Active Isolated Stretching
Developed by Aaron Mattes this therapy provides effective facilitated stretching of major muscle groups and, more importantly, profoundly impacts the functional and physiological restoration of superficial and deep fascial planes. An Active Isolated stretch involves taking the target muscle through a two second stretch to optimally lengthen the isolated muscle without triggering the protective stretch reflex and subsequent antagonistic muscle contraction. Restoration of full range of motion and flexibility can successfully be achieved using Mattes approach. This therapy can be done either in an assisted setting with the therapist doing the stretches or the client can be taught to use tools in a home exercise regime. I will use the Mattes stretches within a session of other types of bodywork to facilitate specific muscle lengthening but full body stretching sessions can be scheduled wherein a client can learn proper form in using the stretches in a home-base stretching routine.
Developed by Stuart Taws this therapy is a powerful and effective answer to many soft-tissue injuries, especially sports related injury. Initially, Stuart used his techniques in an aggressively applied program, working as soon as possible on injured tissue. I watched Stuart work on a sprained ankle within hours of injury and the results were amazing. Throughout the 1990s Taws presented seminars throughout the United States with his aggressive mechanical approach using deep pressures through a short stretch to regain muscle memory. New research on chronic pain led Stuart Taws to change his therapy . These new medical understandings are based upon new concepts of what pain is and where it comes from in the body. The new technology of pain relief is faster, easier and painless because it involves higher centers of self-healing. It seems as well to be permanent!
Touch For Health Applied Kinesiology
This technique, developed by John Thie, D.C., uses acupressure touch and massage to improve postural balance and reduce physical and mental pain and tension. Expanding upon the science of muscle testing and kinesiology this modality is a synthesis of skills from chiropractic, naturopathy, osteopathy and ancient Chinese acupuncture. Modern quantum physics has added explanations for a modality in which a muscle is tested, points on the body are touched and when the muscle is re-checked postural changes can occur in the body. Not only physical but mental and emotional changes can be noted.
Touch For Health uses muscles as a bio-feedback mechanism. Muscles can exteriorize our minds for all to see. Muscle tension once relieved can re-occur when we once again recall the original situation. Used as a tool that works at the connection between mind and body using the electromagnetic energy system called the meridians, Touch For Health interfaces the physical and subtle energy bodies as John Thie called it the science of energy balancing. Using applied kinesiology techniques muscles can be tested, strengthened or weakened as appropriate. Additional techniques can address nutrition, allergy, emotional strain and a host of other options.
Developed by Bruno Chikly, D.O., Lymph Drainage has been relatively slow to be recognized by the medical community at large, most likely because the transparency of lymph and the fineness of the lymphatic vessels render them very difficult to see even during dissection. Anatomists from ancient Greece first wrote of the larger lymphatic vessels. Much more work in the 16th and 17th centuries identified the lymphatic system as an integrated whole system in the body. Lymph Drainage (LDT) was the first modality to train practitioners to attune manually with the specific rhythm , pressure , quality and direction of the lymph flow.
Basically the lymphatic system belongs to the circulatory apparatus. Blood leaves the heart by means of the arterial system and returns via two pathways, the venous and the lymphatic pathways. Lymphatic circulation differs from blood circulation in that is has slower rhythm, low velocity and low pressure. Beginning with the feather fine lymph capillaries the lymphatics increase in size and eventually join the major venous circulation just before reaching the heart, transporting large proteins, foreign bodies, pathenogenic substances (germs, toxins, etc.) and many other components to lymph nodes which act as purification centers. The nodes break down and destroy unwanted particles so they can be eliminated from the body.
Trauma from injury, surgery, inflammation or infection can cause the build-up of fluids in the body, causing pain and swelling throughout the body. Using gentle pressures, the therapist will use lymphatic system maps to direct the fluid through the lymphatic vessels to reduce or eliminate edema (swelling), regulate fluid volume and pressure in tissue, carry food components from the small intestines to the blood stream and help maintain the optimal function and the integrity of the connective tissue. Applications of Lymphatic Drainage Therapy include rerouting stagnant fluid, draining toxins as part of treatment to promote regeneration (scars, stretch marks, wrinkles), aid with chronic or subacute inflammatory processes (bronchitis, acne, eczema, chronic fatigue, etc.) and by increasing parasympathetic and diminishing sympathetic tone (fight/flight response) be helpful in dealing with stress, depression or sleeping disorders.
Developed by Fritz Smith, M.D., Zero Balancing uses Western and Eastern anatomic and physiologic information relating to the systems of energy within the human body. Designed to create clearer, stronger fields of energy to resolve Imbalances this modality works with expanded states of consciousness induced through touch. Using a defined protocol the therapist employs a series of fulcrums and sweeps (vectors) to induce a working state of consciousness wherein change on many levels can occur. If a person is working on physical issues or experiencing stressful issues in his/her life it is recommended that regular sessions be scheduled over a few weeks to help stimulate and/or redirect the persons process, always with the goal of establishing a clearer, stronger force field through the body.
A modality which has been in service to humanity for thousands of years reflexology uses a form of touch which stimulates points on the foot (some therapists also use the hand or ear) which correspond to the organs in the body. In the United States, Dr. William Fitzgerald introduced the theory of Zone Therapy, five longitudinal zones on both the right and left sides of the body. The organs within these zones can be stimulated by pressure to the reflexes in the same zone on the foot. This is similar to Eastern systems of thought using the meridians or channels of energy in the body. Some believe these reflexes work by stimulating the circulatory system while others believe it has more to do with the nervous, lymphatic or energy systems. On either level the goal is to assist the client to come into a state of balance and awareness in order to establish a strong connection with the client's own innate ability to self-heal.