothing or bras that decrease blood and lymph flow. Blood and lymph are both needed to maintain the health of body tissues.
Why would you have a breast massage?
A breast massage would be indicated for you under any of the following circumstances:
- Congestion and swelling
- Discomfort with pregnancy, breastfeeding or weaning
- Breast pain
- Breast injuries
- Post-surgical symptoms and/or Scars
- Premenstrual or menopausal soreness
- General breast health
- Discomfort of breast cancer treatments
Breast massage uses gentle techniques and hydrotherapy to enhance drainage and circulation. As with any massage your comfort is a primary factor in any treatment. Your Therapist will explain to you before the massage everything that she will be doing and will only continue with your full consent.
If you are interested in breast massage but are not ready to try it your therapist can use hydrotherapy without massage. Your Therapist can also give you instructions on how to do this at home.
*Breast massage is not done to help clients who are working on overcoming sexual trauma. Massage therapists are not Councillors, in that situation you should consult a mental health practitioner.
Not all therapists perform breast massage, ask your therapist for information.