Pediatrics: Visceral Manipulation Approach to Pediatrics
Tui Na (Chinese Medical Massage)
This is the most extraordinary form of Asian Bodywork! Tui Na literally means to push (Tui) and to grasp (Na), and is a method of Chinese Bodywork that utilizes soft tissue manipulation, acupoints, and structural realignment methods to lesson or alleviate a wide variety of musculoskeletal and internal organ disorders. Tui Na utilizes Traditional Chinese Medical (TCM) theory to assess energetic and functional disorders. Then employs the most unique hand techniques to restore and promote health. Tui Na is the most complete form of bodywork, because it addresses both physical and energetic lesions to the body. The skilled practitioner assesses each client individually and uses TCM to customize a plan to restore energetic and functional balance to the body. In addition, the use of therapeutic exercise is also included. The benefits are vast; the design is to return a person to 100% of their body's potential!
Reflexology (Foot and Hand)
This ancient modality has been scrutinized for hundreds of years and its' validity has been proven time and time again! These techniques are based on the premise that the whole body is mapped out on the hands and feet in areas called reflexes. A skilled practitioner assesses these areas for any type of energetic misalignments and attempts to restore balance before this energetic lesion shows as a physical manifestation of dysfunction or disease. The body is a physical manifestation of energy, so before we see physical signs of dysfunction or disease there will be an imbalance in the body energetically. TCM and all forms of Asian bodywork are designed to be preventative in nature, which means we want to stop the body from going down the long cascading process to dysfunction.
This beautifully gentle and peaceful Asian modality will harmonize the mind, body, and spirit! Shiatsu literally translates as finger (Shi) and pressure (Atsu); and is primarily pressure applied with the thumb and/or palm along a given meridian. Along with thumb or palm walking, as it is known, there is a great emphasis on both passive and active, exercises and stretching will be part of your session. All Asian bodywork believes that stagnations and energetic imbalances begin with the joints, so the practitioner would free the meridian and then stretch the associated aspects of the body. Shiatsu's distinction from other Asian modalities is that it focuses on working whole meridians as opposed to specific points along the meridian and is traditionally performed on the floor on a Shiatsu or Thai Massage mate. The benefits are vast; the design is to return a person to 100% of their body's potential! Shiatsu addresses both physical and energetic lesions to the body. The therapist assesses the condition of the patient's body as treatment progresses. Therapy and diagnosis are one. The skilled practitioner assesses each client individually through the hara (abdomen) and then uses this information to customize a plan to restore energetic and functional balance to the body.
This amazing modality is an extension off of cranial osteopathy and based on the premise that the craniosacral system is a closed system and has its' own rhythm called the craniosacral rhythm. Just like the cardiac and respiratory rhythm there is a moving of cerebral spinal fluid (CSF). This rhythm moves in cycles 8-12 cycles per minute (the cardiac is 60-80 beats per minute or respiratory is 8-20 breaths per minute) and is the time it takes for the CSF to move from the cranium down the spine to the sacrum and back up. The theory here is that if there is a lesion at any level of this closed system which is composed of the fascial sheath that lines the cranium, creates the dural tube, and connects to the sacrum that any function associated with that level of the spine or section of the brain could possibly have a dysfunction as well. For example, if someone were in a car accident and hit their head extremely hard creating a cranial lesion in the leg area of the brain on that fascial lining that we discussed above there could now be a dysfunction associated with the leg (pain, tingling, numbness, etc.). Now this person goes to a doctor and is diagnosed with sciatica and they go see a Chiropractor who treats their back and hips with no relief or results, or temporary relief of their signs and symptoms, but the sensations keep coming back. Well there may be a cranial lesion, which will continue to cause there experience and possibly affect other areas until it has been removed, that is where craniosacral therapy comes into play!
Traditional Thai Massage
This rare, beautifully gentle, and peaceful Asian modality will harmonize the mind, body, and spirit! Nuad Boran is the Traditional Thai Medical Massage. Thai massage is based upon the integration of Indian Buddhist medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine. Thai Massage is primarily pressure applied with the thumb or palm along a given energy line (sen line). Along with thumb or palm walking, as it is known; elbow, forearms, fingers, knees, and feet are also incorporated working the sen lines to open up the energy passages and release chronic tension from the body. Thai massage utilizes hand techniques and a unique approach to passive movement and stretching Traditional Thai Massage incorporates a spiritual dimension to its gentle and focused approach to Asian Bodywork. Thai Massage has been called Thai Yoga Massage or playfully termed a lazy person's yoga, because the massage integrates asanas or yogic poses performed passively where the client has the ability to relax into a pose and then ingeniously the practitioner adds soft tissue manipulation to these stretched positions. All Asian bodywork believes that stagnations and energetic imbalances begin with the joints, so the distinction for the practitioner would be to free the sen lines while stretching the associated aspects of the body.
