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Jeff Robinson Remedial Massage Therapist

What you can’t get from massage tools.

The television bombards us weekly with a new revolutionary tool which will cure you of your back pain or rid you of your headaches.
As a general rule I believe that if any one tool, cream, tablet or whatever works, we’d all be using it and no one would have pain, and someone would be very rich.
But massage tools, do they work? And should you use them?
There are plenty of tools that you can use to help yourself feel better in between massage appointments. There are foam rollers, therapy canes, electronic devices providing percussion or vibration, and balls of all kinds. There are many ways to use tennis, golf and cricket balls for massage purposes.

These can be great to have at home, at work, or when you travel. They can help ease some pain when you can’t get in for a massage. Life events pop up and make it difficult to squeeze a massage into your schedule at times.

Massage is a great part of your plan for taking care of yourself, but of course it can’t be the only thing. It makes sense to have other activities and some tools to keep you feeling good regularly. For example rolling your sore and tired feet on a golf ball for a few minutes feels great – and it helps get you up off the couch and moving again.

Before you ditch your massage therapist completely, there are some things to consider.

1. Your tool does only one action. Most just compress your muscles. But that’s not all you need to feel better. In a massage your muscles are pulled, squeezed, kneaded, and stretched as well as being compressed. One tool isn’t the solution to everything. Hammers are good – for hammering. When you need to paint, drill a hole, or tighten a nut they are not nearly as useful.

2. Tools are not are educated in how your body works. Your tool won’t know when to stop and your muscles may get overworked. Working in some areas of your body can be dangerous and may cause serious problems. Obviously you want to feel better, not worse afterwards.

3. A Massage therapist has also learned about how much pressure to use and how best to work on a muscle. We can evaluate the progress and change the pressure or try a different technique. We may move you into different positions to change the angle to reach a muscle more effectively.

4. Some tools may require you to get on the floor or bend a certain way. This can be a challenge to some who are lacking in mobility or agility.

5. Pain can be tricky. You may feel the pain in one area but the real source can be somewhere else. If you only address where you feel the pain you will just treat the symptom and the pain will return. A massage therapist can often track down the source and help address the real problem.

There’s more to a massage than just working on your muscles. You get personal attention, listened to, and cared for. Your body and mind can both relax as you let go of your responsibilities for a while.

Tools for use at home can provide some nice benefits in between massages. Most of us enjoy saving money but when we need something important done correctly we pay a professional. Your body is the only place you have to live. Take care of it right.
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Why your feet need a massage.

We usually don’t think about our feet. Until they hurt. We tend to take them for granted, but like other parts of our body they can get tired, overused, sore, and in need of some attention.

When they start to hurt it can lead to many other problems.

When your feet hurt you don’t want to do much of anything. You just want to stay off of them. Your body likes to move, though. And your brain functions better when you are active. So foot pain can quickly lead to other issues.Feet massage

Foot pain can cause other pain in your body. If your foot hurts, you change the way you stand, walk, and move. Those changes affect your legs. When your legs hurt, you make more changes in what you do, which affects your hips, then your back, then your neck.

Most of us take our feet for granted, yet when you stop and think about it we use our feet in nearly everything we do. Such as:

Working on hard floors such as concrete
At home we walk around to take care of our place, our family, and our belongings.
We shop, stand chatting with a friend, stand in lines, and walk around doing errands.
We cook; do laundry, clean and put things away. You may make multiple trips up and down stairs every day.
Yard work and home maintenance keeps us on our feet as well.
Feet get injured when we kick things out of the way or stomp your feet to let out some frustration.
If you enjoy sports you use your feet to run, jump, and kick. Your feet take a real pounding since they support all your body weight along with the extra force from the exertion.
Even fun activities such as yoga and fitness classes, hiking, climbing, kickboxing, and dance – and hauling all of your equipment around.
Your feet have things dropped on them and they get stepped on. You step on unexpected things such as rocks, tools, or toys (Lego!).
Wearing or squeezing into uncomfortable shoes.
…. the list goes on

All of your leg joints are all affected by your feet. Joints are under pressure from muscles and bones pulling and twisting on them. Relieving foot pain allows your muscles and joints to be in their proper positions and with less pressure on them you feel better.

Massage can help with Plantar Fasciitis, heel pain, and other common foot pain. Most muscles that move your foot start in your calf, so relieving foot pain can also reduce calf pain too.

Your feet do a lot for you. Give them some attention with a massage so you can keep doing what you want.
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Massage in the First Trimester

A question I have been asked a number of times over the years is why can’t women receive massage during the first 12 weeks of their pregnancy. We are taught that the wrath of God will be felt by any therapist if they go within 100 metres of a pregnant woman. The truth is a little different.

The reason for this is so the therapist can avoid litigation if something goes wrong with the pregnancy in that time; the first trimester has an increased chance of miscarriage.
This important thing to remember is that general non specific massage does not cause miscarriage. There are points in the legs or feet that are contraindicated when massaging pregnant women so they are avoided. Of course, the massage treatment will not involve any work to the abdominal region during pregnancy.

A more serious concern with treating pregnant women is blood clotting. Pregnancy is, in general, a hypercoagulable state so a woman may clot more readily and are predisposed to deep-vein thrombosis and other clot-related conditions. The chance of blood clotting during pregnancy is rare and can become serious if the blood clot is dislodged.

The therapist and the mother-to-be need to be aware of the symptoms of blood clots. Clot formation increases during the third term of pregnancy and early post-partum.
If any of the following are found, you should see you doctor immediately:
• Swelling
• Redness
• Pain in one part of the body, especially the legs
• Pain which increases during walking
• Veins that are more visible and look larger than normal

As a therapist giving massage to a woman who is pregnant it is important to:
• Ensure that the treatment does not cause tissue damage
• Avoid sny methods that are aggressive or invasive
• Refrain from using deep stripping techniques

Receiving massage during pregnancy is safe and beneficial as long as the therapist knows that you are pregnant and can adjust the treatment accordingly so that the correct techniques are used.
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What is Remedial Massage?

Remedial Massage Therapy is used purely to treat injury and pain stemming from the soft tissue of the body, whether the injury is from sport, overuse injury, chronic postural habits, work related injury, weekend warrior activities or pain such as headaches, migraines or back pain.

What happens during a treatment?

My aim is to restore you so you can function at an optimum level, so assessment of the injury presented is essential. Assessment may include range of movement testing, postural assessment and neural assessment. If I feel I am unable to help you or your source of pain is out of my scope of practice I will refer you a health professional who I believe can best assist you.

Techniques used.

I use mostly hands on techniques during my treatments; a treatment may use one or more of the following techniques:

Massage strokes
Trigger Point Therapy
Positional Release
Myofascial Release
Myofascial Dry Needling.
NOTE: Myofascial Dry Needling is only used with signed consent from the client.

My Treatment Policy:

I have a three treatment policy regarding musculoskeletal injuries. This means that when you book in to be treated for an injury, I will need to see you three times, after the third treatment we will discuss your progress. If there has not been a resolution to the problem I will refer you to a health professional I feel you will most benefit from. I have this policy because injury to soft tissue takes time to heal; one treatment will not completely restore full function to the injured area. One hour is allocated for the initial session, which allows time for assessment and treatment and sessions two and three are shorter in duration as they are follow-up treatments.

Health professionals I use as a referral base include Medical Practitioners specialising in soft tissue injury, chiropractors, physiotherapists and podiatrists.
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