Techniques — Learn More
A Hands-on Technique
Massage therapy is a hands-on technique involving the manipulation of the soft tissue (muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints, and connective tissue) and joints. It evolved out of the physiologically-based swedish massage techniques of the 1700s. Modern massage therapy combines traditional techniques with various modern techniques and a current understanding of anatomy, physiology and pathology. Exercise recommendations and hydrotherapy techniques (use of heat or cold) may be included as a part of treatment.
Improves Health and Well Being
Massage therapy improves health and well-being through its therapeutic effects on the muscular, nervous and circulatory systems, and through its ability to reduce pain and increase range of motion. It can be used in either a preventative approach (for relaxation and stress-relief), or in a clinical treatment approach for problems both acute (e.g. ankle sprains, sports injuries) and chronic (e.g. computer/work-related tensions, postural conditions such scoliosis).
A Regulated Profession
Registered massage therapists are regulated health care professionals. They receive a minimum of two years of extensive training and examination at government-approved schools. Upon successful completion of these programs, they undertake both written and clinical provincial examinations, and registration with the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario. This registration entitles them to the use of the titles Massage Therapist (MT) or Registered Massage Therapist (RMT). Each massage therapist is issued a registration number and photo ID which must be displayed in their workplace.
A Treatment with an Ancient History
Acupuncture was introduced to the West in the 1970s after New York Times journalist James Reston was treated for post-surgical pain upon developing appendicitis while in China. Anecdotal descriptions of Chinese surgery performed without anesthesia also appeared in western press in the 1970s, and further piqued the interest of westerners in the practice of Acupuncture.
Acupuncture springs from a medical tradition and culture that is thousands of years old and has been treating people effectively for over 23 centuries. The Nei Jing or Inner Classic of the Yellow Emperor was compiled by unknown authors between 300 – 100 BC and is the oldest Chinese medical text and the source of all modern Chinese medical theory, although, like western traditions, Chinese medicine continues to grow and develop. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is rooted in a cultural philosophy and worldview that is very different from that of the western world. Thus its medical paradigm – its approach to health, disease, and treatment — often seems foreign and unfathomable. Chinese medicine is a system unto itself and has endured for centuries, not only because it produces tangible results, but because it also embodies a coherent philosophy that integrates many aspects of human life.
Originating from Osteopathic Techniques
CranioSacral therapy evolved from osteopathic techniques, and is based on the cerebrospinal fluid rhythm. This is a natural body rhythm — like the circulatory rhythm (measured by the pulse) or the respiratory rhythm (measured by one's breathing) — and occurs 6 - 12 times per minute.
The rhythm is caused by the brain's cyclical production and reabsorption of cerebrospinal fluid . . . in a kind of self-contained hydraulic system within the dural membranes. This fluid bathes/surrounds the brain and spinal cord as the pressure of production and reabsorption ebbs and flows.
Subtle Pressure and Rhythm
This (very subtle) pressure fluctuation causes a slight movement of the skull bones. The sacrum, at the opposite end of the spinal cord, is also affected by this fluctuation. Because the arms and legs are attached to the central skeleton, they too are affected by the rhythm.
This rhythm can be palpated at various sites on the body. Trained therapists use the information gathered by such palpation to treat any rhythmic dysfunctions they discover. Treatment involves the use of light-touch therapy: both bony techniques that work directly with the craniosacral rhythm, and soft-tissue techniques that work with the connective tissue/fascia that attaches all muscle (and organs) to bone.
Working with the Body's Own Signals
CranioSacral Therapy is a "body-directed" rather than "therapist-directed" approach that works with the body's own signals and impulses. A non-invasive form of treatment, it is very effective in the treatment of traumatic injury to the head and spinal cord, and is very useful in treating such biomechanical problems as whiplash, TMJ disorders and migraines. Because it is so deeply relaxing, it is also useful for stress management and preventative care (many people find it more relaxing than massage). If suppressed emotions are contributing to certain physical tensions, CranioSacral Therapy can effect somato-emotional releases that provide surprising relief.
Practised by a Variety of Professionals
Because of the variety of physical and psycho-emotional conditions that benefit from CranioSacral Therapy, it is practiced by various health-care professionals, including dentists, chiropractors, RMTs, physiotherapists, physicians, psychologists and psychiatrists.