Massage therapy is recognized as one of the oldest methods of healing, with references in medical texts nearly 4,000 years old. In fact, Hippocrates, known as the "father of medicine," referenced massage when he wrote, in the 4th century B.C.: "The physician must be acquainted with many things, and assuredly with rubbing."
Today, in addition to "rubbing," massage therapy refers to the application of various techniques to the muscular structure and soft tissues of the body that include applying fixed or movable pressure, holding, vibration, rocking, friction, kneading and compression using primarily the hands, although massage therapists do use other areas of the body, such as the forearms, elbows or feet. All of the techniques are used for the benefit of the musculoskeletal, circulatory-lymphatic, nervous, and other systems of the body. In fact, massage therapy positively influences the overall health and well-being of the client:
Physical and Mental Benefits
- relaxes the whole body
- loosens tight muscles
- relieves tired and aching muscles
- increases flexibility and range of motion
- diminishes chronic pain
- calms the nervous system
- lowers blood pressure
- lowers heart rate
- enhances skin tone
- assists in recovery from injuries and illness
- strengthens the immune system
- reduces tension headaches
- reduces mental stress
- improves concentration
- promotes restful sleep
- aids in mental relaxation
Currently, there are well over 100,000 massage therapists practicing in Canada and the United States. Training requirements varies between jurisdictions, although to practice as a massage therapist in New Brunswick one must meet certain qualifications and pass the requirements of the provincial board.
In New Brunswick, and most other Canadian Provinces, a massage therapist must have at least 2200 hours of training from a recognized educational institution and an additional 200 hours of clinical practice and community outreach.
Massage therapists are trained in several techniques, anatomy and physiology, orthopedic assessment, biomechanics, and remedial exercise.
All the therapists at Empowerment Massage Clinic are registered and recognized by extended health care plans as they have have passed the requirements of the provincial board.
The first time you visit our clinic, you will be asked to complete a confidential health history form to ensure massage is safe for your condition. We will review all the information you provide and discuss your areas of concern for this treatment.
Upon your consent, the therapist will then perform a thorough examination that will include a postural assessment; Range of Motion Testing; Orthopaedic tests and neurological assessments.
The therapist will explain the treatment plan and inform you of what areas will be touched, what clothing to remove, what position you will be lying in (i.e., on your back or on your belly), etc.
Upon the client’s consent to the treatment plan, the therapist will leave the room and you will undress privately and get on the table covering up with the sheet.
The therapist will knock before re-entering the treatment room.
Once the session begins the therapist will undrape only the area being treated.
After the session is completed, you will be instructed how to get off the table before the therapist leaves the room.
Being well hydrated with extra water intake will help to remove the toxins and other metabolites that are released during your treatment.
On your first visit, be prepared to have your blood pressure taken. This is most accurately done a minimum of a half hour after the intake of caffeine or tobacco.
The first visit requires an assessment and therefore the client should bring with them a one piece bathing suit or shorts and a tank top. This allows for more accurate testing of the client.
During your session your therapist will instruct you how to get on the table, the treatment plan, and will leave the room to allow you to undress privately.
The only areas that will be exposed during the treatment are the areas to be massaged. For example, for a back and neck treatment, you will remove clothing from the waist up, all other areas will be covered by a sheet.
If you prefer leaving your clothes on, the therapist can work through the clothing, however, the massage would be most effective with direct contact on the skin.
- During pregnancy a woman's body undergoes many changes, some of them stressful and uncomfortable. Massage is a perfect way to reduce stress and promote general well-being.
- Massage helps mother's body to eliminate waste products through the lymphatic and circulatory systems, which combat fatigue and helps the mother feel more energetic.
- By aiding circulation, massage eases the load on mothers heart and helps to keep her blood pressure in check.
- Muscular discomforts, such as cramping, tightening, stiffness, tension and knots can all be alleviated.
- Massage helps carry away the lactic acid and other cellular waste products that build up and cause muscle fatigue.
- Massage can help relieve depression or anxiety caused by hormonal changes.
- Massage relieves many of the normal discomforts during pregnancy, such as backaches, neck stiffness, leg cramps, headaches, edema, and sore, swollen ankles and feet.
- Massage increases local and general blood circulation, which brings more oxygen and nutrients to the cells of both the mother and fetus. This means greater vitality, less fatigue and better nourishment for the baby.
- Massage stimulates glandular secretions, which helps stabilize hormone levels.
- It relaxes tense muscles and tones loose muscles, and can also increase muscular flexibility. Flexibility will be most helpful during the last trimester and during the birth itself.
- Massage helps to soothe and relax nervous tension, which helps the mother sleep more easily and more deeply. Incidentally, doctors all agree that a relaxed mother will have a happier, healthier pregnancy and possibly an easier childbirth experience, too.