Total Body Balancing
This is not as much a technique as it is a template to move through the body assessing and freeing any and all lesions. Developed by an Osteopath this technique will balance the body front-to-back, top-to-bottom, and left-to-right. The practitioner moves through the body in a specific way and then uses any tools that are in their tool belt to free associated restrictions that are encountered along the way! This is a very powerful technique that aids the practitioner in balancing the body and then freeing all mechanical lesions that are present with the client.
Qi Gong Massage
Qi Gong Massage (QGM), an ancient branch of Chinese medicine, has existed for several thousands of years. Like Acupuncture and Tui Na therapies, QGM is based on meridian and point theory, as well as ancient Chinese philosophy. QGM refers to a wide series of therapeutic methods, including but not limited to; breathe training, psychosomatic exercises, meditation and guided visualization that direct the practitioners to create a place of health and balance in their clients.
This awesome and rare technique is incredible! Most of use as massage therapists and bodyworks deal very well with the container called the human body, but very few of use every deal with the contents of that container. This is where visceral manipulation comes into play. There is a very small line in most anatomy and physiology text that states that form and function are one. Overlooked by many this simple statement is a jewel! It means that if for some reason you had a trauma or repetitive injury that now causes your hips to be either structurally or fascially misaligned it could potentially affect any organs in that area (i.e. causing constipation, bladder prolapse, urinary dysfunction, etc.). Well all these other modalities will deal with the misalignment of the hips, but nothing aside from Tui Na, Shiatsu, and Qi Gong will deal effectively with the organ dysfunction. The 3 modalities will deal with the dysfunction energetically through meridians, but none really deal with the organs physically. All tissue is covered with and connected fascia, so visceral manipulation frees the organ fascia and restores it to natural positioning and movement. Where by making that statement that form and function are one very powerful! Because if you start with an organ dysfunction, since all the organs are suspended from the structure (plural cavity or peritoneal cavity and spine), it can affect your form or structure causing pain and/or dysfunction. So if you have shoulder pain it might have nothing to do with your shoulder, but all to do with that fall you had 5 years ago that set up a lesion through your liver and gall bladder that are now effecting the nerves that are coming out of the spine and irritating other levels of the spine and now causing you shoulder pain. I know it may sound weird but western medicine looks at the body in pieces and we look at your body as a WHOLE! Everything is connected, EVERYTHING!
Tai Chi Chuan/Qi Gong
Tai Chi is an internal martial art that combines breathing and movement in a meditative state to promote and restore health. The slow, graceful movements of Tai Chi increase strength and flexibility and improve balance and circulation. Tai Chi emphasizes greater stretching and turning in each of the movements in order to gain these and other benefits more effectively. There is also a very deadly martial side to this art that is not widely taught, because in recent years the health benefits are mainly stressed.
Muscle Energy Technique (MET)
This advanced soft tissue technique is focused on joint mobilization. It is out of our scope of practice as bodyworkers to adjust joints like a Chiropractor or Osteopath using High Velocity Low Amplitude (HVLA) techniques, but what we can do is free the associated soft tissue structures (i.e. ligaments, tendons, joint capsules, etc.). A skilled practitioner will assess the FIRST barrier to motion in a joint. Then we in various different ways will get our client to perform an isometric contraction and in the post-isometric relaxation will get the joint to mobilize and correct any soft tissue dysfunction associated with the joint restriction. This technique is very powerful, because it communicates the release through the clients Central Nervous System (CNS). Basically it tells the clients' body the joint is in a state of dysfunction and then the CNS sends a signal back to the joint to free the restriction "mobilizing the joint."
