21 April 2020

The Queensland Government today (21/4/20) FINALLY used some COMMON SENSE and bowed to public pressure and allowed qualified massage therapists to re-open their practices after closing us down on 27/3/20.

We will, of course, abide by strict health and hygiene standards.

Massage therapists are LICENSED HEALTH PROFESSIONALS and have a significant role to play in your overall health care. This does not ONLY apply to muscle and joint aches and pains, headaches and migraines, but to a range of other ailments as well, including some you would consider “medical.”

The Queensland Health directive on Friday, 27/3/20, forcing professional health-related massage clinics to close down, but still allow AHPRA (Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Agency) registered physical hands-on bodywork therapists, in my opinion, had nothing to do with Coronavirus health and safety. It was a totally MEDICO-POLITICAL decision designed to cripple NATURAL therapies that do not come under control of AHPRA (that is a long and detailed separate issue)

The QH directive was not only totally ridiculous but smacked of strong double standards.

It was also despite Prime Minister Scott Morrison announcing only three days earlier that “health-related massage” could remain open, with all the necessary health and hygiene precautions, as an “essential” service.

There is clearly a need for professional therapeutic massage. Tens of thousands of Australians choose, prefer and rely on it.

Thank you to all those people who pressured the Queensland Government members with emails, social media, phone calls and other means to change their mind.

Below is a copy of an email I sent on 14 April 2020 to the Queensland Health Minister, Dr Steven Miles, and the Queensland Director General of Health, Dr John Wakefield (also copied to a range of national, state and local media):

Dear Dr Miles and Dr Wakefield

I am writing on behalf of many thousands of Queenslanders who choose and rely on remedial and other therapeutic, health-related massage as part of their overall health care.

Could you please explain, in some detail, why you and your Queensland Health Department:

  • Publicly disagree with Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his National Cabinet that health-related massage services should be allowed to continue operating during the COVID-19 crisis. This was announced during a media conference by PM Morrison on Tuesday night, March 24, after the National Cabinet took the “best medical advice from around Australia.”
  • Blatantly discriminate against one health industry sector by only allowing therapists who are registered with AHPRA (Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Agency) to continue to practice in Queensland.
  • Do not follow the lead of other Australian states where health-related massage is allowed to continue. This includes Victoria which has one of the highest rates of COVID_19.
  • Do not yet understand that although AHPRA physical therapists – like physiotherapists, osteopaths and chiropractors – have some massage skills, they are not specifically trained and qualified as massage therapists, in particular remedial massage.

I would also like to ask why you and Queensland Health choose to ignore:

  • The very strong evidence-based research that proves that therapeutic, health-related massage is safe, good quality and clinically effective.
  • The very strong findings relating to the above by the National Health and Medical Research Council, as part of the Private Health Insurance Rebate (PHIR) Review over several years.
  • That trained and qualified massage therapists (in particular, remedial) are the main health industry sector providing pain relief for common everyday muscle and joint aches and pains, headaches, migraines, stress and a range of other ailments where hands-on physical therapy treatment is required. This is distinct from rehabilitation and recovery after acute injury, surgery, other trauma and disease which is the main role of physiotherapists (AHPRA members).
  • Severe ongoing pain due to the lack of, or inappropriate, treatment can lead to suicide.
  • Massage is a choice of thousands of Queenslanders who are, literally, sick and tired from the many debilitating and sometimes deadly effects of some drugs and some surgeries offered by the medical profession. They want natural, drug-free options that natural therapies can provide.
  • The plight of many overworked Queensland health care and other essential industry workers who may not be able to continue in those roles without the pain relief they usually receive from massage therapists.
  • The plight of many Queensland cancer sufferers who rely on lymphatic drainage massage by suitably qualified massage therapists after cancer surgery.
  • The plight of many older Queenslanders who find that massage is what works best for them. If they have tried and don’t want the AHPRA therapists or GP prescribed strong painkiller medication with its many side effects, their simple choice will often be to call an Ambulance to take them to hospital and put further stress on those health care workers in the hope there might be another solution there.
  • Therapeutic, health-related massage is Federal Government regulated. To gain their qualifications, massage therapists need to undertake a range of nationally-accredited courses that set high standards not only in hands-on techniques, but also in subjects like anatomy and physiology, health and hygiene, workplace health and safety, ethics and first aid. Therefore, they are recognised health professionals in their own right (but apparently not in Queensland).
  • Suitably qualified remedial massage therapists can provide Federal Government private health fund subsidised rebates which reinforces their health professional status.
  • If social distancing is your main concern, why is it that hands-on Allied Health physical therapists are allowed to see clients, but fully qualified massage therapists are not?
  • Hairdressers, where there is also close personal contact, can continue to work as an “essential” industry.

The list could go on and on. I urge you and your department to immediately change the Queensland Health directive to allow health related massage to continue to practice in Queensland if they want to and providing they can meet strict health and safety precautions.

Yours sincerely

David Hall

Remedial Massage Therapist

Townsville.

David Hall ©

TOWNSVILLE REMEDIAL MASSAGE THERAPIST

Townsville remedial massage therapist based in Mount Louisa for all types of muscle and/or joint aches and pains, headaches and migraines and preparing for and recovering from sports, exercise and other fitness activities including Defence fitness tests. I guarantee the best value for money remedial massage in Townsville. CALL NOW on (07) 4774 6973 or 0438 774 819 to book an appointment.

 

2 January 2020

One thing almost overlooked or ignored by most physical therapists in treating your lower back pain (LBP) is the contribution of shoulder, neck and chest muscles.

This can result in numerous useless treatments, sometimes over many weeks, where the therapist not only could aggravate or prolong the LBP problem, but also cause you additional financial stress and/or drain your private health fund rebates.

As a remedial massage therapist, I occasionally get a client whose only problem is LBP or neck and shoulder pain and headaches and he/she just wants me to concentrate in those areas.

Sorry, but if that’s the case you are going to the wrong therapist!

I look at the “big picture” and consider a range of factors that could either cause or contribute to your LBP so I can usually make a noticeable difference in just ONE session.

That definitely includes shoulder, chest, neck and spinal muscles right up to the head.

But isn’t that a long way from the lower back?

There are many connecting muscles and other soft tissue between the lower back, neck and chest, but the main ones are the Latissimus Dorsi muscle (usually knows as the Lats) and the spinal muscles which go from the hip to the base of the skull.

The Latissimus Dorsi is not only the largest muscle in the upper body but it has a range of actions with the spine, back, shoulders and arms.

These include extension and transverse extension (eg bending backwards and sideways), spinal rotation (twisting), internal rotation of the shoulder joint (bringing your arm around to the front) and other shoulder/arm movements.

It attaches from the side of the spine from the T7 to L5 vertebrae, the lower three or four ribs, the lower angles of the shoulder blades closest to the spine, to the top of the sacrum/hip area, and to near the top of the Humerus (upper arm bone).

Just the fact the Lats attach to and affect the movement of the arms, shoulders and hips and has connections to chest and neck muscles, should alert physical therapists to the possibility that any tightness or issues with these muscles may be, and often are, a major contributor with LBP.

The Lats assist the Pectoralis muscles (Major and Minor) in the chest to draw the arm around to the front, so any issues there also will affect the Lats and their connections to the hips. These connections include a large, broad area of what is known as the Thoracolumbar fascia across the lower back.

The Pecs (chest muscles) are among the hardest working and busiest muscles in the body with their role of bringing the arms to the front – where they are for most of any given day or even lying on your side at night.

The interesting thing with those muscles is because they are a special type of muscle, they can be very tight or weak without feeling sore and therefore don’t indicate a potential problem. So most therapists totally ignore them.

But other muscles between the shoulder blades and up into the neck also help to move the shoulder/arm, and therefore impact the Lats as well. If they are also tight, weak, or otherwise not functioning as they should, they also will affect the lower back.

It should be obvious by now that if any massage or other type of physical therapist just focuses all their LBP treatment on the lower back, they either didn’t listen to their university or college anatomy and physiology lecturer, or they just want to keep you coming back.

For more information on lower back pain, click on this link to the article Low Back Pain – A “Big Picture” Perspective.

David Hall ©

TOWNSVILLE MASSAGE THERAPIST – REMEDIAL

Mount Louisa-based Townsville massage therapist specialising in Remedial Massage for all types of muscle and/or joint aches and pains, headaches and migraines and preparation for and recovery from sporting, exercise and fitness activities including Defence fitness tests. I guarantee the best value for money remedial massage in Townsville. CALL NOW on (07) 4774 6973 or 0438 774 819 to book an appointment.

 

Updated 1 January 2020

I absolutely guarantee you the BEST VALUE FOR MONEY REMEDIAL MASSAGE IN TOWNSVILLE.

Lots of businesses offer guarantees with their products or services.

But in many cases, particularly with products from major companies, offering a guarantee simply means that if the supplier occasionally has to actually honour the warranty, it doesn’t even make a tiny dent in their profits.

However, I’m a one-man band. My only income is from the service I provide. My time equals money/income. So I have to be extremely confident in the quality of my service because a guarantee of the best value for money remedial massage in Townsville is a big claim.

How do you judge VALUE FOR MONEY?

Many factors need to be taken into account – not just the price. My price is competitive with what local massage firms, independent therapists and other types of physical therapists charge considering my level of service, skills and vast experience, and considerably below the fees of many metropolitan therapists. It is also well below the fees most local physiotherapists, chiropractors and osteopaths charge – even those just recently graduated (based on an hour-long service, if you can find one of those therapists to give you that long in one session).

The qualifications, experience, skills and knowledge of the therapist, facilities, the types and extent of treatments offered, length of the treatment, convenience of appointment times, consultation aspects, assessment techniques, overall professionalism and potential results of the treatment – to name just a few – also need to be considered.

For example, I have 29 years massage experience (2020) and can often achieve better treatment results in just ONE SESSION than some other therapists who want you to return two or three times a week or have a number of sessions over at least several weeks.

How do I know this? Because I have thousands of satisfied clients who have tried other therapists tell me this over many years.

In another article on the Articles page of this website, under the heading of “My Points of Difference for Best Value and Best Results,” I list 16 points of difference with my treatments compared to most other massage and other physical therapists. (Click on link above to go straight to the article).

They are just SOME of my points of difference and that’s why I’m confident to make the guarantee.

If you can find ANY other therapist who does ALL those things, I not only won’t charge you for the massage but I’ll give you 10 massages free – a 1,000 per cent guarantee.

Something to keep in mind: If you have to make a number of return visits to any therapist, it is not only the cost of your treatment. It is the cost of your travel, waiting and treatment time for each visit, the inconvenience and the fact you may have to take time off work.

Of course, the best way for you to experience the quality and value for money of my service and the potential for great results in JUST ONE SESSION is to try one of my massages.

Give me a call on (07) 4774 6973 or 0438774819 or email me at david@davidhallmassage.com to make a booking. Treatments are by appointment only. You can also use the form on the Contacts page to email me to make an appointment.

David Hall ©

TOWNSVILLE REMEDIAL MASSAGE THERAPIST

Townsville massage therapist based in Mount Louisa and specialising in Remedial Massage for all types of muscle and/or joint aches and pains, headaches and migraines, and preparation for and recovery from sporting, exercise and other fitness activities. I guarantee the best value for money Townsville remedial massage. CALL NOW on (07) 4774 6973 or 0438 774 819 to book an appointment. For Townsville massage clients, it will result in your best “massage near me” experience when you do a web search.

 

Updated 1 January 2020

Do you NEED a massage or do you WANT a massage? You can come to me for either, but if you really NEED a massage and want RESULTS, you NEED to see me.

I specialise in REMEDIAL MASSAGE. This is what you NEED if you have headaches, migraines or sore muscles or joints anywhere in the body and need pain relief, or if you are preparing for or recovering from sports, exercise or other fitness and recreational activities.

Yes, I can offer relaxation massages in very comfortable and convenient surroundings. But if you just WANT the absolute pampering, spa-type relaxation treatments with the scented oils, candles, etc, you want resort/spa type services at highly inflated resort/spa prices.

I offer good, old-fashioned professional, competent, personal service based on 29 years massage experience (2020) with full and current qualifications designed to not only help relieve your aching muscles, but leave you totally relaxed as well.

Check out some of my POINTS OF DIFFERENCE, compared to most other massage and physical therapists, to provide you with absolute top value for money.

1. EXTRA 40-50 minutes FREE with every first time one-hour REMEDIAL massage.

I use this time to get your background information and any relevant medical history, do some postural assessments and explain a few things about various body interactions and how they might be contributing to your problem areas. Most health practitioners CHARGE EXTRA for initial consultations AND/OR cut your actual treatment time short.

2. Look at the BIG PICTURE to find WHY you have problem areas.

In most cases, where you feel common muscular pain is just a SYMPTOM of a problem, not the real CAUSE. Many physical therapists just tend to work on the symptom and by so doing may actually make the problem worse or prolong the healing and then need you to make return visits! I DON’T.

3. Do a POSTURAL ASSESSMENT with all new clients.

I can do a quick standing postural assessment that will identify within 30 seconds virtually every muscle in your body that will be sore or tight – even before you get on the table. Where necessary, more comprehensive assessment can be performed. That way I know where to better target your treatment and spend extra time on the areas that need it most while still giving you a comprehensive full body massage.

4. Start massage by REALIGNING the HIPS.

Hips are the structural centre of the body. Hips out of their correct alignment create muscle and other postural imbalances throughout the body. I have developed a totally painless technique where in almost all cases (unless there is significant physical deformity) I can have your hips realigned within two minutes. Having correctly aligned hips also opens nerve pathways to the brain (which controls all functions of the body) via the spinal chord. If you’ve been told you have one leg shorter than the other, in most cases I can prove you don’t; that the apparent difference is merely hips out of alignment!

5. You get AT LEAST the time you pay for ON THE TABLE.

Many practitioners book you in on the hour and out on the hour (or whatever time you pay for). That hour often includes the time it takes to discuss your problem areas and for you to disrobe and get dressed afterwards. I allow at least an additional 15 minutes with each massage so you get at least the time you pay for ON THE TABLE.

6. Massage my PASSION, not just my income.

The best reward for me is knowing that my massages are successful – in that I can make a difference for clients in at least partly, mostly or fully relieving or removing their aches and pains. Satisfied clients will always refer friends, family and acquaintances. A constant flow of clients – most of them from word of mouth referrals – provides my income.