- Massage can be used after the birth of the child to help her regain strength more quickly and ease postpartum stress.
Our bodies contain special protein structures called Fascia (a type of connective tissue). Fascial tissue interconnects all the components of your body, and acts as a flexible skeleton. When this tissue is healthy, it is smooth and slippery, allowing the muscles, nerves, blood vessels, and organs to move freely and function properly.
Imagine a piece of scotch tape, the smooth side is healthy fascia, the sticky side is scar tissue or unhealthy fascia. Try rubbing both sides of the tape along your skin. The smooth side slips easily across your skin. The sticky side drags across your skin. The drag that you feel, the "pulling" sensation is how an adhesion affects the smooth functioning of your body.
Adhesions attach to muscles, decreasing their ability to work properly. You know you have an adhesion on a nerve if you get many abnormal sensations like numbness, tingling, or pain.
Proficiency at ART takes a long time to develop. Training is hands on. The right touch is the most difficult aspect learn, and takes a strong commitment of time, effort, and resources. There is a small but growing number of ART providers who have been personally trained. ART is rapidly becoming THE treatment choice for top athletes.
There are many people who claim to practice the Active Release Techniques. However the only individuals who are legally allowed to to make this claim are those have undergone rigorous training and testing.
After patients have received ART treatments to resolve obvious soft-tissue injuries, they are often keen to return to activities and sports that were previously denied to them by their injury.
At this point, ART can provide patients with a means to enhance their sports performance by identifying and releasing restrictions that reduce their performance in that activity. This typically occurs after the practitioner conducts a biomechanical analysis of the patients motion. During the biomechanical analysis and the subsequent treatment, the practitioner:
- Evaluates your gait, motion, and posture.
- Identifies the biomechanical dysfunctions that are restricting your performance.
- Finds the soft-tissue structures that are the primary cause of the biomechanical dysfunction as well as affected structures along the kinetic chain.
- Treats the soft-tissue dysfunctions with ART to restore full function to the affected structures.
ART Performance Care has been used to improve athletic performance for everyone from the amateur athlete to Olympic Gold medalists. Many well-known athletes and celebrities have benefited from ART Performance Care, including:
- NHL hockey player Gary Roberts
- Canadians Figure skaters and Olympic Gold medalists Jamie Sale and David Pelletier
- Mr. Universe Milos Sarcev
- Members of several Olympic teams, including the nations of Canada, United States, New Zealand, and Australia.
Once the ART practitioner has released the restrictive adhesions between tissues, post-treatment exercises become a critical part of the healing process and act to ensure the RSI does not return.
There are four fundamental areas that must be addressed in any exercise program:
Flexibility: Good flexibility enables muscles and joints to move through their full range of motion. Poor flexibility leads to a higher chance of injury to muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Stretching exercises are only effective if they are executed after the adhesions within the soft-tissue have been released. Stretching exercises that are applied to adhered tissues will only stretch the tissues above and below the restrictions. The actual restricted and adhered tissues are seldom stretched, leading to further biomechanical imbalances.
Strength: Strengthening exercises are most effective after the adhesions within the soft-tissue have been released. Attempts to strengthen already-shortened and contracted muscles only results in further contraction and restriction. This causes the formation of yet more adhesions and restrictive tissues, and exacerbates the Repetitive Injury Cycle. This is why the application of generic or non-specific strengthening exercises for RSI seldom works.
Balance and Proprioception: Proprioception describes the body’s ability to react appropriately (through balance and touch) to external forces. Proprioception exercises should begin early in the rehabilitation process. Effective proprioception exercises are designed to restore the kinesthetic awareness of the patient. These exercises form the basis for the agility, strength, and endurance required for complete rehabilitation.
Cardiovascular: Cardiovascular or aerobic exercises are essential for restoring good circulation and for increasing oxygen delivery to soft-tissues. Lack of oxygen and poor circulation is a primary accelerant of repetitive strain injuries.
When you book a treatment with Empowerment Massage Clinic, that time is set aside for you. We never overbook and do our best to be ready for your scheduled appointment time. To help us keep our high standard of service, we ask that you arrive on time for your appointment, and to notify us 24 hours in advance if you need to make any unexpected changes.
Please be sensitive to the fact that Registered Massage Therapists only receive wages when they deliver a service. If you miss your appointment without advanced notification, this causes a financial hardship for the staff member. We do our utmost to avoid this situation with a strict cancellation policy.
If you need to cancel or change your scheduled appointment time, simply notify us 24 hours in advance via telephone or email. Any missed appointments without 24 hours prior notice will be subject to charges at the full cost of the treatment booked. We appreciate your business and your consideration.
Any appointments that are booked online via our website will be charged upon confirmation of the scheduled appointment time. Therefore, we require payment in full via any major credit card and will provide the necessary receipts the day you arrive for your appointment.