Therapeutic Massage (Swedish Massage)
Therapeutic massage or Swedish massage is designed to promote parasympathetic balance to the body. It promotes relaxation and increases circulation with slow methodical movements. There are 4 main techniques in Therapeutic massage and are effleurage (long continuous gliding strokes), petrissage
Chi Nei Tsang (UHT - Visceral Manipulation)
This amazing modality is equally as powerful as the western visceral manipulation. Please see Visceral Manipulation, but the distinction is the energetic component is added in and the quality of yin and yang are the also taken into account. Complete rounding out of the tool box.
Positional Release Technique (PRT)
This advanced soft tissue technique is focused on protective muscle spasms and freeing primary lesion that are associated with an immobile joint. There are situation where the body will lock a joint due to a trauma and cause the muscles connected to that joint to lock in a state of spasm (constant contraction). The clients' body has done this to protect the joint and reduce the amount of discomfort that would be associated with the immobile joint. Unlike the MET where we take the joint to first sign of tissue barrier, this technique is designed to take the joint in the direction of ease allowing the restricted soft tissue unlock itself and free the muscle fibers that are locked in a state of spasm. PRT is also very powerful, because it too communicates through the CNS and allows it to become aware of the restricted joint and associated muscle spasm and when it realizes that the joint no longer needs the shortened muscle fibers, it will free the sarcomeres (an individual muscle fiber) and reset them to normal fiber length.
Deep Tissue Massage
Deep Tissue Massage is a massage technique that focuses on the deeper layers of muscle tissue. It aims to release the chronic patters of tension in the body through slow strokes and deep finger pressure on the contracted areas, either following or going across the fibers of the muscles, tendons and fascia.
This amazing technique deals with swelling and inflammation that is connected to some form of trauma or repetitive injury. The circulatory system delivers O2 and nutrients to the body and removes CO2 and wastes from the body. "Blood" is generally made up of 45% red blood cells (erythrocytes), 55% plasma (91% water, 7% blood proteins, and 2% nutrients, hormones, and electrolytes), and 1% white blood cells (leukocytes) and platelets (thrombocytes). The circulatory system delivers blood through arteries and in "normal" tissue 95% of that which is delivered returns to the heart via the venous side of the circulatory system, so 5% remains in the tissue and is returned to the circulatory system via the lymphatic vessels. When this fluid is in the lymphatic vessels it is known as lymph and then returns to the circulatory system as plasma. When there is a trauma or mechanical issue that damages a tissue and interferes with these tightly regulated systems more than 5% of what is delivered can remain in the tissue causing swelling and inflammation. When this occurs a trained professional can aid the lymphatic and circulatory system by manually putting this fluid into the lymphatic system and returning it to the circulatory system. This is extremely important because low blood volume can put unnecessary strain on the heart and potentially damage the kidneys which are responsible for maintaining blood volume in the body.
Myofascial Therapy is highly specialized stretching and fascial manipulation technique used to treat patients with a variety of soft tissue problems. Fascia is a thin connective tissue that covers and connects every tissue in the body. This tissue covers every muscle and every fiber within each muscle. All muscles stretching, then, is actually stretching of the fascia and the muscle, the myofascial unit. When muscle fibers are injured, the fibers and the fascia which surrounds it becomes short and tight. This uneven stress can be transmitted through the fascia to other parts of the body, causing pain and a variety of other symptoms in areas you often wouldn't expect. Myofascial Therapy treats these symptoms by releasing the uneven tightness in injured fascia.
Hot and Cold Stone massage
This is a fabulous modality to aid relaxation and reconnect the client to Earth. Stones and crystals have their own energies that are related to Earth and very grounding in nature…no pun intended…lol! We at Best of Both Worlds use this modality very therapeutically and specifically to warm the tissue and bring blood and nutrients to a stuck or restricted area and then manipulate the tissue and use this new blood and nutrients to regain balance to the tissue in the case of hot stone massage. We also use cold stones to help facilitate a pumping or flushing of a tissue in need of clearing due to metabolic waste build-up caused by a knot, trigger point, or dysfunctioning tissue. Cold stone massage can also reduce inflammation and aid in the release of trigger points especially because it gets the motor end plate (part of the nerve that connects to a muscle) to release the contracted muscle fibers that can cause local or referred pain. It will leave you relaxed, grounded, and refreshed! Definitely something to be experienced!
