Massage Therapy Can be a Game Changer

Have you ever received massage therapy as part of your treatment for an injury? Maybe you’ve had a feel good massage while on vacation to relax and let go of the stresses that have built up from life and work? There are many different reasons for getting a massage and it can be a great part of our plan for maintaining health and well being. We have utilized it (and its various forms) in our clinical treatment plans for decades but several years ago we decided to add massage therapists to our internal team in order to get even better results alongside our other treatments. Today we employ 2 expert therapists to aid us in delivering phenomenal massage therapy and other soft tissue treatments in order to get even better results. In today’s short message, I want to talk about our approach to massage therapy, myofascial release, instrument assisted soft tissue manipulation (IASTM), and a some of the ways that we utilize soft tissue treatments in our office.

The first type of massage therapy that is offered in our office is the relaxation massage. Typically reserved for non-active injuries, this type of massage is used to reduce tension in the muscles, improve circulation, and to reduce stress that builds up from life. While sometimes “deep tissue” in nature, a relaxation massage, above all is meant to make a person feel very relaxed and good by the end of a session. People will often get semi-regular massage therapy as part of their maintenance regime for living an active and healthy lifestyle.

The 2nd type of massage therapy used in our office is myofascial release. Myofascial release therapy is a specific type of massage therapy that has a emphasis on deep tissue work to reduce muscle tension. trigger points, and adhesions as well disrupting scar tissue that forms in and around tissues. It is the type of massage therapy that is most often prescribed by our doctors of chiropractic in clinical injury cases. Your chiropractor will direct the therapist to deliver specific treatment to the areas in need. Though somewhat more aggressive in nature than a typical “massage”, people often feel more relaxed and have greater range of motion following a myofascial release session.

In addition to massage therapy, we offer instrument assisted soft tissue manipulation (IASTM) for our patients with soft tissue injuries. IASTM uses a small instrument to manipulate the injured tissue. The manipulation is primarily to break up scar tissue, increase circulation, and to help aligned the healing fibers in an advantageous fashion that promotes strength and range of motion.  There are a number of different methods or ways to apply IASTM treatments but most of them follow similar principles. Many chiropractors and other allied healthcare providers use IASTM in their practice, including those that work with many U.S. Olympic and professional athletes, to deal with active injuries.  There a a number of other well known techniques including Graston, Rock Blades, and Gua Sha to name a few, but FAKTR is my favorite and the one that I use daily. While IASTM can, and is, used on most areas of the body, I typically utilize it more in the extremities for various injuries including achilles tendonitis, shin splints, rotator cuff injuries, knee sprain, and golfer’s elbow. Spinal issues are typically referred to the massage therapist for longer, and sometimes more intense, sessions of hands on treatment.

This is a stainless steel soft tissue instrument used in IASTM treatments.

Another type of soft tissue treatment offered in our office is electrical instrument based percussive therapy. The Impulse Instrument, Pulstar Fras, Theragun, and Chirossager are all examples of percussive tools that we use to disrupt fascial adhesions and/or scar tissue, reduce swelling, increase lymphatic drainage, and decrease muscle tension. They all work slightly different and it is nice to have a multitude of options to tackle the specific needs and comfort level of the patient. Patient’s often describe feeling relaxed and “able to move better” after receiving percussive myofascial release therapy.

As you can see, there are a number of ways to deliver soft tissue work to a person in need. From stress reduction to scar tissue remodeling, massage therapy and its related treatments can offer a host benefits to a patient. It can make a big difference in how you feel and move, and can dramatically change your progress when used appropriately. If you, or someone that you know is interested in learning more about the soft tissue treatments offered in our office, or would like to make an appointment for a massage, do not hesitate to call us 907-222-2100.

Take care,


Dr. Kelly





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