Therapeutic Spinal Massage

Remedial massage This therapeutic massage unravels the tension and stress patterns held within the spine and it's musculature. It is benefitial for pain, stiffness and weakness. It restores mobility, integrity and flexibility.

This treatment may include Scenar therapy, Chinese cupping, mobilization, trager (rocking), trigger points, subtle body work, hot rocks, deep elbow and medicated oils.

Scenar is used to reduce pain and inflammation and speed the recovery of injuries (acute or chronic). It is particularly useful for disc problems as the treatment is at the point of pain and may work faster than ingested painkillers.
(see Scenar therapy)

Massage helps contracted muscles to relax. When muscles are relaxed, blood circulation increases which in turn increases the elimination of toxic waste products, including lactic acid. Muscles in spasm produce lactic acid and a buildup of lactic acid causes pain. Muscles go into spasm to protect an injured or strained area, the spasm acting like a natural splint. For one reason or another however, the mechanism that allows spasm to relax once an injury has healed often doesn’t release. This protection can last for months or even years. Massage can certainly relax the muscles and Scenar may help address the cause of pain.

The fight and flight mechanism

A stress response is a vital survival technique and not having one would have made our ancestors easy prey to saber toothed tigers and other predators. The phrase ‘fight or flight’ means just that. It prepares the body to deal with a stressor by secreting stress hormones - namely adrenaline and cortisol, from the adrenal glands to either attack or run away. Unfortunately our modern day stressors are difficult to fight off and impossible to run away from - things like monthly mortgage payments, credit card bills, work pressure, traffic jams and I must mention unresolved childhood trauma.

Because our bodies were designed to deal only with immediate short-term exposure to stress hormones, chronic long-term exposure can lead to breakdowns in the bodies metabolic control systems and are associated with muscle and bone loss, fat gain, elevated blood sugar, high blood pressure, suppressed immune system function and changes in memory and mood.
Also, during the ‘fight and flight’ mechanism, one of the body's major priorities is to protect the brain from being bumped around in the head (remember it's a primal response). It does this by initiating a contraction of the Dura-mater (a membrane that wraps around the brain and spinal cord). It ensures survival for the duration of the threat. The problem for the individual's health, if the body's reaction to stress is not disarmed, is that the initial protection of the brain can cause continual pressure on the brain and central nervous system and this can cause a range of problems. The spinal cord can shorten causing rigidity, stiffness and pain in the neck and down the spine (I have a client who actually feels like his head is being pulled back). The muscles that keep the body in an erect position remain neurologically stimulated and can end up in pain and stiffness. The ‘fight and flight’ response switches off the digestion (who needs to eat when you're being chased by a tiger) hindering absorption of nutrients and over time creating a backlog of toxins. It inhibits the functioning of the immune system and can lead to a stressed and disorganized nervous system. This is when stress turns into distress.

There are many things we can do to reduce stress hormones and regulate the ‘fight and flight’ response. Regular exercise is imperative, good nutrition and adequate protein, reduced use of stimulants, herbal and supplement support in times of high stress, adequate sleep, rest, stress management and finding out and working with your primary stressors can all help.
Remedial back massage and Scenar therapy works to reverse a prolonged ‘fight and flight’ response by unravelling the stress pattern and restoring health to the central nervous system. Pain and stiffness ease and you gain greater mobility once again. This is a deeply healing treatment that releases blockages and strengthens all aspects of the spine. Be kind to your self, take a load off and look after your important back.