7. If you ASK for a remedial massage, you GET a REMEDIAL MASSAGE.

Remedial massage is a deep tissue massage, where deep pressure is sometimes needed. But “deep tissue” is not necessarily remedial, unless the therapist looks at the big picture and all aspects of the body (left v right, front v back, up v down, in v out) that may be contributing to problem areas. For example, just massaging the back of the body is deep tissue massage, not remedial. I look at the big picture and give a thorough REMEDIAL massage.

8. Qualifications, Experience and Competency.

Having a tertiary qualification from a college or university is merely the start of a career. Real competency comes with life and industry experience and passion for what you do. I am a fully qualified remedial massage therapist with 29 years experience (2020) as a masseur, I’ve written and published over 100 comprehensive articles on massage, I’m a qualified trainer and assessor, I’m a member of professional industry associations and I regularly undertake Continuing Professional Education (CPE) to stay abreast of the latest industry information and techniques.

9. Foot alignment checks.

In most cases, the real ORIGIN of most common muscular pain can be traced right back to feet being out of alignment. Does your therapist check your feet for high or low arches and ankles rolling in or out or if you have bent toes? I DO. Did you know each foot has four separate arches and any part of the foot out of alignment could be contributing to your headaches or migraines? I’ll show you how and why! Picture in your mind the Leaning Tower of Pisa. When the foundation is not right, the higher you go up the body the more the muscles have to compensate.

10. Jaw alignment checks.

Does your therapist check your jaw alignment? Your jaw joints may be at least partly contributing to your problem areas. At least 30-40% of my new clients have jaw alignment problems (and therefore possible nerve impingement issues) they were not even aware of. The brain controls all functions of the body via the nerves, so if nerves are impinged, muscular or other body functions (eg organs) may not be working properly.

11. Success in just ONE SESSION.

Have you been told by various physical therapy practitioners they need to book you in for at least three or more sessions? That may be necessary with some post surgery or post trauma recovery/rehabilitation, but usually not with common muscular pains like sore or tight backs, neck shoulders, headaches, etc. If I can’t make at least a NOTICEABLE difference to your problem areas and/or identify the main reasons or contributing factors in JUST ONE SESSION there is usually something much deeper happening that may require medical intervention or other specialised treatment. If you come back for further massages, it’s because you realise their ongoing value and WANT TO, not just because you’ve been told you need to.

12. HICAPS/Health Funds and Credit Cards/EFTPOS.

These facilities are not unusual among qualified, professional therapists. But some therapists don’t offer them. We live in an age where most transactions are via “plastic card” and often there is an automatic assumption card facilities are available. You could be embarrassed and inconvenienced (costing you more in time and money to go and source some cash) if you turn up for a massage and find you can’t pay because the therapist doesn’t have card facilities. Only fully qualified therapists can offer health fund rebates via HICAPS or receipts.

13. NO product sales pitches with your massage.

Some massage and other physical therapists also offer a range of products (some of the pyramid marketing type) that may or may not benefit you. You are a captive audience and the therapist may use your massage time on the table to promote/sell their products. I DON’T. Did you go there for a massage or a sales pitch? It’s fair enough if you see posters or other promotional material that prompt YOU to ASK about these products, but the massage should be about YOU – not just a sales opportunity.

14. Fully qualified as a REMEDIAL MASSAGE THERAPIST

Some other types of physical therapists offer or promote massage/remedial massage in their suite of treatments even though they have had only minimal massage training and are not specifically qualified as massage/remedial therapists and EVERYTHING that involves. I AM FULLY QUALIFIED as a remedial massage therapist (but by law I can’t also promote myself as another type of physical therapist even though I also have many of their skills).

15. You get my FULL ATTENTION

Some physical therapists have several clients “on the go” at one time. They spend a few minutes with you then leave the room for some time to see their other clients (often leaving you wondering what is going on), then return to finish their session with you. I DON’T. You get my FULL PERSONAL ATTENTION for the WHOLE SESSION.

16. Sole practitioner/PERSONAL SERVICE.

As the sole practitioner and owner of David Hall Massage Therapy, I guarantee to always give you my personal service.

David Hall ©

REMEDIAL MASSAGE THERAPIST – TOWNSVILLE

Townsville remedial massage therapist, based in Mount Louisa, for all types of muscle and/or joint aches and pains, headaches and migraines and if you’re preparing for or recovering from sporting, exercise or other fitness activities. I guarantee the best value for money remedial massage in Townsville. CALL NOW on (07) 4774 6973 or 0438 774 819 to book an appointment. For Townsville remedial massage clients it will be your best “massage near me” experience when you do a web search.

 

28 August 2019

With any remedial massage, I apply what I call my Hall’s Anatomical Common Sense Approach To Treatment – or HACSATT™.

HACSATT™ is an overall system, not a specific technique, I’ve developed over my 29 years (in 2020) as a massage therapist and particularly in the 20 plus years since I’ve focused on remedial massage.

It really is just a simple approach any hands-on physical bodywork therapist could apply in virtually any common muscle or joint pain treatments, for headaches and migraines and in preparation for and recovery from exercise, fitness, sporting and recreational activities.

It often means a significant or least noticeable difference, or even a complete fix, can be achieved in just ONE SESSION.

Hall’s Anatomical Common Sense Approach to Treatment is exactly what the name implies – a simple COMMON SENSE APPROACH to identifying and treating the real ANATOMICAL causes and contributing factors to your pain areas, rather than just focusing on the symptoms.

HACSAT™ primarily involves:

  • Spending time TALKING to you about your problem areas, medical/work/lifestyle history, etc. – not just getting you to fill in a form and taking a quick glance at that to get your information and background.
  • Explaining various body soft tissue and joint interactions in some detail and how they might be contributing to the problem areas.
  • Doing a postural assessment to identify ACTUAL problem areas before you get on the table.
  • Further detailed checks (eg feet, hip and jaw alignment) once on the table, and explaining what I’m doing.
  • Giving a comprehensive feet to head REMEDIAL massage with focus on areas that need it the most and including various stretches.
  • Rechecking things (eg jaw) that have shown to be out of alignment.
  • Giving advice on basic stretches, exercises and any orthotic support that may help with current problems and avoid future issues.

HACSATT™ is ideal for COMMON muscle and joint aches and pains, headaches and migraines. These include things like carpal tunnel, tennis elbow, wry neck, basic sprains and strains, or just bending down to pick up a paperclip and not being able to stand straight again.

With immediate or acute pain – as in days or hours – after a specific INJURY (like a torn muscle or ligament), SURGERY or DISEASE, the initial assessment, recovery and rehabilitation is primarily the role of physiotherapists.

However, in many such cases, the compensatory effects that injury or surgery has on a range of other muscles and soft tissue are often overlooked. This often results in COMMON pain also developing in those areas.

It can slow the healing of the original injury to the point where the pain may become “chronic” after three to four months. Chronic pain is a self-generating chemical neuro-transmitter process and does not rely on the status of the original injury (eg a muscle tear that already should have healed itself).

HACSATT™ considers BASIC anatomy and how muscles and other soft tissue and areas of the body interact with each other. It is knowledge that ANY person SHOULD have with a Diploma of Remedial Massage (or equivalent) or a university degree in hands-on physical bodywork therapy such as physiotherapy, chiropractic or osteopathy.

Most importantly, it asks the question, “Why?” If you experience COMMON pain in a particular area, WHY is that pain there. Is there a simple chain of anatomical events in areas you might not feel sore that are part of the problem? If there are no obvious answers, perhaps it could be a medical condition like infection, gallbladder, kidney or liver issues or cancer that manifests itself with muscular pain (where medical advice is needed).

You may be aware of a particular event (eg heavy lifting or sleeping uncomfortably) following which your pain developed. But in many cases, that event just may have been the “straw that broke the camel’s back” and was too much for an area that was already tight from other factors.

You may know, or have been told, that certain muscles, tendons or ligaments are tight, stretched, strong, weak, inactive, “not firing,” hyperextended, etc. But “WHY?”

There may be some obvious answers, but it is the less obvious and often very simple anatomical ones that are often the key.

Even though I always give you a comprehensive massage, I can put the focus into the areas that mainly need the work – not just where you have told me you are sore.

In fact, working just in those areas is likely to make the problems worse or prolong them. The pain you feel is inflammation. Just working in that area could increase the inflammation. Don’t accept that just because any type of physical therapist is causing you pain in your problem area that it must be doing you good.

An important aspect of HACSATT™ is that I actually sit down and TALK to you before the massage. I don’t just hand you a form to fill out. And I give you that extra time FREE so it doesn’t reduce the time you have for the actual massage on the table.

Part of that CONVERSATION is not only to get any relevant medical history, but also a bit about your lifestyle and work history, previous injuries, types of treatment, etc, as well as details of your problem areas.

I don’t need to know WHERE you work, but the TYPE of work you not only do now but in the past can provide some vital clues. For example, you may be in an administration type job now (eg involving a lot of sitting at a computer), but in the recent past you may have been a tradie, cleaner, factory production line worker, soldier, military helicopter pilot, etc, where muscles you used regularly then could have contributed to your current problems.

Similarly, with your lifestyle: Are you a keen gardener, sportsperson, exercise enthusiast, gym junkie, boatie, grey nomad, four-wheel-driver, etc? Those activities can help identify potential contributors to your problem areas.

Another aspect of HACSATT™ is my FIVE-STAR (as in “top notch”) postural assessment that I’ve also developed from a good knowledge of anatomy combined with many years of experience.

Within about 30 seconds, I can identify virtually every muscle in your body that will be sore or tight, weak or stretched BEFORE you even disrobe to get on the table.

Below are just three of many common basic scenarios where HACSATT™ is ideal. These scenarios assume there are no known specific injuries or causes. However, some injury may have occurred weeks, months or years prior but was not treated at all or not treated properly at the time.

Obesity also may be an issue, particularly with joint pain. But, generally speaking, physical therapy clients in pain want some immediate hands-on treatment and potential relief, not a discussion about their weight or just to be given a series of exercises, to do in their own time, they often can’t achieve because of their weight and pain.

KNEE PAIN

(Even with other factors like a torn Meniscus or Baker’s Cyst or teenage growth plate issues).

The obvious treatment would be looking for and treating tightness or weakness in the LEG muscles, tendons and ligaments going across or attaching near THAT knee area. Some therapists might also look at the hips, including the buttocks muscles and possibly check how the Patella (kneecap) is “tracking” (eg, pulling to one side).

With HACSATT™:

  • What is happening with your OTHER knee is also critical. Any problem in that leg and knee, although it may not be painful, may cause compensatory effects on your sore knee.
  • Your Tibia bone in the lower leg and Femur in the thigh are meant to rotate in synch at the KNEE JOINT. The amount and direction of their rotation is determined by the way your FEET strike the ground, so feet alignment is critical. I check and give advice on foot alignment and treat all the muscles that move the feet.
  • Depending on the Tibia/Femur rotation and via some big ligaments in the hip, the Femur can cause muscle imbalances and misalignment of the hip.
  • Muscles/tendons across the knee joint will be out of balance if one hip is higher than the other and/or there is an anterior (forward) and/or posterior (backwards) tilt. Realigning the HIPS, including releasing Hip Flexor and Gluteus muscles, is essential. I can realign the hips totally painlessly and without any forced manipulation in about two minutes using my HACSATT™ technique. (This often also negates what you may have been told about having one leg shorter/longer than the other).
  • Tightness in your shoulder blade and chest areas will have an effect on spinal rotation, which can also contribute to one hip being higher than the other.

They are just SOME of the factors I consider and treat with HACSATT™.

HEADACHES / MIGRAINES

The obvious treatment is to massage around the neck and top of shoulder area and base of skull to loosen tight muscles, and possibly some scalp massage. Some therapists also might work down into the shoulder blade area.

With HACSATT™:

  • The first thing I check is if you have bent toes, high or low arches or your ankles roll in or out. The alignment of your feet and the way they strike the ground has a bearing on overall postural alignment and muscle imbalances right up into the shoulders, neck and head.
  • Any nerve in the body can be impinged at the jaw, via the Dura Mater, the outer of three membranes around the brain and spinal cord through which all nerves must pass. An impinged nerve may have an effect on muscles or organs that may cause or contribute to headaches or migraines. It is vital to check and ensure the jaw is properly aligned.
  • There is a close relationship between nerves in the occipital area (base of skull) and back of the eyes (as in headache pain). Some groups of muscles/tendons attaching to the base of the skull also attach to the hips, so imbalances in those muscles anywhere along the spine need to be addressed.
  • Poor posture – particularly through occupational activity – is often blamed for headaches and migraines and is often a contributing factor. But various aspects which help create poor posture, including tightness in the Pectoralis muscles in the chest, Hip Flexors across the hips and Latissimus Dorsi (Lats) in the back, are often overlooked. I don’t.

CARPAL TUNNEL

The nerve associated with carpal tunnel pain is the Median nerve. It is often impinged in the carpal tunnel in the wrist because of tight or inflamed forearm muscles and their tendons which also pass through the tunnel.

The obvious treatment applied by most therapists is to focus on releasing and/or stretching muscles in the forearm.

(Chiropractors tend to focus on manipulating the neck vertebrae because the Brachial Plexus of nerves, which includes the Median nerve, originates from there).

With HACSATT™:

  • The forearm muscles/tendons definitely need to be massaged and stretched in any treatment as Carpal Tunnel is often the result of repetitive strain injury (RSI) – overuse of particular muscle groups as part of your occupation or lifestyle activities (eg cleaning or rowing). A person’s medical, work and lifestyle history could point to that.
  • The Median nerve also may be impinged at the elbow or shoulder or in the NECK around C6/C7, so it is vital to look at ALL those areas and the muscles moving ALL those joints.
  • That includes muscles moving the shoulder blades as restrictions there can affect movement of the shoulder and therefore the arm at the main shoulder joint.
  • There are 10 joints – five on each of the left and right sides of the body – that move the shoulder. ALL those joints need to be considered. (Eg. with carpal tunnel in the RIGHT hand, it is also necessary to include the Pectoralis Minor muscle in the LEFT chest as that muscle attaches to the left shoulder blade and can restrict movement of both shoulders). The Pec Minor muscle can also impinge the Median nerve (part of the Brachial Plexus) in the top of the chest.
  • The neck is the CERVICAL part of the overall spine. Anything affecting any part of the spine, including in the lower back, also will have an impact on the neck, so muscle balance along the whole spine needs to be considered.

