It may seem that we have been quiet for a while but that’s only because we have been busy trying to continue to provide the BEST possible experience for you all! We have been meeting with and recording podcasts with some of the best in the business to continue to learn from therapists who are making waves and doing things outside of the box. A theme that has come up in many of these podcasts is the biopsychosocial model of pain. This is something that many manual practitioners have recently started looking into more and realizing that this research makes a lot of sense for us as bodyworkers.
What is the biopsychosocial model? This is not a new idea. It was proposed in 1977 as a psychological approach combining biological, psychological, and social factors in a person’s overall health. Where the biological factors are related to physiological pathology, the psychological factors include thoughts, emotions, and behaviours, and the social factors relate to socio-economic, cultural, work, or family circumstances. To fully understand a patient’s concerns, it is widely accepted that even those of us that work in manual therapy must not only be able to understand the person’s physiological pathology, but we must also consider their psychological and social condition as well. There has been newer research to support this and it has become the way that most of us are approaching therapeutic treatment.
What else have we been up to? In early March we took a private course in Thai Massage. This is something that fits so well with our mode of treatment. We both began our careers as Personal Trainers- movement, exercise, and fitness have always been incorporated into our treatment styles and now we can include even more passive movement to further promote flexibility and joint mobility. We are super excited to start offering this ancient technique to our practice. It will still be alongside all of the other modalities we offer- Massage therapy (including pre and post natal, deep tissue, sports massage, and injury rehabilitation), Reflexology, Kinesiology (including manual therapy, exercise and sport therapy, personal training, and athletic care), Cupping therapy, and now- THAI MASSAGE!
What is Thai Massage? It is an ancient therapy which is performed traditionally on the floor on a large mat. Unlike the Massage Therapy you may have received in the past, for this type of treatment you remain fully clothed in comfortable attire that you can move freely in. The therapist uses a combination of Thai yoga postures which they passively take the clients into, fascial stretching techniques, and pressing along muscles and meridians in a very rhythmic and rocking nature. Thai Massage is useful for overall flexibility as it brings the patient to the end range of assisted movements and uses the rhythmical pressure to allow the muscle tension to decrease and allows the joints to move through their entire range. Studies have shown that unlike traditional Swedish massage, which usually helps people to relax and sleep better, Thai massage actually helps to increase energy.
Lastly, although I have been offering Reflexology for sometime now, it has only recently been put up on our website as a service offered. I have written about this modality before but in case you missed it- Reflexology is a treatment intervention which is based on zone theory. The body can be easily mapped out on the foot and there are reflex points which correspond to specific zones in the body. This type of treatment relies on the premise that the body is capable of healing itself so long as all of the systems are in optimal working order. Reflexology therapists attempt to bring homeostasis back to the body by treating the feet to open up the energy pathways that will allow balance to return to the endocrine and nervous system. It is incredibly relaxing and in my own experience, my clients are seeing benefits in reduced pain, stress, and better quality of sleep.
Amanda Cooke, RMT