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I have actively practiced as a Holistic Health Practitioner (HHP) and massage therapist since 1993 with special interest and training in the Vodder method of Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD) technique. My experience is with lymphedema disease, edema in general, pre- and post-surgery massage, cosmetic surgery edema  and more.   My search for a low or non impact movement modality led me to become a certified trainer in the GYROTONIC EXPANSION SYSTEM® I have found it to be a helpful movement modality to stimulate the Lymphatic system and other stagnation out of the body. The Gyrotonic method is the base for movement sessions used at the office. Palliative care is another direction of great interest, as many of my clients are in disease states.  My mission is to provide compassionate care and resources for my clients.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Do you need to be injured to benefit from IASTM?

By Técnica Gavilán // July 2015 You don't need to be told about the benefits of massage in medicine; the hands are time-honored tools of healing, comfort and cure. Instrument-assisted soft-tissue mobilization, on the other hand, might be a new one to you. Nevertheless, it is a very effective technique, and one you should be familiar with whether you are active, aging or just want to take the best care of your body you can. If you're thinking about IASTM for the first time, you might be wondering if it's an effective technique in all situations, or if it only works on people who have injuries. In order to answer that question, let's first take a look at what IASTM actually is, how it works, and how the body responds. After that we will take a look at a few of the most common questions regarding the use of IASTM in healing injury. What is soft tissue? Soft tissue includes muscles, ligaments, tendons and myofascia, which is also known simply as fascia, and is a tough, dense network of fibers that surrounds your bones and muscles to offer support. These soft tissues cannot be "broken" the way a bone cane, but they can be pulled, strained and sprained, often as a result of vigorous activity. Falls, twists, yanks or repetition can all cause injury to this soft tissue, which must stay in good working order if your body is going to function as it should. How does IASTM work? When health care practitioners use their hands to loosen and work on soft tissues, they are not just responding to your assertions of pain. They are also actively feeling for blockages, stiff areas, and injury. The problem is that hands alone often cannot penetrate very deeply, which is where instruments come in. These instruments, which are most useful when made of steel but may also be made of wood, stone, ceramics and other materials, not only help doctors and chiropractors reach deeper areas in the body, they help them feel deeper as well. This greatly increases the effectiveness of treatments like massage. Working soft tissue helps heal injury by loosening scar tissue or other blocked tissue and increasing blood flow and freedom of movement. After an injury, your body responds by sending white blood cells to the area. While this is a natural and beneficial healing process, it can create increased soreness, stiffness and discomfort that IASTM can help relieve. Since relief of pain also speeds healing, it's doubly helpful. Must you be injured to benefit? The short answer is no, you don't need to be injured to benefit from IASTM. By working soft tissues, the instruments used in the process loosen tissues and increase blood flow, which is almost always beneficial to the body, keeping it supple and strong. However, there are two reasons that you probably wouldn't bother to seek treatment unless you were injured. Reason No. 1: IASTM is not necessarily a gentle process. It is common for the treatment to cause initial soreness and bruising, because the procedure uses firm pressure to release blocked tissue, and is essentially re-injuring tissue to achieve its aims. The injury it causes are mild compared to what it fixes, of course, but if you aren't injured, you might prefer a more gentle technique. Reason No. 2: If you aren't injured, it may be hard for your doctor or chiropractor to pinpoint where to apply the IASTM. There are two ways a health care practitioner can tell where to use the treatment: by your report of pain, and by feeling the blockage themselves. If you cannot report discomfort and they cannot feel any blockage, the treatment probably won't be that helpful. That being said, IASTM is very effective, and you shouldn't wait until you have a "major" injury to seek it out. If you have a minor injury you would like worked on, even just some soreness along your spine or in your rotator cuff, say, you will definitely benefit from the process. Don't wait for a true emergency before seeing a doctor or chiropractor. Can you speed the healing process? Absolutely you can. When you employ IASTM to heal an injury, you can help the treatment work faster by keeping blood moving in that region. Exercising, stretching and moving around will all help compound the effects of treatment and speed recovery. The bottom line? IASTM is most beneficial in situations where there is an injury to target. While most people mistakenly believe this means they need a "bad" injury before they can benefit from the process, however, this simply isn't true. Using IASTM can help head off a bad injury, in fact, by catching it in the early stages, so give it a try.

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