Above are just SOME things I consider in treating any of those problems – and many others.

None of this is ROCKET SCIENCE. It’s just about having a sound knowledge of basic anatomy and the various anatomical interactions.

They don’t teach that interactivity in any detail in primary or high schools so when most people feel sore in a particular area, they immediately assume their pain is just related to where they feel it.

In my opinion, based on long personal experience and what I’ve been told by numerous clients, anatomical COMMON SENSE also is now something largely missing in many hands-on physical bodywork treatments. It could be strongly argued the BUSINESS PLAN – covering costs, making a profit, duration of sessions, return visits, etc, often takes precedence over the TREATMENT PLAN. That simply means that many areas that SHOULD be treated are ignored.

It often results in unnecessary return visits that sometimes continue for much longer and with less success than if no treatment was given at all. Return visits also can quickly drain any entitlement you might have to private health fund rebates.

Unfortunately, due to the medico-politics of AHPRA (Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Agency – for medical and allied health practitioners), most doctors never formally refer their patients to remedial massage therapists for common muscle and joint pain issues.

Remedial therapists are regulated by Government (with things like qualifications, skills, knowledge, insurance, continuing education, first aid, hygiene, ethics, etc) but are not registered with AHPRA or controlled by AHPRA hierarchy. So, in most cases, only the better informed doctors ever suggest their patients try remedial massage. As a result, many doctors’ patients don’t get the early remedial massage intervention that could save them considerable unnecessary pain and extra costs.

In my opinion, the Department of Veterans Affairs is also wasting hundreds of millions of dollars every year because it does not allow its DVA pensioners to access REMEDIAL MASSAGE with their Gold or White Cards. From what I’ve been told by many DVA veterans, it is often ONLY the problem or original injury/surgery area that DVA approved physical therapists focus on and more often than not that only PROLONGS those issues instead of fixing them or reducing the pain.

My final comments in the above five paragraphs are not assumptions on my part. They were prompted by what I’ve been told over many years by thousands of my remedial massage clients who have been to other therapists/practitioners and tried different treatments.

Give me a call on (07) 47746973 or 0438774819 or email me at david@davidhallmassage.com to make a booking. Treatments are by appointment only.

David Hall ©

TOWNSVILLE REMEDIAL MASSAGE THERAPIST

Mount Louisa-based Townsville massage therapist specialising in Remedial Massage for headaches and migraines, all types of muscle and/or joint aches and pains and preparation for and recovery from sporting, exercise and other fitness activities including the range of Defence fitness tests. I guarantee the best value for money remedial massage in Townsville. CALL NOW on (07) 4774 6973 or 0438 774 819 to book an appointment.

 

1 January 2019

Have you made a resolution recently to lose weight, get fit and/or stay fit? If so, you should consider regular remedial massage as an important part of your fitness regime. Without it, some of the energy you use in getting fit may be wasted!

Getting fit is basically about being more healthy, improving stamina and developing or toning muscle. As a result you’ll feel better about yourself and be more energetic, productive and positive.

An overall healthy lifestyle, which incudes regular exercise and stretching in a gym, at home or outdoors – together with a nutritious and balanced diet, are key factors in losing weight, getting and staying fit.

Remedial massage is another vital ingredient.

This is especially so for those who exercise regularly or strenuously with weight programs and/or impact activities like running and aerobics. If you participate in any of the many 12-week challenges, crossfit or other organised fitness activities, remedial massage will be of particular benefit and help improve your motivation by reducing the muscle and joint pain these programs often induce.

Massage – particularly deep tissue Remedial – stimulates the flow of blood, lymphatic fluid, oxygen and nutrients to all the muscles and organs. It also releases muscle tension and knots, helps improve tone in stretched muscle, balances the left/right and front/back muscular and skeletal systems and helps improve breathing.

Weight loss is assisted by boosting the flow of blood and lymph. This stimulates the heart, digestive and immune systems and other organs (the body’s overall metabolism) to do their job more effectively.

With proper balance on both sides of the body, loose and flexible muscles do not need to work harder against or compensate for opposing tight individual muscles or muscle groups.

Regular stretching – before and after exercise – of various muscle groups is essential and helps reduce the need for massage. However, quite often the stretching people do in gyms or at home on their own is insufficient or inappropriate.

As a result, many “get fit” exercise enthusiasts (particularly novices) find themselves with tight, stretched or knotted muscles. Uncomfortable or serious aches and pains begin to develop then you begin to question whether this “get fit” resolution is worth continuing.

Tight muscles doing opposing jobs (eg hamstrings at back of legs and quadriceps at front of legs) have to work much harder against each other than if they were loose and flexible. Hence they tire more easily and you need to use much more energy – making your exercise less efficient.

This in turn can also have a psychologically draining effect, making you wonder if all the effort is worthwhile for little noticeable result.

Muscles may knot when they are exercised to the point where they hurt or a burning sensation is felt. This is generally where the oxygen in the muscle is exhausted, leaving a deposit of carbon dioxide. This may then crystalise into lactic acid, causing muscle fibres to tighten and bunch up (“knot”) around these deposits.

While the “no pain no gain” rule is usually necessary to develop more strength and stamina, the down-side can be the tight and knotted muscles and ongoing stiffness and soreness. Deep tissue remedial massage, usually combined with stretching by the masseur, is by far the most effective treatment for this.

By massaging along and across the muscle fibres, therapists can release toxins and improve the blood flow within the muscle. This helps release short muscles and tone stretched muscles.

Without regular stretching and/or massage, more serious or extensive problems may develop. Very tight muscles are more susceptible to tearing and other injuries.

Another example of potential problems is with constantly tight major leg muscles (hamstrings, quadriceps and calves) in athletes and aerobics enthusiasts. These muscles become unable to absorb much of the impact of running or aerobics sessions.  As a result, muscular stress from the impact of these activities travels up the legs, through the buttocks and hip flexors (front of hips) into the spine, and ultimately up into the shoulder and neck.

So massages at the beginning and during your get fit mission can help ensure the energy you spend exercising effectively and efficiently translates into extra strength and stamina. If you’ve already developed serious aches and pains, remedial massage can very effectively alleviate them.

David Hall ©

MOUNT LOUISA REMEDIAL MASSAGE THERAPIST

Mount Louisa-based Townsville Massage therapist specialising in Remedial Massage for all types of muscle and/or joint aches and pains, headaches and migraines. Guaranteed best value for money remedial massage in Townsville. CALL NOW on (07) 4774 6973 or 0438 774 819 to book an appointment.

 

14 March 2018

If you are relatively new to massage or never had a massage before, how can you tell if your therapist is qualified, competent, experienced, professional and giving you value for money?

By the end of the massage, you’ll obviously know whether you thought it beneficial, enjoyable and worthwhile – or you never want to see that therapist again!

If you’re trying to find a therapist in the first place, here’s a few things to look for:

  • Does the therapist have a website? If so, do they mention specific qualifications and experience? Are there reviews or testimonials from satisfied clients? Are they a member of a professional industry association (eg Massage & Myotherapy Australia – formerly Australian Association of Massage Therapists)? How many years massage experience do they have? Do they provide credit card facilities or health fund receipts/HICAPS? Professional association membership requires Continuing Professional Education (CPE). Check other websites that provide unsolicited reviews and testimonials (good and bad!) about various types of service providers and businesses in your local area.
  • Do you know what sort of massage you want/NEED? If you have sore or aching muscles or joints or get headaches or migraines, you NEED a REMEDIAL massage, not a relaxation/Swedish/beauty massage. Eg. Beauty therapists generally aren’t also qualified to do REMEDIAL massage. If you are into sports/fitness/exercise, you probably think you need a Sports Massage. You actually need a Remedial Massage. Sports Massage in its truest context is just five to 15 minutes on-site pre or post-competition massage and stretching. So check if there is any reference to the types of massage provided.
  • If you’ve just got a number off the internet or out of a phone book and don’t have any other information about the therapist, simply ASK him/her about their qualifications. To be FULLY qualified these days, REMEDIAL massage therapists, for example, require at least a Diploma of Remedial Massage. This is required by most health funds for the therapist to become a recognised Provider.
  • Word of mouth referrals from friends are usually a good indicator. However, a massage that may feel good at the time may not necessarily be beneficial, so ask the referrer if the massage made a noticeable or lasting difference.
  • As with any trade or profession, having a university degree or other “piece of paper” that says you are “qualified” doesn’t actually mean you are competent. And vice-versa. Some “old school” therapists may not have the latest qualifications but are highly experienced and very competent. You’ll generally get a good idea during the massage whether they are competent. Without the relevant qualifications, however, they won’t be able to offer health fund rebates and they may not have insurance.
  • Don’t just assume the therapist will have credit card/EFTPOS facilities. Some will only take cash. Ask about those facilities if you ring.
  • Don’t assume if you make a booking for a one-hour massage that you will get an hour on the table. Some therapists/firms take bookings on the hour. That means that by the time you give them your information, disrobe and re-robe and the therapist allows time to change towels and prepare for the next client, etc, you are lucky to get 45-50 minutes on the table. So clarify the time on the table for the price you will be charged.
  • Price is definitely not always a reliable indicator. Keep in mind the old saying, “Pay peanuts and you get monkeys!” Would you expect to pay the same amount for a doctor/GP who has just graduated as for a highly experienced medical specialist? Someone who is fully qualified and highly EXPERIENCED can often save you a lot of time and money by knowing how to deal with your issues quickly and effectively and not require you to make numerous return visits.

If you haven’t already checked out any of the above and simply phone and make a booking, once you get to the massage there are some indicators that separate a qualified, experienced and competent therapist who gives you top value for money from someone who may have had little or no training but has developed a personal style which feels fairly good at the time but is of little therapeutic value.

Having said that, any massage that makes you feel good – if only for a short time – is probably “therapeutic.” However, is it what you actually wanted and needed? Did you want a really firm and deep full body massage but only received a light rub where you said you were sore? Or did the therapist spend all his/her time working just the areas you mentioned you were sore (which may make things worse!)

If you haven’t already established the therapist’s bona fides and don’t want to directly ask him/her about their training and experience, here are some tips to help identify a qualified and experienced masseur.

If it’s your first massage with that therapist, he/she should get information about your medical history, lifestyle factors, pain areas and other aspects that could influence the type of massage and areas to be treated. For example, deep pressure should not be applied over a recent injury. Some conditions may contraindicate massage.

The therapist will discuss your needs and expectations from the massage, techniques to be used and areas of the body to be massaged. If you want a massage just for relaxation, the techniques will be different to those used if you need to specifically alleviate muscular or joint pain, headaches and migraines, or if you feel run down and your immune system needs a boost.

Genuine therapeutic massage is not sexual and does not include the genitals. If you ask for a full body massage, the genuine therapist will want to clarify the areas to be massaged.

If you haven’t had massage before (or it’s what you’ve become used to with particular therapists), your idea of “full body” may be only the entire back of the body from head to toe. This is what many therapists limit the massage to because that is where you usually feel sore.

A qualified and COMPETENT therapist should assume you also mean muscles in the front, because he/she should be trained to know the vital interaction of muscles between the front and back of the body.

The therapist will be careful to keep you properly draped and only uncover areas being worked on, to avoid causing you embarrassment or discomfort.

A variety of light, firm and/or heavy techniques (depending on the style of massage) will be used in a systematic, sequential and co-ordinated way.

Any massage – from the very gentle manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) to deep tissue remedial work where elbow pressure may be used – requires fluency and energy, not just a careless, “wishy washy” movement of hands over the body. You can sense the difference.

During a firm but gentle relaxation (Swedish) massage, a therapist also experienced in Remedial massage will know if there are problems with deeper muscle tissue. Even though you are just there to relax, some therapists may recommend if they think a future deep tissue massage is advisable. Otherwise, it never hurts to ask the therapist if they found any problem areas.

If you mention particularly sore or tight areas and any massage or other physical therapist focuses only on those areas, you would be entitled to question their competency and qualifications in many cases. Just focusing on the pain or injured area without taking into account the compensatory effects from those areas can actually prolong the problem and lead to chronic pain (after three to four months).

The hips are the structural centre of the body and any misalignment in that area due to tight hip flexors and “glute” (buttocks) muscles will cause compensatory effects throughout the body. With any remedial massage or other physical treatment for common muscle pains or post injury/surgery should include realigning the hips by releasing those muscles.

If you need a massage for COMMON muscular pain like sore backs, necks, shoulders, legs, headaches, migraines, etc (not for things like immediate post surgery pain or from major tears in muscles, ligaments, etc) and any type of physical therapist wants you to sign up for a number of sessions, you should get them to explain and justify why. Put on your “Suspicious” hat.

Areas of common pain are often just SYMPTOMS of a problem elsewhere, not the real CAUSE. A qualified therapist should give you a postural assessment and also look at all other areas that may be causing or contributing to your problem, and keep you informed as to why. This includes checking your feet, hips and jaw.

You will feel more at ease if you know why particular muscles may need to be massaged to alleviate a problem when those muscle have not previously felt sore. For example, your headaches may be due to your feet and/or hips being out of alignment.

Patient feedback during a massage is useful, but if you just want to totally relax and be quiet, an experienced therapist can usually assess muscle tone, problem areas and your comfort levels by touch alone.

An experienced REMEDIAL massage therapist should be able to tell you – even BEFORE you get on the table – virtually every muscle in your body that may feel sore or tight when massaged. A competent therapist would do a quick postural assessment (which can take less than a minute), particularly on a first time client, that would provide sufficient information. In some cases, more comprehensive assessment may be required.

And lastly, but certainly no least: Some therapists also sell a range of products (often the pyramid or multi-level marketing type) that form part of their income and may or may not be of benefit in your circumstances. Be wary if the therapist uses you as a captive audience while you are on the massage table to try to sell those products. If they are concentrating on a sales pitch, are they focusing on giving you the best possible massage? It is different if they have a range of products and posters on display that prompt YOU to ask THEM about those products.

David Hall ©

REMEDIAL MASSAGE TOWNSVILLE THERAPIST

Mount Louisa-based Townsville remedial massage therapist for all types of muscle and/or joint aches and pains, headaches and migraines and preparing for or recovering from sporting, exercise and other fitness activities, including Defence fitness tests. Guaranteed best value for money remedial massage in Townsville. CALL NOW on (07) 4774 6973 or 0438 774 819 to book an appointment.

