Dr. Joan’s Approach to Soft Tissue Therapy

Too many of us suffer from musculoskeletal pain that can be cured.  We need someone who can help us identify how we can improve musculoskeletal health by improving posture, work habits, ergonomics, and fitness activities.  Learning how to use your body better, and how to appreciate and support your body is a major part of achieving pain-free living.  I offer my services to help you make these positive changes.

You are likely looking for someone who can provide high quality and effective soft tissue therapy.  That person is me.  I am glad you landed on my website.  I love the human body, I love its Creator, and throughout all of my professional career as a bodyworker I have listened to the body and allowed it to teach me.  Yes I do continually study anatomy and body mechanics.  The healing professions require science, intuition, love, perception, respect, sensitivity, observation and attention to feedback.  This is true whether we are  trying to heal the mind or the body or relationships.  I love being a therapist,  My work as a therapist is part of my spiritual growth and commitment to Life.

We live in an exciting time.  Slowly, the old mechanical ways of looking at the human body are crumbling.  We understand so much more about the body as Living Systems.  We have exciting new paradigms of how the body works such as the Tensegrity Theory and The Liquid-Ellectric Model.  We now better understand the interconnectedness of the body and we can use that interconnectedness to help you heal.  The body is based on fluidity and motility and intelligence.  We can approach the body and therapy for the body is ways that enable you to become unstuck and free again.  The entire body depends on movement.  Much of that movement is subtle.  As a therapist I work with both the subtle and gross movement of your body to restore musculoskeletal health.

When you come to me for soft tissue therapy, we will begin our work together by taking a thorough evaluation of your soft tissue health history.  Do you know that soft tissue problems can play a role in:

  • digestive
  • problems
  • sleep disorders
  • breathing problems
  • recurring infectious illness
  • depression anxiety

My first goal is to get a complete picture of your soft tissue and musculoskeletal health status.  It may surprise you to learn that massage-related research provides evidence of the effects of massage on several body systems including musculoskeletal, lymphatic, endocrine and nervous.  By starting with your health history, I get a better picture of what might be contributing to your pain and restriction problems.

Clients turn to soft tissue treatment to relieve musculoskeletal pain and injuries because it is effective. Orthopedic massage helps to correct disorders of skeletal alignment, posture, body mechanics, and locomotor movement.  Ortho massage reduces excessive biomechanical stress and load forces that damage ligaments, cartilage and other parts of joints.  When I evaluate your pain problem, I need to focus on two areas: 1) What is your body doing? and 2) What are you doing to your body?  From my 30 years experience in medical massage, I can say with certainty that the number one cause of musculoskeletal pain problems is chronic poor posture.  In addition to working directly on your body, I will teach you easy ways to use body awareness and I will teach you gentle corrective exercises that enable you to achieve better balance and integration of body structures.

Obesity almost always leads to musculoskeletal pain problems.  It is a sad fact that most Americans need to loose weight.  It is hard to make positive lifestyle changes when you lack energy, feel stressed, suffer chronic pain and feel stuck in your life.  One of the things I love about bodywork is that it will help you have more energy, less pain, less stress and then you will feel enabled and excited about making positive lifestyle changes for yourself.  When I work with your body I always remember that I am working with a sacred person and that I am there to support you and your life.

How do we get ourselves in pain?  Innocently.  No one gave us an instruction book to the human body.  We need our body to perform well and we expect it to perform well.  We think the body will always be there for us, enabling us to do all the things we do… until something goes wrong.  That “something” is not always an injury that recently occurred.  Years and even decades after we participate in competitive sports body pain problems can show up.  Soft tissue problems from previous accidents and injuries can contribute to pain problems many years later.  Soft tissue problems from surgeries and wounds can restrict range of motion, and can lead to  inflexible, stiff joints. Pain problems from jobs that require repetitive motion can haunt you many years later. Construction work and other heavy labor jobs almost always lead to musculoskeletal pain problems. Many musculoskeletal problems begin in childhood; although the pain appears in adulthood.  When I work with you we will take all these factors into consideration.  The good news, the really good news is You Can Heal no matter how old you are or how hard you have used your body.  The magic of soft tissue is that these tissues are by nature soft, resilient, elastic, flexible, and intelligent.  The soft tissue restoration techniques that I use actually restore your soft tissues back to a more resilient, elastic, flexible state.

As your body begins to balance you will feel hope for a better future.  As your body becomes more flexible with better range of motion, you will become excited about your life again and take up activities that you had given up.  You will learn that you can use bodywork for the rest of your life to give yourself a more able and youthful body to live in.  Many of my clients receive bodywork on a regular basis, anywhere from 6-12 times per year, in order to maintain the improvements they have achieved.

I will assess your body for functional alignment and symmetry deviations.  I will look for common problems like functional leg length difference and functional scoliosis.  Are you surprised that these problems can be corrected?  Every wonderful day of my working life, I observe my clients change from functional problems to balance.

I do hands-on therapy.  Hands on palpation assessment reveals problems like muscle hypertonicity, spasm, trigger points.  It also helps me identify problems like gelled or adhered connective tissues, fascial strain patterns, compression of soft tissue compartments and impaired circulation of fluids.  You might be thinking “what does she mean by fascial strain patterns?”  Come learn.  I always educate my clients while I work with them.  I want you to understand your body better so that you will love it more and take good care of it.

Have you been ignoring the pain messages?  What is the pain sensation?  Does it ache, burn, sting, stab, shoot, radiate, throb? Every pain quality has something different to tell you about what is going on with your soft tissues and joints.  As a highly trained orthopedic massage therapist, I can ascertain what condition the soft tissue is in by the type of pain produced when the tissue is manipulated.  I will apply treatment modalities that will best correct your musculoskeletal pain problems.  I will likely give you corrective exercises to do at home.  These exercises improve posture and help you use your body correctly.  I may make suggestions about how to improve ergonomics at work and at home.  I will help you choose exercise programs and fitness routines that are safe and effective.  If you are open to it, I may also make a few suggestions about lifestyle improvement.  A good next step might be to read the testimonies from my former and current clients.  And then, if you feel ready, pick up the phone and schedule a free phone chat with me.  In the chat we will dialogue about your needs and do our best to determine if my services are right for you.

Please Read the Testimonies

Types of Massage

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