Ways for Massage Therapists to keep Their Practice Fresh and Massage Clients Happy

Whiplash is also known as cervical acceleration/deceleration injury, and hyperextension/hyperflexion injury. We will assume for this article that you are already aware of the symptoms of whiplash and that you have an idea of the most common causes of whiplash. Massage has a proven track record in helping people heal from whiplash injuries and ongoing research in this arena is promising. Many physicians still have limited knowledge about the usefulness 건마 of massage and bodywork. Massage and bodywork for medical conditions and injuries are still in the process of gaining acceptance by the medical community at large. The good news is that more physicians everyday are opening up to, and recognizing the benefits of, utilizing massage and bodywork for injury treatmentThe training for massage therapists and bodyworkers is not standardized and there can be a great disparity in knowledge and training among graduates from different programs. Some states still have no licensing requirements. Fortunately, there is a growing movement advocating for advanced training for massage therapists and bodyworkers who specialize in treating injuries and managing pain associated with chronic medical conditions.

The knowledge base of the public. Most lay persons, and whiplash sufferers, may not know there is a difference between spa massage, and massage and bodyworking techniques that can be effectively utilized to speed healing from whiplash. I am not slighting the spa industry. Massage for relaxation has its own therapeutic value, although it is not well suited for site specific injury treatment. What’s the difference between spa massage and medical or therapeutic massage? Spa massage tends to be a more generalized effort to calm the nervous system and reduce general tension in the structure. Medical massage, or therapeutic massage, is more focused and endeavors to address trauma and to alleviate pain in the short term. The long term goals are to effect mechanical changes, make histological improvements (effect changes in the characteristics of the tissues involved), and to restore function and balance to the structure.

There are some tried and true ways of finding a massage therapist to treat whiplash. If you are fortunate enough to have a physician who is already aware of the usefulness of manual therapies, he/she may have a clinic or list of medical massage establishments that are reputable and can render effective massage treatment for whiplash. If not, there are other avenues such as friends, coworkers, and online rating sites. The problem here is, unknown to each of these sources, treating whiplash requires higher levels of training and skill. Finding someone to perform effective massage treatment for whiplash is different from finding a massage practitioner who performs great well-body massage. The problem with relying on word-of-mouth referrals from people who may not have had massage for the treatment of whiplash, is that they may not know the difference between the use of relaxation techniques and the use of more advanced theories and techniques which are used to treat significant soft tissue injuries. It is often necessary to take things into your own hands and do your own research.

Do they specialize in whiplash? Are they comfortable working in the anterior triangle of the neck? Many therapists are not comfortable working the entire neck because they have not been trained to work the front of the neck, known as the anterior triangle. Treating this area of the body is not taught in many basic licensing courses and the therapists without this training will not want to work this area, nor should they. It is important to note that, although most whiplash pain is felt in the back of the neck and upperback, it is usually perpetuated by post-traumatic muscle guarding in the anterior (front side of) the neck. Alleviating whiplash pain is only the initial concern. Restoring function and the proper anterior/posterior postural balance (holding your head well balanced on top of your neck and shoulders) is imperative for long-term health and the avoidance of serious residual problems down the road. Properly treating the anterior triangle is an important part of restoring that balance.

How much experience do they have as an individual or as a group? How much knowledge is under one roof? This is an important consideration, because inexperienced therapists who are not being supervised or mentored, may miss problems common to a whiplash injury. There are problems of which the patient may not be aware. For example: a patient was rear-ended while sitting at a traffic light. It is common for a person holding the steering wheel in this situation to have shoulder joint injuries which are masked by the overwhelming neck pain. An inexperienced therapist may neglect to do simple palpation of the shoulder, which would be surprisingly tender to the patient, and confirm the injury. A missed condition that will become more evident as the inflammation in the neck subsides. This shoulder injury could be unnecessarily challenged by the insurance company responsible for payment. The insurance company would argue that the shoulder injury was not from the accident, since it was not charted on the initial visit. I understand that this is unfair, but it is how insurance companies usually behave. The point here is that massage therapists who are experienced in treating whiplash know what to look for and how to treat it.

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