 

23 April 2017

What do a builder’s two-metre-long spirit level, the Leaning Tower of Pisa and headaches and migraines have in common?

Nothing really. But the spirit level and the Leaning Tower can give you great clues as to what causes many headaches and migraines. It’s something most physical therapists and medical practictioners totally overlook.

Think about why a builder uses that level, say when building a wall or fence. If it is angled out even a few millimetres near the base, it could be 20 to 30 millimetres out at two metres high.

Check out a picture of the Leaning Tower of Pisa to put that in even more perspective.

Your feet are the base or foundation of your body. If they are not in their correct alignment and the four arches of both feet are not striking the ground at the proper angles, they will help create muscular and structural imbalances throughout the body right up into the shoulders, neck and head.

These imbalances often cause headaches and migraines. They can also result in nerve impingement anywhere in the body. A major implication of that is that all functions of the body are controlled from the brain, via the nerves.

But don’t just take my word for all this. Check out your own posture. Just stand totally relaxed and get a family member or friend to have a look at you from side on. The middle of your ankle, knee, hip, shoulder and ear should all line up in a straight line at a right angle to the floor.

Don’t be surprised if the middle of the ear is at least five to 10 cm or more forward of the middle of your ankle. That is evidence of alignment and muscle imbalances throughout the body, usually starting in the feet. (It also suggests you need a good remedial massage).

It may also be at least part of the reason for any number of aches and pains you may experience. And because these imbalances can pull the jaw out of alignment, with the potential to impinge virtually any nerve in the body, it may be the cause or major contributing factor with a number of other ailments you might think are of a medical nature and require a medical/medications fix.

There are many different types of headaches and migraines and many potential causes. But one very simple cause almost always overlooked by medical and other health professionals are the anatomical imbalances throughout the body starting in the feet.

As a remedial massage therapist, clients often tell me they “carry all their tension in their neck and shoulders.” That might seem totally logical for some occupations – like admin work, computer data entry or driving a taxi or truck all day – where poor postural habits can easily lead to tension in those areas.

But the simple fact is that if muscle and structural imbalances have started in the feet and worked their way up, their tension can’t go any higher than the neck, shoulders and head. All the stresses start to compound up there.

So in many cases where people have mentioned neck and shoulder tension, the problem was already there. It is just that their occupations have aggravated it.

Whenever I have a remedial client who complains about headaches or migraines, the first assessment I do is to check if they have bent toes, or any other signs of feet misalignment, like ankles or arches rolling in or out, or feet turning inwards or outwards.

To an experienced and competent remedial massage therapist – or any other physical bodywork therapist, that immediately should create a picture of what muscles throughout the rest of the body will be compensating.

I don’t need to be a podiatrist – although I have done some study with one – to understand basic feet biomechanics.

In some cases – as well as giving the client a comprehensive remedial massage to correct muscle imbalances and realign the body, just getting them to swap their flat rubber thongs for a pair of orthotic thongs or to wear other supportive footwear is all they need to get rid of their headaches and migraines.

When your feet and ankles aren’t in their proper neutral position and don’t strike the ground correctly when you move (walk, run, jog, etc.), they force the Tibia and Femur bones in your leg to rotate out of synch. That then helps to pull the hips out of alignment.

WOW! Fixing regular headaches and migraines without numerous medical or physical therapy visits (that usually just focus on the neck and shoulders), medications, x-rays and other scans! It couldn’t possibly be that simple!

It often is – but the real trick to success is what an experienced and competent remedial massage therapist also does that makes wearing corrective footwear effective.

For example, if poor foot alignment has helped to pull one hip higher, it is also essential to realign the hips. Feet are the foundation of the body, but the hips are the structural centre.

I use a simple, painless and gentle technique with no forced movement that can realign the hips within about two minutes.

Hundreds of my massage clients over many years have had regular headaches or migraines totally disappear or were greatly reduced by this approach to treatment – in just ONE session.

When taking the medical history of one client some years ago, she made the comment she “could count on two hands the number of times she had woken up in the past 15 years without a headache.”

Taken at face value, that equates to about 10 days free of headaches in about 5,475 days. Even if that claim was a 500 times exaggeration – equating to 5000 days free of headaches, it would still mean she suffered a hell of a lot – or a lot of hell (475 days over 15 years, or 32 days or one full month each year) of serious headaches and migraines.

The day after my massage treatment, the client left a message on my answering machine. In an excited voice, she told me she had woken up without a headache and couldn’t thank me enough.

The headaches stayed away and her “tradie” partner also started coming to me for treatments for his various pain issues.

Remedial massage obviously isn’t the right treatment for all types of headaches and migraines. If you suddenly start experiencing blinding headaches, head straight to your doctor.

But if the frequency and extent of the headaches has been building up over time, it may be due to anatomical factors that can be dealt with relatively easily by an experienced remedial therapist.

David Hall ©

MOUNT LOUISA REMEDIAL MASSAGE THERAPIST

Townsville Massage therapist based in Mt Louisa and specialising in Remedial Massage for headaches and migraines and all types of muscle and/or joint aches and pains, as well as preparing for and recovering from exercise, sporting and other fitness activities. Guaranteed best value for money remedial massage in Townsville. CALL NOW on (07) 4774 6973 or 0438 774 819 to book an appointment.

 

11 November 2016

Giving a special friend or family member a GIFT VOUCHER for a REMEDIAL massage for any special occasion or just as a “thank you” will not only make THEM feel good and totally relaxed.

YOU’LL feel better too knowing you’ve provided a gift that’s not just a trinket or a bit of pampering for an hour or so but can make a real and lasting difference to their health and well being.

If it’s the first time your voucher recipients have been to me for a remedial massage, they will also receive an EXTRA 40-50 minutes FREE so I can get their information, explain some things about how various muscle interactions might be contributing to their problem areas, and do some assessments.

To organise a voucher, just give me a call on (07) 47746973 or mobile 0438774819. Credit card/EFTPOS facilities are available for over-the-counter or over-the-phone payment. I’m also happy to email gift vouchers where necessary.

To read how and why I can guarantee the best value for money remedial massage in Townsville, click here http://www.davidhallmassage.com/articles/guaranteed-best-value-for-money-remedial-massage-in-townsville

PS: Would you like a massage voucher for yourself? Share this post with your friends with the strong hint they should buy you one (or more) !!

David Hall ©

REMEDIAL MASSAGE TOWNSVILLE THERAPIST

Townsville Massage and overall musculoskeletal therapist based in Mt Louisa and specialising in Remedial Massage for all types of muscle and/or joint aches and pains, headaches and migraines. Guaranteed best value for money remedial massage in Townsville. CALL NOW on (07) 4774 6973 or 0438 774 819 to book an appointment.

 

22 August 2016

Do you suffer neck and shoulder pain and/or lower back pain and possibly headaches or migraines?

They are among the most common areas of pain treated by remedial massage therapists like myself.

You may experience pain in just ONE of those areas (eg. neck and shoulders) on its own and you could probably justifiably assume that is where the major focus of the massage would or should be.

So it often comes as a surprise when I explain things in detail and show you the close connections between lower back and neck and shoulder pain.

In other words, there’s no point just massaging the main problem area. In many cases, it’s even best not to work too hard or too long in the sore areas. Soreness (pain) means those areas are inflamed – even if not noticeably – and it makes no sense to inflame that area even more.

If you go to any physical therapist who only works in the already sore areas, is it any wonder they won’t really make a difference and may in fact be making the problem worse or prolonging it!

I always like to ask the question “Why?” Why is an area sore? What has caused or contributed to that problem in the first place?

Many clients tell me they carry all their tension in their neck and shoulders. That would seem logical – particularly with university students and jobs such as admin, call centres, other computer work, and extended driving such as taxis and trucks.

However, more often than not, the pain you feel in those areas is caused by those jobs aggravating an already existing problem you are not aware of.

If problems start lower in the body – say feet or hips/lower back – and travel upward, they simply can’t go any higher than neck, shoulders or head.

When people mention pain, the NECK/SHOULDERS and the BACK are often singled out as if they were individual entities. However, the neck is the CERVICAL SPINE, so anything affecting the neck area also will have an impact on the lower back, and vice-versa.

One very strong connection often overlooked by many remedial massage and other physical therapists is the Latissimus Dorsi (Lats) muscle. It assists the Pectoralis (Pec) muscles to draw the arms around to the front.

Think about how much time you spend during any average day with your arms around the front.

But the Lats also attach to the lower half of the spine, to a number of ribs and also to the top of the hips.

So any time your arm is drawn around to the front (most of an average day), the Lats are active and therefore impacting not only in your shoulder area but also right down into your lower back.

That will usually end up helping to pull one hip higher than the other, which then helps cause muscle imbalances in the legs.

When people complain of lower back pain, one contributing factor almost certainly is imbalances in their neck and shoulder muscles – although there may be no regular or noticeable pain there – and VICE VERSA.

That’s why with every remedial massage I look at the big picture and treat not just the pain areas but also look at ALL the contributing factors.

Give me a call on (07) 4774 6973 or 0438 774819 or email me at david@davidhallmassage.com to make a booking. Treatments are by appointment only.

David Hall ©

TOWNSVILLE MASSAGE REMEDIAL THERAPIST

Mount Louisa-based Townsville Massage and overall musculoskeletal therapist specialising in Remedial Massage for headaches and migraines, all types of muscle and/or joint aches and pains, and preparing for and recovering from all types of exercise, sporting and fitness activities including the range of Defence fitness tests. Guaranteed best value for money remedial massage in Townsville. CALL NOW on (07) 4774 6973 or 0438 774 819 to book an appointment.

 

26 March 2016

If anyone asked me what is my overall philosophy for successful remedial massage, I’d have to say, “I take account of your opposites and I let your proprioceptors do the talking!”

Opposites are important because every muscle has an opposing muscle. Opposites also apply to sides of the body – left v right, front v back, up v down and in v out. Pain in a particular area is usually the result of a problem – tightness, weakness, trauma or inflammation – in the opposite muscles or side of the body.

Proprioceptors? They are neurotransmitters, like nerve terminals, that constantly send messages to and from your brain about your body’s balance, position and movement.

Firstly, a bit more about proprioceptors. In effect, they act like the sensors feeding information to the gyroscopes on an aircraft. They then constantly feed information into the plane’s various systems to help keep it stable and make necessary adjustments to control surfaces, speeds and other aspects to keep it in level flight and when turning, climbing, descending, etc.

Similarly with the body, the brain gets information from proprioceptors then sends out the nerve signals to keep making muscular and postural adjustments for when we are walking, running, jogging, climbing, bending, twisting, lifting, standing, sleeping, etc.

Every muscle and joint in the body plus the middle ear has proprioceptors. They are part of a “package” that also includes the muscle spindle and the Golgi organ (also known as the Golgi tendon).

The spindle is the part of the muscle that tells it to contract, and the Golgi tendon tells it to relax or release.

In effect, when muscles contract, the muscle spindles send off a signal to the brain via the nerves, and the brain sends back a message via the nerves to the Golgi tendon in the opposite muscles to instruct those muscles to relax.

As all this is happening, the proprioceptors are sending signals back to the brain on the new status of the muscles, so the brain can instruct other muscles in the body that are interacting with them to compensate accordingly.

For example, the Gluteus Maximus and Hamstring muscles extend the hip. So if Hamstrings are tight, they will also have an impact on the Gluteus. But if the Hamstrings are loosened by massage, the proprioceptors will begin activating responses leading to compensatory effects in the Gluteus.

So some of the work of rebalancing the Gluteus has already been started by the time the therapist gets to that area.

In other words, activating the proprioceptors in the right sequence creates a very beneficial chain or ripple effect right through the body.

Physical therapists who actually bother to apply this information to their treatments and “let the proprioceptors do the talking,” rather than just focusing all the treatment where someone says they are sore, will always get better, longer lasting results.

How often has your physical therapist – massage or otherwise – just worked where you said you were sore? They are usually missing the point!

Common muscle pain in a particular area (not as a result of specific surgery or trauma) more often than not is a SYMPTOM of a problem. It’s not the problem itself. The real problem is usually in the opposing muscles or side of the body.

So, for example, if someone is sore in the lower back right side, it’s more than likely there are tighter muscles on the lower back left side. And similarly, if you think about the up/down aspects, UP above the sore area in the right side lower back you will usually find tight muscles in the right shoulder blade area. DOWN below, the Gluteus (buttocks) muscles will be tigher on the right side.

One reason is usually that muscle imbalances in the legs have contributed to the right hip pulling low and left hip high. (Muscle imbalances in the shoulder blade area, neck and chest will also be contributing, but that’s another story!)

To address the hip problem quickly and effectively, it’s therefore necessary to start by massaging the leg muscles, but taking into account there will be differences between the inside and outside, and front and back, muscles of both legs. The massage starts a ripple effect from their proprioceptors to begin rebalancing the hip muscles that then impacts on the tighter muscles in the lower back left side.

These effects continue throughout the body. Competent, experienced therapists take all this opposite and proprioceptive activity into account to give you the best treatment.

I can guarantee that’s what I’ll give you.

David Hall ©

REMEDIAL MASSAGE THERAPIST TOWNSVILLE

Townsville Massage and overall musculoskeletal therapist based in Mount Louisa and specialising in Remedial Massage for all types of muscle and/or joint aches and pains, headaches and migraines as well as preparing for and recovering from sporting, exercise and other fitness activities. I guarantee the best value for money remedial massage in Townsville. CALL NOW on (07) 4774 6973 or 0438 774 819 to book an appointment.

 

Opposites

Every muscle in the body has an OPPOSING MUSCLE. When muscles contract, opposing muscles must release (simple bio-mechanics!). Muscle pain or soreness often occurs when contracting muscles need to work harder than they should because OPPOSING muscles are too tight. Your pain is often the SYMPTOM, but the tighter OPPOSING muscles where you may not feel sore or tight are often the CAUSE or a contributing factor. The same applies to opposite SIDES of the body – front v back, left v right, in v out and up v down. Eg: pain on the LEFT side of the body is often due to tighter muscles on the RIGHT.

Pain Origin

The ORIGIN of many common muscle and joint aches and pains, headaches and migraines can usually be traced back to your feet, hips and/or jaw joint being out of alignment. Any misalignment of one or more of those areas causes a range of compensating factors throughout the body.

