Registered Massage Therapists in B.C. are trained in various manual therapy techniques that they use according to the presenting pathology or patient complaint.
A thorough orthopaedic assessment can include any of the following: Postural assessment, joint range of motion, muscle strength and tendon reflex testing, and special testing. Special testing can include hundreds of directed tests designed to support or refute causes of symptoms or pathologies, helping the therapist choose appropriate techniques to use and outline an effective treatment plan.
The foundation of massage, Swedish massage includes strokes such as kneading, stripping, wringing, lifting, and jostling, either with elbows, palms, knuckles, fingertips or thumbs. They follow the principles of massage that encourage return of venous blood to the heart, that must start light and build pressure, that work out towards limbs from the torso, and that treat surrounding areas before treating the exact painful spot. Generally, Swedish massage has a relaxing effect as it decreases the firing of the sympathetic nervous system (“fight or flight” response), allowing the parasympathetic nervous system (“rest & digest”) to do its work. Swedish massage also includes “tapotement”, or short, fast stimulatory “tapping” techniques done with fingers, palms, or fists to increase local circulation, loosen mucus in respiratory tract, stimulate weak or hypotrophied muscles, and provide general stimulation to the sympathetic nervous system.