We emphasize massage therapy to relieve Organ-Referred Pain

“Massage therapy manipulates the soft tissues of the body to normalize the tissue. The massage therapist uses a systematic application of pressure and movement on the soft tissues of the body. Massage therapy is used: to reduce stress pain, to aid recovery from medical or surgical procedures, to provide relaxation, to soothe tired and sore muscles, to increase circulation of blood and flow of lymph in the body.”

We emphasize abdominal massage. Years of experience have taught us that many issues (which have no origin of trauma or explanation) often are explained by an issue within the abdomen that is referring pain to the respective region of pain. The simplest example is the person who awakes in the morning with an intensely sore neck. It is normally accepted that “I slept wrong” and just accept the circumstance. These conditions are very intense and acutely painful. Through the use of infrared imaging, it is found that the majority of these cases have a common origin, and it is the diaphragm or upper abdomen. This is explained very simply neurologically as the phrenic nerve that feeds the diaphragm is linked to the neck at the spinal levels C3-5. Since the diaphragm is in spasm, it feeds the nerve impulse into the neck and the nerves that leave the neck transmit that abnormal nerve function into the upper back and posterior neck muscles.

How many of you have really, “slept wrong” The real issue is how many of you have gone to sleep with stress from a number of causes and woke the next morning with a stiff neck, which is really originates in the diaphragm. This whole concept is nothing more than a form of organ-referred pain. This is a common problem, and most of us have experienced the stiff neck syndrome. Most people know that when a person complains of chest pain and left arm pain that indicates a problem with the heart. This is a form of organ-referred pain. Each of us has organs that will refer pain when they are in distress. Another common phenomenon when there is distress in the stomach and our mid-back will ache. We think it is a mere backache, but the real issue is the stomach “referring” pain to the mid-back because they share the same nerve supply.

Holistic approach: We look at all aspects of the health condition and determine the organ, joint, ligament or tendon that is troubled and correct the origin of the pain and not merely the pain symptom. We can never really separate mind and body and spirit. This is truly what creates much of our discomfort and explains many sources of pain.

What makes our results so effective and beyond the normal treatment?

Our massage therapists have all had advanced training that offer the most effective approach to all qualities of pain and problems. What your condition demands is what we provide to offer the best effective results. Deep tissue massage may be applied to one area while abdominal and Swedish massage are applied to another area.

Massage is often recommended as part of a treatment plan for sports injuries, repetitive stress, chronic pain and anxiety. There are many different specialized massage techniques commonly used. These include: Swedish massage, deep tissue massage, sports massage, shiatsu and combinations of these techniques are also used.

Massage therapists move the skin, muscles, tendons, ligaments and the membrane, called fascia, that surrounds the muscles. This is done to promote the flow of blood and lymph. It also serves to relieve tension, stimulate nerves, and keep the muscles elastic and easy to move.

Every session is actually a combination of examination and treatment. A massage therapist uses their hands to evaluate the texture, tightness and movement of muscles, fascia, tendons, ligaments and nerves. Abnormal tissues are treated by combining precisely directed tension with very specific patient movements.

Moving lymph fluid is important because lymph carries waste from the tissues. The lymph does not circulate. Instead it relies in part on muscle contraction to keep it moving. That is why massaging the muscles aids the flow of lymph through the body. Massage also moves the blood and increases its oxygen capacity.

Massage can both soothe and stimulate the nervous system. Different techniques are chosen to achieve different effects. Massage can also speed recovery from the fatigue that often follows exercise. This is why many athletes use massage as part of their training plan.

The massage is done on a padded and heated massage table. Your body is covered with a sheet or a blanket. Only the part that is actively being worked on is exposed at any given time.

There are also many other types of bodywork that include massage as part of the discipline. Although some massage strokes may be somewhat uncomfortable, a person having a massage should generally feel good. Massage techniques vary in the amount of pressure applied to area being treated. Deep tissue massage uses slow strokes and deep pressure on painful parts of the body. Sports massage is used to assist training, prevent injury, and to treat sprains, strains and sore tendons. Manual lymph drainage stimulates the lymph system. This can relieve some of the swelling that follows some surgical or radiation treatments. A healthcare provider can determine if massage therapy might be helpful after surgery, chemotherapy or radiation therapy.

Massage therapy may have to be avoided if a person: is pregnant, has swelling in one area of the body, has eaten in the previous two hours, particularly for abdominal massage, has just completed chemotherapy or radiation treatment, has an infectious skin disease or unhealed wound. This might include a broken bone, a bad sprain, or body bruises, has phlebitis or varicose veins, or finds hands-on therapies uncomfortable.

All of the massage therapists at the Comprehensive Pain Clinic of Portland are licensed in the state of Oregon.