Nerve Impingement

The brain controls all functions of the body via the nerves. Virtually any nerve can be impinged by the jaw joint, often pulled out of alignment due to imbalances in muscles and other soft tissue throughout the body. Some ailments you think are “medical,” in fact may just be due to nerve impingement at the jaw.

Proprioceptors

An important aspect often overlooked or ignored in treatments by many physiscal therapists is the role of PROPRIOCEPTORS. They are neuro-transmitters – like nerve terminals – constantly sending signals to and from the brain about the body’s BALANCE, POSITION and MOVEMENT. The brain needs to know where every part of your body is at any given time. Every muscle (about 660 of them) and joint in the body plus the middle ear has proprioceptors. Because the whole weight of the body is supported on the feet, and particularly the ankle joints, there are many proprioceptors in these areas. Does your massage or other physical therapist check and give you advice about the alignment of your feet? I do.

Shoulder Joints

For you to lift even one arm, a series of things has to happen. These include movement of all FIVE shoulder joints on each side of the body (left/right, front/back) and your spine being able to flex and move slightly to allow the scapula (shoulder blade) to rotate. If spinal muscles are too tight or imbalanced as a result of poor HIP ALIGNMENT and can’t adequately move to allow movement of the scapula, some treatments you receive for injured or post surgery shoulder recovery may be ineffective or prolonged for much longer than necessary. So your HIP ALIGNMENT and any muscles affecting that also need to be considered in any shoulder treatment, especially post-surgical (eg shoulder reconstruction).

Endorphins

You should feel more RELAXED for much longer after a good remedial massage than after a normal Swedish/relaxation massage. Working deep into the tissues releases more endorphins which are like a natural chemical muscle relaxant. The old saying “no pain no gain” is true – to a certain extent. The right amount of pain – within your normal pain tolerance – triggers the release of the endorphins. Too much pain causes other muscles around where the therapist is working to spasm to protect your sore muscles. So too much pain is actually counter-productive.

Neuro-Lymphatic Points

When your lymphatic and nervous systems are overloaded (e.g. through sickness and disease – colds, flu, bronchitis, sinus, cancer, heart disease, inflammation, etc.), “neuro-lymphatic reflexes” act like circuit breakers that switch off. This can result in a range of muscle and organ pain in the body. Over many years, doctors and other health practitioners have identified and charted dozens of neuro-lymphatic reflex points (known as Chapman’s Reflexes) and developed techniques to help turn these reflex points back on. This revives lymph flow and helps restore strength to muscles and organs. These points can be massaged with specific neuro-lymphatic massage or included as part of a typical remedial massage by an experienced therapist.

Headaches/Migraines

If you are experiencing headaches or migraines, does you physical therapist also check to see if you toes are bent, or if you have other foot misalignment issues? If they don’t, or they don’t know about that connection, you are going to the wrong therapist.

Stiffy, Flippy, Floppy

Are you a “stiffy,” a “flippy” or a “floppy?” Get your therapist to explain the differences. If you’re a “floppy” and a therapist works too deep in your tight muscles, they may be aggravating your problems – not fixing them.

David Hall ©

MOUNT LOUISA REMEDIAL MASSAGE THERAPIST

Mount Louisa-based Townsville remedial massage therapist for all types of muscle and/or joint aches and pains, headaches and migraines, and preparation for and recovery from sporting, exercise and other fitness activities. I guarantee best value for money remedial massage in Townsville. CALL NOW on (07) 4774 6973 or 0438 774 819 to book an appointment.

 

 

21 August 2014

Have you ever had what I term a “MONGREL MASSAGE?”

It’s a “bitsa this and bitsa that” type “massage.”

It’s where you go to a therapist who has advertised remedial massage and you get a little bit of “remedial massage” with bits of one or more other modalities mixed in, and you leave thinking “That’s not what I asked or paid for.”

Those other modalities could include things like Bowen Therapy, Emmet Technique, trigger point therapy, dry needling, cupping, reiki, myofascial release, acupuncture, cranio-sacral therapy, Atlas realignment, Dorn therapy and aromatherapy.  There’s also various others – some of highly questionable value.

To a competent, confident, properly qualified and experienced therapist in those other modalities above (not just someone who has done a weekend or short course), they should be capable of being “stand alone” therapies. They should work on their own if they are applicable to your problem areas.

If you try them individually and find they are not suited to you or the therapist wants to book you in for numerous sessions without giving you a detailed explanation of what they expect to achieve each session, try something different.

Some people may prefer other modalities because they do not want the pressure sometimes needed in remedial massage.

But most of the other techniques merely reflect, magnify or are an adaptation of various techniques being used by a competent remedial therapist during a normal treatment anyway.

In one way or another, real REMEDIAL massage on its own is about balancing muscles, realigning or mobilising joints, releasing tight fascia, increasing the flow of blood, oxygen and lymph fluid, opening nerve pathways, overall realignment and creating relaxation.

But most importantly, it’s also about identifying what is actually CAUSING your problems and focusing there; not just using a particular technique to work on your symptomatic areas.

When a therapist who is not highly experienced and very competent in each of the other modalities experiments with them on you in a haphazard way, they can leave you feeling worse.

That happened to two recent clients of mine. They had booked in for a remedial massage with another therapist and were given “mongrel” massage. One is a drive-in, drive-out miner who couldn’t walk or drive back to work the next day and consequently missed a full week’s employment. She needed my proper remedial massage to get her moving again.

The other person also felt much worse even days after the “mongrel massage” session. Of course, both have sworn never to go near that therapist again.

The reason most private health funds cover remedial massage is because it is proven to work as an overall treatment and preventive measure, and is widely accepted. A competent therapist should be able to make a noticeable difference in just one session with common pain areas like sore back, hips, neck, shoulders, legs, knees, arms, feet, sciatica, headaches, etc.

I specialise in remedial massage. I use a simple and quick postural assessment technique that can identify in about 30 seconds virtually every muscle in your body that will be sore or tight and contributing to your problem areas. Many of those you won’t even be aware of until they are massaged.

While I give a comprehensive fully body massage from your feet to your head (because usually just concentrating on your sore areas is pointless and can make the problems worse), I can put the focus into the areas I know really need the attention. That type of massage also takes proprioception into account.

Proprioception is another story. Ask your therapist to explain it and its role in the body and how it might be contributing to your problems. If they can’t, maybe you need another therapist. Click here for more information about PROPRIOCEPTORS.

David Hall ©

TOWNSVILLE MASSAGE – REMEDIAL THERAPIST

Townsville massage therapist based in Mount Louisa and specialising in Remedial Massage for all types of muscle and/or joint aches and pains, headaches and migraines. Guaranteed best value for money remedial massage in Townsville. CALL NOW on (07) 4774 6973 or 0438 774 819 to book an appointment.

 

Whether you’re just about to implement a New Year’s “Get Fit” resolution with gym or 12-week challenge sessions, or you’ve been enjoying Townsville’s fabulous Winter weather and its opportunities for many outdoor sports and recreational activities, there is something simple you can do to make that exercise more effective.

It’s time for all you sport, fitness and exercise enthusiasts to do a SELF-CHECK to see if you need what you probably think is a SPORTS massage.

You might think you’re fabulously fit, fat-free, trim, taut and terrific and don’t need a massage? But are you and do you?

Is your posture as it should be?

Does you idea of “taut” convert into “TOO tight?”

Do your legs feel sore after going for a run or do you regularly get shin splints? If you’re lifting weights, does one shoulder hurt or feel weaker than the other?

Do you assume your ongoing niggling pain anywhere is just a result of your exercise and that it’s a case of “no pain, no gain?”

If your posture’s not right – and that particularly includes your feet and hip alignment, some of the energy you expend on your exercise is being wasted and you leave yourself more prone to pain and injury.

Let me clarify something. You DON’T need a SPORTS massage. In its truest context, that really is only five to 15-minute pre or post competition massage – a quick rub down and stretch of the muscle groups you’re most likely to work during a game or event.

You need a REMEDIAL massage that looks at the big picture of your OVERALL posture.

The first thing you need for a SELF-CHECK is a mirror – preferably full length.

Stand totally relaxed in front of the mirror and check if both shoulders are at exactly the same level. Look at the same point on either shoulder. You can even use the distance from the side of your neck to your collar or shoulder strap on each side as a guide.

Also check if your neck and head seems to be tilting more towards one shoulder.

Then put a finger on the front bony part at the top of each hip on the outside. See if they appear level. If that’s too hard, look to see if your belt or the elastic on your shorts or underwear appears lower on one side, or similarly with the stripes on a dress.

If either or both the shoulders or hips, or head, don’t appear level, you need a REMEDIAL massage.

Then look at where each knee is pointing. Is each foot pointing in the same direction as the knee?

If not you need a REMEDIAL massage.

March up and down on the spot several times. When you stop, check if one foot is slightly ahead of the other and/or is one foot turned out more?

If so, you need a REMEDIAL massage.

Check your feet. Do you appear to have flat feet or high arches? Maybe your shoes tend to wear more on one side? Do your toes pull back then bend down? Is your big toe pulling inwards? Are the tendons going to your toes on top of your feet becoming obvious and look tight?

With any of those, you need a REMEDIAL massage.

If you already go to a “Sports” massage therapist, do they initially check that your feet, hips and jaw are in their correct alignment or do they just work where you say you are sore or YOU think you need the treatment?

Don’t assume something that is “sore” is necessarily “tight.” The soreness may be from muscle weakness.

Most exercise and sporty types assume they need Sports massage because that term is bandied about in its wrong context. What you really need is a comprehensive REMEDIAL massage, to loosen up your muscles and get them back in balance and your posture back in alignment.

Some areas may need more focus than others – but not necessarily where you feel “sore.”

Give me a call for a REMEDIAL massage now and I’ll explain all the above in more detail and help get you realigned.

David Hall ©

TOWNSVILLE REMEDIAL MASSAGE THERAPIST

Townsville massage and musculoskeletal therapist based in Mount Louisa and specialising in Remedial Massage for all types of muscle and/or joint aches and pains, headaches and migraines. Guaranteed best value for money remedial massage in Townsville. CALL NOW on (07) 4774 6973 or 0438 774 819 to book an appointment.

 

Four Arches

Each foot has four arches. There’s the medial arch (the one you think about) on the inside of the foot, a lateral arch (outside of the foot), a transverse arch (across the foot), and a metatarsal arch (ball of the foot). All are vital to the correct alignment of the feet and, in particular, the ankle joint on which all your weight initially rests. One or more of those arches (usually the medial and/or metatarsal) out of alignment can start a chain reaction of muscle imbalances throughout the body. These subsequently may be at least part of the reason for headaches and migraines.

Level Toes

When the weight is off your feet (as in sitting or laying down), the top of your feet and toes should be level. If your toes pull back and then curl down and your big toe is starting to pull inwards, that is a sign the metatarsal arch (ball of the foot) is starting to collapse due to too much pressure on the ball of the foot. It is also usually indicative of high arches. In some cases you will notice the tendons to the toes in the top of the feet are visible and hard. All those effects will take your foot alignment out of neutral and will contribute to a range of muscle imbalances throughout your body.

Ankle Joint Alignment

The alignment of the ankle joints is critical for correct alignment of the hips. Poor hip alignment creates postural/muscle imbalances throughout the body. You can easily check if your ankles are rolling in or out with a credit or business card. Stand the card on its end; hold it flat on the floor with one side up against the outside of your heel. If the side of your ankle bone – known as the Lateral Maleolus – is not also touching the side of the card, your ankle is rolling in (pronating). If the Maleolus pushes the card away from the side of the heel, the ankle is rolling out (supinating). At times the ankle may appear to be in neutral but other factors (e.g. high arches) may offset that benefit and cause tightening of leg muscles leading to shin splints.

Flat Feet or High Arches?

Some people think they have flat feet when in fact they have high medial arches that have collapsed to some extent. If your ankles over pronate (roll in too much), that can give the appearance of flat feet. Ankles in their correct alignment are critical to have good muscle balance throughout the body because the whole weight of the body is supported on the ankle joints. If your ankles pronate, relatively cheap orthotics from most pharmacies, some shoe stores or on-line can prove a major benefit.

Cheaper Orthotic Options

Poor foot alignment can cause back pain, among a number of other ailments. If you’re worried about the typical $500 to $1200 cost of custom-made orthotics from a podiatrist (some may be slightly cheaper and less health fund rebates), there are significantly cheaper options available. Many pharmacies have a range of generic orthotics (generally between $17 and $50) that suit pronating (rolling in) ankles and arches. Some shoe stores have electronic foot testing equipment and carry semi-generic orthotics (generally about $60-$100) that can ideally match your needs. People with high arches and toes pulling back and curling down often need an orthotic with a “metatarsal dome.” This is a small hump near (but not under) the ball of the foot, which helps to flatten the toes and take pressure off the ball of the foot. Most brands carried by pharmacies don’t have this dome. I can check your feet and advise on various options. If you can’t afford very expensive sports or work shoes, sometimes the best option is to buy your shoes (without any internal arch support) from a mucher cheaper store and then add a generic orthotic from a pharmacist.

Avoid Hard/Ridid Orthotics

Avoid using hard, inflexible orthotics at all costs. These may be made from resin, fibreglass, very hard plastic or other very stiff materials and usually have a slight padding layer on top. In my opinion, these hard orthotics can wreck your feet and ultimately cause a range of muscular and postural imbalances throughout the body. Each foot has 26 bones, all attached by small ligaments. The two feet account for more than a quarter of all the bones (206) in the body. We were never meant to be wearing shoes. All those bones and ligaments were meant to be able to move and flex to allow us to walk over uneven ground, sand, rocks, etc. Hard orthotics prevent that. Insist on rubberised orthotics and make sure any orthotic has at least some flexibility.

Proprioception

Every muscle and joint in the body (plus the Middle Ear) has what is known as proprioceptors. They are neurotransmitters – like nerve terminals – that send signals to and from the brain about the body’s balance, position and movement. Because the whole weight of the body is supported on the feet, and particularly the ankle joints, there are many proprioceptors there. So if the feet and ankle joints aren’t in their correct alignment, some of the proprioception signals from the feet to the brain will be compromised, causing muscle and postural compensatory effects that could result in muscle or joint pain anywhere in the body. It can also lead to headaches and migraines.