This modality is designed to energetically and structurally realign the spine using therapeutic grade essential oils and blends to reduce stress, increase immunity, reduce the inflammatory response, and promote autonomic balance. How does this work you ask? Well some of the oils are antimicrobial in nature and diffuse through the skin and eliminate any viruses or bacteria that are potentially lying dormant along the spine and nerve roots. For example, the chicken pox (a member of the herpes virus family) is never fully expelled from the body and has the ability, when a person’s immunity is low, to resurface in the form of shingles (herpes zoster) later in life. Other oils are designed to decrease inflammation in the spine and structures associated with the spine (i.e. muscles, discs, ligaments, and tendons) that could be causing irritation. Then the last few oils will increase circulation and promote homeostatic balance in the body clearing out the microbes that were just eliminated and removing metabolic waste and inflammatory mediators. After the oils are applied the skilled practitioner then manipulates the soft tissue aiding the therapeutic benefits of the oils and incorporating the therapeutic benefits of any one or all of the other modalities listed. This wonderful modality aims to realign mind, body, and spirit to increase vitality and unlock the bodies’ innate healing abilities!
Auricular Therapy (Ear Reflexology)
Yet another wonderful aspect of reflexology! The premise here is the body is mapped out on the ear in reflex areas that stimulate the body in various ways. This modality is so powerful that the US government has utilized this technique on the battlefield to reduce stress and many other common ailments. We at Best of Both Worlds use this to aid your goals for the bodywork session. We will pick certain points to incorporate into our session that will increase the therapeutic benefits experienced by the client!
Orthopedic Assessment (Assessing Soft Tissue and Joint Issues)
As mentioned before the most important thing in any type of massage and/or bodywork is assessment, assessment, assessment! One of Xavier’s mentors told him once that if you had 20 min to work on a client you should do 15 min of assessment and 5 minutes of treatment. Why? Because if you don’t discover what is causing a person’s dysfunctional lesions then you are not giving therapeutic benefits to that person. For instance, you have neck tension and all your practitioner does is work on your neck, but your neck tension is caused from a shoulder injury that occurred from falling off a bike and they do nothing to your shoulder; then you may experience some relief but your neck tension is coming back! We are committed to find out the underlying causes to what is not functioning properly in your body and then applying all the modalities described here to lesson or alleviate you issues!
Nerve Mobilization (Freeing Nerve Entrapments)
This amazing technique is all about freeing stuck nerves! Nerves are designed to moves through different spaces as we move. We can recall that everything is covered by and connected by fascia. If the fascia causing adhesions in the muscles or to adjacent muscles nerves may not have the ability to move freely (entrapment). This can cause anything that the nerve controls to not work properly (i.e. muscles, organs, tissues, cells, vessels, etc.). For example, if you have carpal tunnel it could be because the nerve is entrapped at the carpal crease or somewhere in the arm that connects to the hand. Nerve mobilization will free related structures to this entrapment (i.e. ligament, tendons, adipose tissue, etc.) and then ensure that the nerve is moving freely through that space and lesson or alleviate the signs and symptoms connected to carpal tunnel (i.e. tingling or numbness in the hand and/or fingers). This wonderful technique could be just the thing that has you avoid going under the knife to correct your nerve issue! Give it a try and you will be amazed at the relief you experience!
Cupping and Gua Sha (Releasing the “Chi” or “Qi”)
This is miraculous yet very aggressive form of Asian bodywork! The practitioner uses either cups that suction the skin (superficial fascia) or a some rounded edged object (Gua Sha) to free muscle adhesion that are not allowing blood and qi (energy) to move through that area properly. There is a great saying in Asian bodywork that blood is the mother of qi and qi is the commander of blood. So if an area is not receiving the appropriate amount of blood supply the practitioner can free the qi and blood flow will be restored to that area of the body. You may have seen this before on someone where it looks like the person has perfectly round hickeys on their bodies’ caused by the cups or a something that looks like a bruise with little red dots called sha. Neither one is actually a bruise because the skilled practitioner should avoid breaking blood vessels, but what is actually happening is the tissues are being separated either from adjacent structures or intra- structures (cells and tissues that are stuck to themselves). This separating causing blood to flood the free space that has been created and give the appearance of a bruise, but this is rather an indication that the qi has been freed, because remember that wonderful Chinese saying blood is the mother of qi and qi is the commander of blood! When you see the sha or the cup marks then there is definitely blood in that area and the energy is moving freely! Hope to see you soon!