Plantar Fasciitis 

Do you experience pain in the feet when you first get out of bed in the morning? It may last for only a few steps or a few minutes. If so, you’ve probably got Plantar Fasciitis. The plantar fascia is like a connective tissue or ligament that helps create the arch in your foot. It attaches to the front of the heel bone, to a fibrous covering of the bone called periosteum. When the feet and ankles are out of alignment, the plantar fascia begins to pull the periosteum away from the bone. Overnight (or after long periods off your feet), the body starts making repairs. Then you stand up (as in getting out of bed) and it damages those repairs, causing your pain. I can advise on some simple options to avoid and/or correct Plantar Fasciitis.

Ice or Heat for Plantar Fasciitis?

One bit of advice you will be given by various physical therapists if you have plantar fasciitis is to roll the foot on a bottle of frozen water (ice). I cringe when I hear that advice. Ice is great because the “itis” in Plantar Fasciitis means your Plantar Fascia is inflamed, so ice is exactly what you need. But whereas HEAT helps to stretch muscles and other soft tissue like fascia, tendons and ligaments, ICE will help to shrink them. So if you roll your foot on a frozen bottle you are trying to stretch and shorten your soft tissue, like the Plantar Fascia, at the same time. That doesn’t make sense. I suggest you sit your feet on ice to reduce the inflammation, then let your feet warm up naturally, then do some gentle foot and leg stretches. Putting some mild heat on your calf muscles and tendons to help them stretch when your feet have warmed up wouldn’t hurt.

Heel Spur

Heel Spur is an advance on Plantar Fasciitis (see above). If you have Plantar Fasciitis and do nothing about it, the bone may start growing out to meet the periosteum. Hence the bony growth called Heel Spur. That can be much harder to fix, more painful and sometimes requires other medical intervention. In some cases, surgery is suggested but a number of my clients have mentioned this has not only NOT worked, but led to even more foot problems.

Charcot Foot

Charcot Foot (pronounced Shark-oh) is a particularly debilitating foot condition that, if left untreated, can lead to amputation. It is best treated by your doctor (and possibly your surgeon) in conjunction with a podiatrist. It is not something physical therapists can specifically deal with, but remedial massage therapists are able to help with the painful muscle and joint consequences for the rest of the body through the various compensatory effects it causes, and by easing your tight leg muscles. Charcot Foot can manifest itself in various ways, primarily with the main arch totally collapsing and a “rocker bottom” hump forming below the normal level of the heel and ball of the foot. This can often lead to serious infections. Charcot Foot is usually caused by nerve damage (neuropathy) – often from diabetes – which stops you actually feeling any initial pain and the condition developing. If you notice your foot changing shape significantly, especially the main arch collapsing, consult your doctor and/or podiatrist as soon as possible. Steps can be taken to minimise or avoid the condition.

David Hall ©

MASSAGE TOWNSVILLE THERAPIST – REMEDIAL

Townsville Massage therapist based in Mount Louisa and specialising in Remedial Massage for all types of muscle and/or joint aches and pains, headaches and migraines. Guaranteed best value for money remedial massage in Townsville. CALL NOW on (07) 4774 6973 or 0438 774 819 to book an appointment.

 

 

Sports

In its truest context, SPORTS massage is 10 to 15-minute pre or post competition massage. Many people think they need a SPORTS massage when they actually need a REMEDIAL massage. A sports masseur should already be a qualified remedial masseur because he/she may need to work with injuries. If you’re trying to recover from heavy sports, gym or exercise pain or injuries, or prepare for competitions (or things like Defence BFAs), you need a REMEDIAL massage.

Deep Tissue

This massage works deep into the muscle tissues to release and stretch tight muscle and help tone weaker muscles through improved blood, oxygen and lymph supply.

Remedial

REMEDIAL massage is DEEP TISSUE massage, but DEEP TISSUE is not necessarily REMEDIAL. A massage is only DEEP TISSUE if the therapist only works on one side of the body – eg just the back of the body, instead of the front of well. (There are many tight muscles in the BACK that need treatment, but they often result from tight muscles in the FRONT.) A REMEDIAL massage therapist looks at all aspects of the body – front/back, left/right, up/down and in/out for a more effective treatment.

Swedish/Relaxation

Swedish Massage is a relaxation massage. It is a firm but gentle massage with the therapist using mainly longer, broader strokes as distinct from the deeper, more specific techniques used in remedial massage. Massage by a beauty therapist or in a day spa will be the Swedish type. It is not the massage you need if you have sore or aching muscles or joints.

Pregnancy

Pregnancy massage is ideal for any stage of pregnancy. Once a woman can no longer lie on her stomach, the massage is performed with her lying on her side (unless the therapist has a special pregnancy massage table). Pregnancy massages can be relaxing or remedial and may include some lymphatic techniques to reduce fluid build-up. Most women prefer a REMEDIAL massage to help alleviate their sore muscles, in particular lower back and legs. By about the start of the second trimester, the massage therapist should also ensure the woman’s right hip/lower back is slightly elevated to ensure the weight of the baby is not pressing on the Vena Cava, a major vein returning de-oxygenated blood to the heart. A good pregnancy massage will include having the hips realigned and hip flexors released to reduce muscle imbalance pressures on the lower back.

Musculo-Skeletal Therapy

This covers more aspects than just getting you on the table and giving you a remedial massage. A musculo-skeletal therapist will also give you a postural assessment, and may perform various stretches and/or recommend stretching and exercise activities, discuss some generic nutritional aspects that may contribute to your condition (eg arthritis), and/or use various other modalities (eg lymphatic drainage, myofascial release, joint mobilisation, neuro-lymphatic points, etc) as part of the treatment.

David Hall ©

MASSAGE TOWNSVILLE THERAPIST

Townsville Massage therapist based in Mount Louisa and specialising in Remedial Massage for all types of muscle and/or joint aches and pains, headaches and migraines. Guaranteed best value for money remedial massage Townsville. CALL NOW on (07) 4774 6973 or 0438 774 819 to book an appointment.

 

 

28 March 2014

Poor foot alignment is often at least largely responsible for common back and other muscle and joint pain throughout the body. It’s impact can be easy and inexpensive to rectify.

Because the feet usually don’t feel sore, they are seldom mentioned to health practitioners of various types and therefore are rarely taken into consideration.

I’ve had numerous clients over the years where a thorough massage and pair of off-the-shelf orthotics from a pharmacy or shoe store has fixed or relieved back and other pain they’ve suffered for years.

In one case, an 80-year-old client had been on multiple strong medications for back pain for years – with their consequent many often-debilitating side effects. But after a comprehensive massage to loosen muscles and realign posture, and buying a $45 pair of generic orthotics from a pharmacy, the chronic pain disappeared.

No one had bothered checking her feet before.

I always check the foot alignment (as well as hip and jaw alignment) of every new remedial massage client.

I am a remedial massage therapist, not a podiatrist. But I also have studied under a highly experienced podiatrist and that helps me to take a big picture perspective of what happens with body posture and alignment from the ground up.

From a massage perspective, just massaging the feet will basically have little or no change effect at all on foot posture, even though having the feet massaged usually feels great for most people.

The therapist needs to particularly consider the calf and shin muscles that move the feet. They are in the top half of the lower leg. Below that to the tips of the toes are mainly just long tendons of those muscles and the small ligaments holding the 26 feet and ankles bones in each foot together.

It’s almost impossible to change your actual foot posture – e.g. high arches or flat feet. Once you’ve reached adulthood, your bones and hardened and that is largely what you’re stuck with. But it is possible to change the way the feet strike the ground and therefore minimise or nullify the effect poor foot alignment will have on the rest of your body.

The therapist also needs to take into account various other alignment issues and muscles pulled out of balance by the compensatory effects of foot problems.

To begin to understand why the feet are so important, you first need to consider that the whole weight of the body when standing is supported on the feet, and particularly the ankle joints.

Most people don’t realise that when walking, running or jogging, the big Tibia bone in the lower leg and Femur bone in the thigh rotate via the knee joint. Those two bones are meant to rotate in synch/unison.

However, they can only do that if the ankle joints are in their correct neutral position. So if you have ankles or feet arches rolling in or out, or perhaps the main (medial) arch rolling out and the ankle rolling in, the ankle joint simply can’t be in neutral.

The rotation of Tibia and Femur is very subtle and you don’t even realise it is happening. When rotation is out of synch, the hips are pulled out of alignment and a myriad of muscular and postural compensations start happening from there, leading to pain anywhere in the body and even headaches and migraines.

In normal gait, the heel is meant to strike the ground first with two degrees of outwards rotation on the outer heel. As the foot comes down, it should roll in six degrees and then as the foot begins to lift off it rolls back out six degrees. The foot lifts off the ground, that leg speeds up as the other foot is on the ground, gets ahead of the other leg and then goes through that strike and roll motion again.

Try exaggerating the foot strike and roll for yourself and see just how much the knee turns.

Some of your knee pain also may originate from poor foot alignment and those bones rotating out of synch.

Most people also don’t realise the foot has four arches. The main (medial) arch is the one everyone knows about and refers to. But there is also a lateral arch down the outside of the foot, a transverse arch across the top of the foot and a metartarsal arch over the ball of the foot.

All four of those arches need to be in their correct alignment for the ankle joint to be in neutral.

When buying shoes, thongs or sandals, something to be wary of is just buying a particular brand or style purely for the initial comfort. Comfort is important, but some popular brands have a cork base, seem to fit your feet like a glove and are exceptionally comfortable. Over time the cork base can mould to your existing foot shape and if that is not correct it could prolong rather than help a range of problems.

PROPRIOCEPTORS

Another important aspect involving the feet that is rarely ever considered by any therapist/practitioner is the role of proprioceptors and the muscle responses and compensations they trigger.

Proprioceptors are a neurotransmitter – like a nerve terminal. Every muscle and joint in the body plus the middle ear has them. They monitor the body’s balance, position and movement. Your brain needs to know at any given time exactly where every part of your body is.

Say, for example, you had one arm extended right out to one side and the other arm extended out to the other side. Do you think your brain would allow you to walk through a doorway? Of course not. Because of proprioception, it knows your body won’t fit through a doorway with the arms extended.

Because the whole weight of your body is supported on your feet, and particularly the ankle joints, there are many proprioceptors there. So if feet aren’t in their correct alignment, the brain will get signals to compensate by triggering muscular and postural changes to keep you in balance.

Some of those changes will eventually transform into pain – until you correct or at least mitigate the original problem of the feet being out of alignment.

Theoretically, if people had a regular regime of foot, leg and hip exercises and stretches they could overcome many or most of the problems generated by their feet.

In reality, very few people would ever stick to such a regime.

Realistically, once you reach the end of your teen years/early adulthood when your bones have hardened, the shape of your feet at that time is what you’re stuck with. However, you can change what happens when your feet strike the ground.

That’s why many pharmacies and some shoe stores carry a range of generic orthotics and orthotic thongs, sandals or other footwear that suit many situations – especially ankles rolling in and low medial arches.

Podiatrists are the foot specialists and can provide custom made orthotics. But insist on getting rubberised orthotics that support your feet while allowing them to flex and move, as they should. Never accept very hard, rigid, inflexible orthotics – even with some padding on top. In my opinion, they will not only damage your feet more but also cause other repercussions throughout your body.

Each foot has 26 bones, all attached by small ligaments. The two feet represent more than a quarter of all the bones in the body.

We were never meant to wear shoes. We were meant to be able to walk over sand, rocks and uneven ground, etc. The reason for so many bones in such a small space is so all those bones and ligaments can move and flex to accommodate all the different surfaces we might stand on.

Hence the need to avoid rigid orthotics (e.g. made out of resin, fibreglass, hard plastic, etc., even with a bit of padding on top).

Some more specialised shoe stores also have measuring equipment that shows the exact pressure points in your feet and can give you much cheaper semi-generic customised, rubberised orthotics ideally sorted to your feet.

If you’re experiencing any type of muscle pain or headaches, make sure your therapist not only gives you a thorough massage but always checks your feet alignment and treats you accordingly.

For some more interesting FOOT FACTS, click on this link.

David Hall ©

TOWNSVILLE REMEDIAL MASSAGE THERAPIST

Townsville Massage and overall musculoskeletal therapist based in Mount Louisa and specialising in Remedial Massage for all types of muscle and/or joint aches and pains, headaches and migraines and preparation for and recovery from exercise, sporting and fitness activities, include Defence fitness tests. I guarantee the best value for money remedial massage in Townsville. CALL NOW on (07) 4774 6973 or 0438 774 819 to book an appointment.

 

10 February 2014

Are you having trouble falling pregnant? Or do you suffer any of the 6,000 or so medically diagnosable conditions where hormonal imbalance is considered a major factor?

There’s just a chance one of my specialised remedial massages may help.

Obviously there can be numerous medical, physiological or psychological and other factors involved in pregnancy difficulties and other hormonal issues, but sometimes the simplest ANATOMICAL issues that MAY be causing or contributing to those are often overlooked.

Here’s why and how MY remedial massage may assist.

The longer and harder you try to fall pregnant, the more physical and mental stress you put yourself through. Or that stress can come from a variety of other factors. Stress in itself will have an effect on your hormones.

Remedial massage is a great stress reliever. Just about everyone knows that. On its own, however, a basic massage and simple stress relief almost certainly is not enough.

One thing often forgotten or overlooked by many health practitioners of various types is one of the FIRST things they learn in their anatomy and physiology studies – an age-old law that “Structure (anatomy) governs function (physiology).” If the structure is not right, the function of the body won’t be.

For example, something most people don’t realise is that hormones may be affected if your jaw is out of alignment!

Think about this. When you breathe, your chest rises and falls slightly and that creates a very subtle, almost imperceptible movement of your spine right down to your sacrum at the base of the spine.

This movement creates a gentle pulsing rhythm at the sacrum in conjunction with a gentle rhythmical movement of the cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) in the skull and down the spinal chord. The skull’s Sphenoid bone plays vital roles in this rhythm and in the chemical health of the CSF and your hormones. The rhythm at the sacrum is mimicked back via the CSF up into the skull into a place called the sphenobasiliar junction. It is a very complex process also involving the whole respiratory system.

Put simply, however, this entire rhythm process helps to regulate your hormones. But because there is no SIMPLE medical test or scan – where a doctor just signs a form and gets the results back a short time later – to detect and measure sacral-cranial rhythm and its hormonal influence, it is rarely, if ever, considered by the medical profession as having any potential impact on your hormones.

So if, for example, a person was unknowingly breathing unevenly, this rhythm could be impacted and that could disrupt your hormone regulation.

Obviously, an electrocardiogram (ECG) can easily measure heart rhythm, but breathing also involves LUNGS, among various other things. A question to consider, “Is the rhythm generated by the heart and lungs similar to what reaches the sacrum and is mimicked back to the skull via the CSF?” It may not be if spinal and other muscles are too tight and the spine cannot move and flex as it should. Perhaps you have some spinal deterioration, injury or disease.

Simply taking your blood pressure using a blood pressure machine won’t show any slight variations in heart rate. You may, however, be able to detect some subtle differences by feeling your own pulse at the wrist.

Now here’s where it gets interesting from a purely ANATOMICAL point of view – and you need to remember that the medical profession mainly focuses on the physiology (function) of the body rather than the anatomy (structure).

The Vagus nerve – probably THE most important nerve in your body – controls, among many other things, HEARTRATE and LUNGS. That’s YOUR BREATHING.

The Vagus nerve, as with any nerve in the body, can be impinged by the Temporo Mandibular Joint (TMJ – jaw joint) opening unevenly. If the jaw is not in its correct alignment, as it opens it can impinge the Dura Mater.

This is the outer of three membranes (Meninges – as in Meningitis) around the brain and down the spinal chord through which all nerves must pass to supply all your organs, muscles and other bodily functions with instructions from the brain.

There could be a number of reasons why your TMJ might be out of alignment – including stress. Occasionally it is a dental issue, sometimes it is due to whiplash injury, but more often than not it is purely muscular and one that I can usually easily fix.

One of the things that very few health practitioners of any type ever consider during routine or other examinations/assessments is your feet being out of alignment. That could include ankles or arches rolling in and/or out, bent toes, etc. In fact, there are FOUR arches in the foot (medial, lateral, transverse and metatarsal) – not just the medial or inner arch you think about.

Also consider that the ENTIRE weight of your body initially rests on your ankle joints so they play a vital role in the body’s balance, position and movement and therefore any compensatory muscular and postural effects ordered by the brain.

Whenever you walk, run, jog, etc., the big Tibia bone in your lower leg and the Femur bone in your upper leg rotate via the knee joint. It is very subtle and you don’t realise it is happening. Those two bones are meant to rotate in synch but they can only do that if your ankle joints are in their correct NEUTRAL position. The ankle joints WON’T be in NEUTRAL if your ankles and arches roll in or out or you have other foot alignment issues.

When the Tibia and Femur rotate out of synch, it puts pressure into a couple of big ligaments in the hip joint, which forces the hip out of its correct alignment. Because the hips are the ANATOMICAL or STRUCTURAL centre of the body, any misalignment of the hips will cause postural and muscle imbalances right up into the neck, shoulders and even the jaw – and back down the legs to the feet.

It is the combination of all those factors that can then pull the TMJ out of alignment, which in turn may impinge the Dura Mater. That in turn may affect the Vagus nerve, distorting your breathing and the sacral pulse and in turn impacting on your hormones.

So, simply put, if your feet are out of their correct alignment, it may be affecting your hormones – a possible reason you have trouble falling pregnant or suffer other hormonal imbalances.

The 6,000 or so diagnosable medical conditions where hormonal imbalance is a major factor include headaches, migraines, depression, emotions running rampant, hair loss, Alzheimer’s, moods, allergies, various diseases, behaviours, acne and thousands of others.

So all the above could also apply to any of those conditions.

There also could be postural and muscle imbalances, starting anywhere in the body, that in turn pull your TMJs out of alignment. A comprehensive remedial massage where the focus is on the areas that are ACTUALLY tight (not necessarily where you might feel sore) is a great fix for those.

(If all the above sounds far fetched, I suggest you read this article again slowly and research each individual aspect I have mentioned). 

With EVERY new remedial massage client, I check feet, hip and jaw alignment. I can do that literally within about a minute and I have a special technique whereby in almost all cases I can have your hips realigned – painlessly – within about two minutes.

A simple jaw test that takes less than 30 seconds can identify if your jaw is likely to be impinging any nerves. This test will not identify what or how many nerves, but the test clearly indicates jaw impingement to a greater or lesser degree. About 30 to 40 per cent of my clients have jaw alignment and nerve impingement issues they were not aware of.

I give a comprehensive, thorough remedial massage that takes all the above and many other things into account. The massage not only leaves you feeling relaxed, but also helps stretch and loosen tight muscles and improve overall muscle and postural balance – and realigns your hips and jaw.

With your first remedial massage, I also give you an additional 40-50 minutes FREE to get your medical history, do various assessments and spend time explaining various body interactions, including the above.

I would not want to offer any false hope about my remedial massage helping in your quest to fall pregnant, but surely when you consider all the above it is at least worth a try.

For some more interesting DID YOU KNOW information about a range of BODY INTERACTIONS, click on this link.

David Hall ©

TOWNSVILLE REMEDIAL MASSAGE THERAPIST

Townsville Massage therapist based in Mount Louisa and specialising in Remedial Massage therapy for all types of muscle and/or joint aches and pains, headaches and migraines and preparation for or recovery from a range of sporting, fitness and recreational activities. I guarantee the best value for money remedial massage in Townsville. CALL NOW on (07) 4774 6973 or 0438 774 819 to book an appointment.

 

8 February 2014

Many times over many years I have advocated in various media that Australian Defence Force members should have access to remedial massage as part of their normal health entitlements.

After all, most Defence members work and train harder, longer and tougher than most elite athletes, including Olympians, who all seem to recognise the vital part massage plays in their preparation and ongoing success.

But remedial massage is never likely to be made available to regular Defence members – in the same way that medical, surgical, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, dental and podiatry is – because the current outdated system, archaic Defence health policies and “old boy” medical networks are so entrenched.

Big Pharma also has a massive influence over these health policies. Natural therapies like remedial massage are the “natural enemies” of Big Pharma so there is little chance highly beneficial natural treatments will ever get a “look in.”

However, I continue to have a large and growing client base of current and former Defence members from all three Services who seek treatment privately for a variety of reasons.

Some are preparing for fitness assessments like BFAs or Special Forces entry tests, some have sore and aching muscles and joints from all their hard training and sporting activities, some need help with injury recovery, some just recognise the value of ongoing treatments and body maintenance, and many find the treatments they receive under their current entitlements just haven’t worked and this is seriously affecting their medical status and chances for overseas deployment..

Over many years I’ve also massaged a number of Defence medical and allied health professionals and some have openly recognised they simply cannot provide effective treatments for a range of conditions, because they have to work within the “system.”

But whatever the reason, my Defence clients recognise that remedial massage is their best option, or it complements (often outshines) other treatments they are entitled to.

In a previous life, I was the founder, owner and editor of the Northern Services Courier Defence community newspaper in Townsville for 18 years until 2006 and in another previous life I was an Army Reserve weekend warrior.

While the paper’s editor, I also visited East Timor within weeks of the Townsville-based 3rd Brigade troops deploying there in late 1999 and saw the arduous conditions in which the troops were working in various parts of the country.

So I have a reasonable knowledge of how the military system operates and the hard physical stresses and strains and hardships Defence personnel often have to endure.

Of major concern is that once many Defence members are “broken,” discharged then enter the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) system, the problems often worsen – again because they are not entitled to remedial massage and the treatments they actuallly need.

They are allowed heaps of physical therapy by allied health practitioners, but much of this tends to aggravate their problems and they may end up with chronic pain (if they didn’t already have it from lack of the proper treatment while a serving member). Chronic pain is self-feeding due to chemical processes and doesn’t rely on the status of the original injury.

Do a search on the DVA website for “massage” and it will come up with a screen that only mentions physiotherapy, chiropractic and osteopathy.

DVA and Defence bureaucrats and decision-makers apparently STILL do not realise, or DELIBERATELY IGNORE the fact – to the great disadvantage of their clients, that while those therapists have some massage skills, they are not specifically trained and qualified as MASSAGE THERAPISTS.

I have a number of DVA clients and although they have to pay for these treatments themselves, I am happy to offer them a discount.

As of 2020, I have been a massage therapist for 29 years (much of it as a professional sideline until 2006 when I sold the newspaper to concentrate full time on massage) and over that entire time I have acquired significant knowledge and skills that many other massage and physical therapists don’t have.

Go to the Articles page and read some of the Points of Difference (by clicking on the green print) between my treatments and that of other therapists.

DEFENCE DISCOUNTS AVAILABLE.

David Hall ©

TOWNSVILLE REMEDIAL MASSAGE THERAPIST

Townsville Massage therapist based in Mount Louisa and specialising in Remedial Massage for all types of muscle and/or joint aches and pains, headaches and migraines. I guarantee the best value for money remedial massage in Townsville. CALL NOW on (07) 4774 6973 or 0438 774 819 to book an appointment.

 

22 November 2013

Your primary school geometry teacher gave you the reasons for many of your common muscle and joint aches and pains, but you and your teacher probably still don’t realise it!

Think about ANGLES.

Remember the basic horizontals and perpendiculars? Think of the horizontals as the level of your hips and shoulders and the perpendicular as how your spine should be at right angles to those.

If one shoulder and/or hip is higher than the other, it changes the angles and therefore the length of your muscles and other soft tissue like tendons, ligaments and fascia on opposite sides of the body.

Muscles down one side of the spine will be tighter/shorter but on the other side they will be stretched/longer. That can manifest itself as pain or weakness in some muscles.

The angles created between hips and legs also change. Outside leg muscles on the high hip side will be stretched, but on the inside they will be short and tight. The opposite applies to the other leg.

If the front of your hips tilt down (known as anterior tilt) – particularly due to tight hip flexor muscles, the back of the hips must come up. That shortens the muscles particularly in the lower back and right up to the neck, shoulder and head and is often a major contributor to lower back and sciatic pain as well as headaches and migraines.

Anterior tilt also results in an increase in the lumbar (lower back) curve, which in turn reduces the spaces between the intervertebral discs that can then trap nerves and with compensatory effects for the rest of the spine. This is a common cause of sciatic pain into the buttocks and down the legs to the feet but it can also affect ANY nerve which can affect ANY function of the body.

Changes in angles sets up a whole set of compensatory and compounding muscle imbalances throughout your body from the feet to the shoulders, neck and head.

Does your therapist /practitioner level your hips level first so your brain can automatically start making adjustments to muscles to help bring them back into balance even before the actual massage or other physical treatment has commenced? I do.

Muscles have elasticity – to be able to stretch and contract. If the hips are levelled, muscles will use that elasticity to start springing back to their natural correct length.

If the hips are not level, the Sacrum – at the base of the spine – also will be skewed, possibly blocking vital nerve pathways taking signals back to the brain via the spinal chord about all aspects of your muscles, bones, organs, systems, etc.

A number of my remedial massage clients have said their medical or allied health practitioner has told them they have one leg shorter/longer than the other – even saying this was measured on x-rays or other scans, and that is a possible reason for their common muscle pains. What was NOT mentioned was that the hips were out of alignment when the x-ray or scan was taken; where the head of the femur joins the hip socket was higher, lower or twisted on one side, providing an inaccurate two-dimensional measurement.

Unless you have had polio, bone cancer, pins in your legs through accidents or other ankle, leg or hip surgery, or a major genetic deformity, by realigning the hips I can usually prove within two minutes you DON’T have one leg shorter/longer than the other. I have proven this to many hundreds of clients over many years.

I have developed a totally painless technique – without any forced manipulation of bones – that can have your hips back level within two minutes before I start the actual massage.

But don’t just believe me. Come and have a remedial massage and prove it for yourself.

David Hall ©

MOUNT LOUISA REMEDIAL MASSAGE THERAPIST

Mount Louisa-based Townsville massage therapist specialising in Remedial Massage for all types of muscle and/or joint aches and pains, headaches and migraines and preparing for and recovering from exercise, sporting and other fitness activities including Defence fitness tests. I guarantee the best value for money Townsville remedial massage. CALL NOW on (07) 4774 6973 or 0438 774 819 to book an appointment.

 

 

18 September 2013

Lower back pain (LBP) is one of the most common ailments treated by remedial massage therapists.

The success or otherwise of treatment depends on the causes or contributing factors, the competency of the practitioner and, often, whether the client is willing to follow advice (eg exercise or stretching).

If you mention LBP and any physical therapist just wants to focus the entire treatment on that area, you’d be well advised to leave and never come back.

The reason is that with LBP (as with many other ailments), there can be a myriad of causes and/or contributing factors, many of which the sufferer probably isn’t aware of.

By just focusing the entire treatment just on the lower back area, there is a good chance the therapist may aggravate the problem by increasing any existing inflammation.

Here’s just a few things any practitioner should consider:

•          Is the pain just due to, say, poor posture from working at a computer, studying or maybe driving a taxi or truck all day? Or perhaps even the vibrating and spinal compaction effects of riding a motor cycle or flying a helicopter while wearing a helmet?

•          What type of pain – more on one side than the other, sharp, burning, tingly, achy, numbness, etc.

•          Foot, ankle, hip, knee, spine, shoulder, jaw or other postural alignment issues.

•          Recent or old fractures, torn soft tissue, whiplash, etc.

•          Vertebral disc or other spinal damage or deterioration of some type.

•          Overall medical/disease/surgical history and use of pharmaceuticals.

•          Various sprains, strains and other overuse or repetitive injuries.

•          Deterioration or tears in joint/capsular cartilage or lubrication (eg clicking or grinding in hip joint).

•          Stress factors.

•          Exercise or sporting activity.

•          Age, height and weight factors.

The list just goes on and on.

LBP may be the result of any one or any combination of those factors.

Any health practitioner of any type who doesn’t take ALL those potential factors into account simply is not doing his or her job.

When they are all taken into account and the appropriate treatment given (and/or advice, if followed), a competent remedial massage or other physical therapist should be able to make at least a noticeable difference in a client’s pain levels in just one session.

If that doesn’t happen, there’s a good chance that treatment is beyond the scope of those therapists. Medical intervention may be required, at least initially by ordering investigative x-rays, scans, MRIs or ultra-sounds or possibly just by prescribing medication for immediate pain relief without which a remedial massage may not be possible.

This would normally be the case where there is some sort of probable vertebral/spinal damage or deterioration. But there also could be medical issues like kidney stones, infection, cancer or other disease.

In cases of sudden onset acute lower back pain, eg. bending down to pick up a paperclip and not being able to stand up straight again, it may be best to see a doctor first to get some strong pain relief. Without it, lying on a massage table in one position, eg. on your back, for an extended time may be too painful and not allow your therapist to give you an effective treatment.

Here’s some examples of where pain is increased or decreased with various activities and the likely or usual pathological implications (causes) of those pain behaviours.

•          Increased pain with sitting, coughing, back (spinal) flexion; or decreased when standing, walking or back extension is usually associated with intervertebral discs.

•          Increased pain with standing or walking – spinal canal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal). The pain may also be from vascular claudication (insufficient blood flow).

•          Increased when sleeping – non-musculoskeletal cause. If pain increases when rising from sleep, it is usually due to acute inflammation or ankylosing spondylitis (a type of spinal arthritis).

•          Increased when in prolonged positions – connective tissue inflexibility or McKenzie Postural Syndrome (prolonged poor posture overload, usually in under 30s).

•          Increased when sneezing – dural or spinal chord involvement. The Dura Mater is the outer membrane around the brain and spinal chord through which all nerves must pass.

•          Increased with spinal extension or decreased with spinal flexion may involve facet joint arthrosis/osteoporosis (degeneration of joints in the vertebral discs). Types of facet joint sprains may also be involved with decreased pain with spinal extension or increased pain with flexion.

•          Sciatic pain down the leg may be due to spinal deterioration or entrapment, but it may simply be a case of the sciatic nerve being impinged in tight buttocks muscles.

In some of the above cases (eg if vertebrae are chipped or cracked and compromising nerves), and depending on the severity of the condition, surgery may be the only option to relieve back pain – but only as a last resort.

In most cases, remedial massage by a competent and experienced professional can usually offer at least limited relief by helping to correct alignment issues that put more pressure on damaged discs and vertebrae that are more likely to trap nerves.

So if you suffer low back pain, before putting yourself through a battery of medical tests and expenses, try a thorough remedial massage to see if that helps.

David Hall ©

TOWNSVILLE REMEDIAL MASSAGE THERAPIST

Mount Louisa-based Townsville massage therapist specialising in Remedial Massage for all types of muscle and/or joint aches and pains, headaches and migraines and preparation for and recovery from sporting, exercise and fitness activities including Defence fitness tests. I guarantee the best value for money remedial massage in Townsville. CALL NOW on (07) 4774 6973 or 0438 774 819 to book an appointment.

 

28 March 2013

Size really does matter with remedial massage!

Let’s face it. People are all shapes and sizes – some tall, some short; some overweight, some super slim; some young, some old; some average size but packed with tight muscles, others same size but much more loose and flexible. And believe me, those descriptions are just the tip of the iceberg when you think about some combinations of the above.

Add to that the extent of particular problem areas, medical history, old injuries and skeletal conditions (eg scoliosis) and time between massages, and it creates whole new dimensions. Some big people might only be sore or tight in one area, but other small people are stiff and tight all over. Age and health conditions also throw in an extra list of challenges.

I’ve had 29 years (in 2020) experience as a massage therapist and I have the skills, qualifications, experience and competency to quickly assess you and give you the most appropriate treatment to achieve the best results in the TIME AVAILABLE.

My FIVE-STAR (top notch) postural assessment allows me to identify within about 30 seconds virtually every muscle that will be sore or tight, even before you get on the table. And other simple checks can point out if your problem areas are likely due to nerve entrapment and/or postural alignment issues.

You need at least an hour for a good, all-over remedial massage, and that’s what most people book. Generally speaking, this is sufficient to achieve at least noticeable improvement for people of all shapes and sizes with just ONE of my massages.

But what if, for example, you are a 208cm (6’6”) male or taller, with legs like tree trunks and a torso to match and you complain of being tight or sore all over? Or a bulky current or ex-footballer who doesn’t do enough stretching?

If you are only on the table for about an hour, I may have to skim over some areas where I really should or could spend more time.

I have one 208cm heavily built – but not fat – athletic client and he books in for two hours each time, which is about what’s needed for what I consider a thorough, comprehensive full body remedial massage for someone of his size and build. With some other stocky people but not quite as big, a 90-minute session is probably appropriate to get the best results.

But if you’re a very obese 150-200kg, an hour is probably sufficient. More can be achieved if more time is available, allowing me to work in deeper more slowly. It’s a real challenge to get to your many of your muscles and with some muscles that is impossible. I still massage those areas more lightly but I will focus on areas where the best results can be achieved. But sometimes the extra time and pressure needed may make a longer time too painful and I can make a difference in just an hour.

On the other hand I have a number of small, or tall and thin, 50-60kg females with model figures you think would take only about half an hour. But their slim bodies are really packed with over-tight muscles from all the gym exercise and get fit routines they do. They all need extra work and an hour just flies by.

I have massaged 14-year-old stocky footballers who need much more time and effort than an average sized or even overweight adult.

Stretching really is the icing on the cake with massage. But depending on your size, age and problem areas, in just an hour there is often no time to do more than a few basic stretches when I know more would be useful. I always include hip, shoulder, chest and neck stretches because, even if I was able to do nothing else, they help to free up the spinal nerve pathways that not only supply all your muscles but also all your organs.

I also give advice for you to stretch in areas I think would be useful to you but I don’t have time to do.

So what are your options?

The obvious one is to book more than an hour (e.g. 75 or 90 minutes) if you think your size, body shape and problem areas might require some extra attention or if you want to ensure you get a wider range of stretches.

Yes, longer massages cost slightly more. But if you have had other massage or physical therapies elsewhere, did you need to keep going back? And if so, how much did all those sessions cost you in total, how much time did you get per session (plus travel time there and back) and did you get a result? Importantly, did they drain many of your private health fund rebates for no obvious result?

You could book a massage more regularly – for maintenance. If you get a regular body tune-up, you won’t require as much work and an hour is generally enough.

Do more stretching at home or go to a yoga class. That would make you more flexible and an hour would be sufficient.

When I need to focus all of most attention on one particular problem area and factors contributing to that, one option is for me to concentrate on just that part of the body (e.g. top half back and front, or bottom half back and front) plus significant stretching that I think will produce the best results for you within the hour.

Typical examples of that scenario would be someone who wakes up in the morning and just can’t straighten up because of lower back pain, or if you just bend down to pick up something light (e.g. a paperclip off the floor) and suddenly find you can’t straighten. In that case, I would need to do extra tests for nerve entrapment, and extra lower body stretches. In fact, it would be better if you went to a doctor first to get some strong pain relief and/or heavily ICED the area before the massage to reduce the pain and inflammation. Lying on a massage table for an extended time with acute pain in the lower back may aggravate the problem.

But what if the problem actually originates in the jaw or there is jaw involvement and it really requires a full body massage?

I could go on and on. But what I will guarantee you is that I will give you the BEST VALUE FOR MONEY remedial massage in Townsville, no matter what length of time you choose and no matter what size or shape you are.

Think of how much you pay other practitioners for, in most cases, MUCH less time and often nowhere near the same result for your sore and aching muscles. Then the value of my remedial massages really starts to add up.

David Hall ©

TOWNSVILLE REMEDIAL MASSAGE THERAPIST

Townsville remedial massage therapist, based in Mount Louisa, for all types of muscle and/or joint aches and pains, headaches and migraines and preparing for and recovering from sports, exercise and other fitness activities including Defence fitness tests. I guarantee the best value for money remedial massage in Townsville. CALL NOW on (07) 4774 6973 or 0438 774 819 to book an appointment.

 

21 March 2013

Some years ago in a “previous life” (I’m also an ex-journalist and newspaper owner/editor and massage was then just a sideline), one of my newspaper staff members once quipped to me, “You’ve got a massage answer for everything!”

What she meant was that anytime anyone mentioned some type of ailment to me, it seems I could come up with a solution that included remedial, relaxation and/or lymphatic drainage massage.

That was probably because I’m qualified and experienced in those and other types of massage and associated treatments and I’ve personally enjoyed the many benefits of massage over many years.

In fact, I haven’t taken one full day off work through illness or muscle or joint issues for over 35 years (2020).

It would be ridiculous, of course, to claim massage is the answer to every problem. But it is amazing how many ailments, which many people automatically assume require a medical, surgical, pharmaceutical, physiotherapy, chiropractic or osteopathic solution, can be successfully treated, relieved or even prevented simply with massage, especially remedial massage, by a competent therapist.

To understand how and why massage is so versatile and successful, you first need to accept some basic “big picture” concepts about the human body.

Such as:
•    EVERY function of the body is controlled from the brain via the nerves, so nerve pathways throughout the body need to be clear. Nerves easily can be impinged within or between tight muscles, squeezed against bone by tight muscle, or trapped within joints pulled out of alignment by tight muscle. When I mention tight muscles, I also include other soft tissue like tendons, ligaments and fascia.

•    ANY nerve in the body can be impinged by misalignment of the Temporomandibular Joint – TMJ (jaw joint). As the jaw opens, it can impinge the Dura Mater, the outer of three membranes – known as Meninges (as in Meningitis) – around the brain and spinal chord through which all nerves must pass. TMJ problems are often caused by muscle imbalances elsewhere in the body.

•    It is tight or weak muscles that pull bones and joints out of alignment in the first place (unless the problem is caused through accident, injury or birth deformity).

•    EVERY organ, system, muscle and structure in the body requires OXYGEN (from breathing) to function. The body also needs to expel waste air (carbon dioxide) and other waste products. If the respiratory processes of inhaling and exhaling (and other waste removal) don’t work properly, it can create adverse effects (minor or major) in any system or function throughout the body.

•    Oxygen, together with a range of nutrients, dietary fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals, etc. are primarily transported around the body in the blood and lymphatic fluid.

•    A major structure in the body, which accommodates and protects most of the organs and has a VITAL role in breathing is the ribcage. The intercostal and various other muscles raise and lower the ribcage for breathing.

•    The ribcage is attached to the spine. If the spine and/or ribcage are distorted due to muscular/postural imbalances anywhere in the body (e.g. spinal scoliosis or heavily rounded shoulders), this may affect the breathing processes by not allowing the lungs to either fully inhale or exhale a normal breath. It can also put direct pressure on some organs.

•    If the lymphatic (immune) system is not functioning properly, the body becomes susceptible to everything from feeling run down to colds and flu to infections and major diseases. The ability to heal trauma (injuries, cuts, burns, fractures, etc.) also is reduced.

•    Stress is a recognised cause or factor in many ailments. Two ways stress manifests itself are through tired and aching muscles and the inability of the immune system to cope (e.g. infections or colds occur easily). Think about the MANY causes of everyday stress in your life (work, family, school, finances, traffic, illness, etc., etc.)!!

In EVERY one of the above situations, plus numerous others, massage has many benefits. These include releasing trapped nerves and clearing nerve pathways; balancing, de-tensioning, toning and helping to heal muscles; realigning the jaw; improving the circulation of blood and lymph fluid; helping detoxify muscles and organs; relieving stress and enhancing structural and postural alignment.

Massage also reduces pain and makes the recipient feel physically better and more relaxed. In turn this leads to improved psychological well-being – another important factor in relieving stress and healing.

Don’t only think of massage as a treatment for sore muscles. Think of it as assisting the whole body to HEAL ITSELF by helping balance and revitalise all its systems.

Even more important, massage is a great preventive measure. Other treatments (e.g. exercise or medical intervention) also may be needed, but massage – particularly remedial massage – is a great start.

If you feel stressed, seem constantly susceptible to colds, flu or infection, have sore muscles or your body aches, instead of just popping a pill or taking medicine as a quick fix for your symptoms, think of the “big picture” of how the body functions and try a remedial massage instead.

Different types of massage apply in different situations. I am happy to advise you on what would best suit your needs.

David Hall ©

TOWNSVILLE REMEDIAL MASSAGE THERAPIST

Mount Louisa-based Townsville Massage therapist specialising in Remedial Massage for all types of muscle and/or joint aches and pains, headaches and migraines. Guaranteed best value for money remedial massage in Townsville. CALL NOW on (07) 4774 6973 or 0438 774 819 to book an appointment.

 

5 February 2013

If you are a sporty type, exercise enthusiast or Defence member preparing for or recovering from fitness assessments, other events or competitions, you probably assume you need a “sports massage” to help fix or alleviate sore and aching muscles and joints.

However, be aware that in its truest context, “sports massage” is just five to 15-minute massage immediately prior to or after an event – if that’s all you want or need.

If you do regular exercise or are involved in regular competition and want a thorough massage to release knots and balance muscles and postural alignment to prepare for or recover from events, you need a REMEDIAL massage. This could be a single or multiple massages anywhere from several days to several weeks before or afterwards.

If your main focus is just on supervised exercises and stretching, rather than muscle massage, an exercise physiologist and/or physical training instructor is your best bet.

If you need several sessions to begin rehabilitation after significant injuries (or post surgery), you initially need a physiotherapist. Then you need a REMEDIAL MASSAGE to help all the compensating muscles to recover. That will also speed up the healing process by helping to realign your overall posture and reduce the impact on your damaged tissue. Be aware that most physiotherapists just tend to focus on your pain/injury areas. They are NOT massage therapists. If you just rely on physio treatments without taking all the compensatory effects into account, there is a chance your pain may become chronic (after three to four months). Chronic pain then feeds off itself via a cellular process.

Townsville, North Queensland is a fantastic city for players and spectators in amateur and professional sports and for people who just want to keep fit. It’s probably THE most community-spirited, sports-minded city in Australia.

Along with this sporting consciousness and the opportunities for exercise and fitness is a demand in Townsville for qualified, experienced and competent remedial and sports masseurs.

As a full qualified and highly experienced remedial masseur with some additional advanced sports therapy qualifications, I can provide you with the most appropriate treatments for all your common muscle and joint aches and pains.

David Hall ©

TOWNSVILLE REMEDIAL MASSAGE THERAPIST

Mount Louisa-based Townsville Massage therapist specialising in Remedial Massage for all types of muscle and/or joint aches and pains, migraines and other headaches. Guaranteed best value for money remedial massage in Townsville. CALL NOW on (07) 4774 6973 or 0438 774 819 to book an appointment.