Massage Therapy & Parkinson’s Disease

massage for Parkinson's disease by a registered massage therapist or RMT

Parkinson’s Disease and Massage Therapy

Parkinson’s Disease is a central nervous system disorder which affects the body’s motor function. This dysfunction is due to a lack of dopamine which is a brain chemical or neurotransmitter produced in the brain. Dopamine enables motor function (or muscle movement). Parkinson’s will often result in symptoms including rigidity in the muscles and joints, uncontrolled movements, and tremors. Difficulty with slow controlled movements such as holding a glass of water is common, as well as difficulty walking.

Massage in general plays a great role in reducing muscle soreness, and improving range of motion, so in the case of those suffering from Parkinson’s where severe muscle tightness and restriction in movements are an everyday issue, regular massage is very beneficial. Massage also decreases sympathetic nervous system firing, which is essential to reducing high tone in muscles.  Massage therapy has also been shown to be beneficial for constipation in people with Parkinson’s.

If massage therapy can help such extreme muscle rigidity and stiffness, imagine how it can also help those with everyday muscle tension. Our skilled registered massage therapists are usually covered by your insurance and can help relieve symptoms of Parkinson’s disease such as muscle stiffness and constipation.

Sources:

McClurg D, Walker K, Aitchison P, Jamieson K, Dickinson L, Paul L, Hagen S, Cunnington AL. Abdominal Massage for the Relief of Constipation in People with Parkinson’s: A Qualitative Study. Parkinsons Dis. 2016;2016:4842090. doi: 10.1155/2016/4842090. Epub 2016 Dec 8.

Casciaro Y. Massage Therapy Treatment and Outcomes for a Patient with Parkinson’s Disease: a Case Report. Int J Ther Massage Bodywork. 2016 Mar 4;9(1):11-8. eCollection 2016.

McClurg D, Hagen S, Jamieson K, Dickinson L, Paul L, Cunnington A. Abdominal massage for the alleviation of symptoms of constipation in people with Parkinson’s: a randomised controlled pilot study. Age Ageing. 2016 Mar;45(2):299-303. doi: 10.1093/ageing/afw005. Epub 2016 Jan 29.

Is There Such a Thing as Fertility Massage?

fertility massage by a registered massage therapist or RMT

Does Fertility Massage Help?

by CJ Paterson, RMT, at Forces of Nature Wellness Clinic

Yes it does, but please don’t take this as massage alone can fix your infertility or cause you to become fertile.

Here’s How Massage Can Improve Fertility

The pelvic floor contains your uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, bladder, rectum and the ligaments and connective tissue surrounding them. The intent of fertility massage is to release restrictions of your pelvic floor.  These restrictions may present themselves as lower back or hip pain, digestive issues, idiopathic infertility or painful menstruation. As a massage therapist, I would identify which restriction could be involved by gentle manipulation and release of the adhesions so that your organs can have full, healthy function.

What are the benefits of fertility massage?

  • Eases anxiety and stress by activating the parasympathetic nervous system (rest, digest & relax)
  • Increases blood flow to the digestive tract and reproductive system
  • Restores vitality and balance to affected organs

 Who would benefit from a fertility massage?

  • Anyone struggling with fertility
  • Clients with PCOS and endometriosis
  • Post-natal bladder incontinence
  • Anyone suffering from chronic low back or hip pain
  • Anyone experiencing painful menstruation or digestive irregularities

Stress and Fertility

Fertility is like a waltz, you and your partner need to be in sync or you start stepping on each other’s toes.  Your body as a whole needs to be functioning as one, the delicate balance of hormones to create the production, release, fertilization and implantation of the egg can’t happen if the balance is off. The number one cause of this is stress in the body. This can be as simple as daily hassles or a single big stressor, because the release of cortisol (the stress hormone) can interrupt the rhyme of the waltz which is so crucial to creating a life.

Research suggests that stress can change the length of your cycle, your ovulation date and create tubal spasms. Stress can amplify many feelings like fear, worry, emptiness and anger and these feelings can create physical and mental reactions which are manifested in the body.

This type of therapy uses techniques help to break the stress cycle by encouraging relaxation. These techniques address adhesions and mechanical factors that contribute to female infertility.

Click here for more about CJ

What is Deep Tissue Massage?

what is deep tissue massage by a registered massage therapist or RMT

What is Deep Tissue Massage (DTM) and What is it Useful for?

Deep tissue massage involves:

  1. slow, deep strokes that stretch and re-align the fibers of the muscles and
  2. deep compressions to reduce knots in the muscles.
  3. stretches are also used to lengthen muscle fibers and increase the range of movement in the joints.

Some discomfort is normal. An experienced Registered Massage Therapist (RMT) will use slow, sensitive strokes adapted to your pain threshold. You should never feel bruised or in pain the next day.

Who Provides Deep Tissue Massage?

The best practitioner to see for deep tissue massage is a registered massage therapist. They are the most highly trained professionals in bodywork for the soft tissues like muscles and tendons.

Which Conditions Benefit from Deep Tissue Massage?

  1. All musculoskeletal and related conditions including upper back, neck
    and shoulder tension, pain and stiffness
  2. Lower back pain and weakness, sciatica and all hip and pelvic pain and
    misalignment
  3. Muscle tension related headaches
  4. Recovery from illness, surgery and trauma from accidents
  5. Poor posture

Additional Benefits of DTM

Though deep tissue massage treats the muscles and other soft tissues of the body, it can have a very beneficial affect on the whole. Because muscles are involved in so many metabolic functions, it is common to experience improvements in your health you may not associate with your muscles, such as relief from asthma or sluggish digestion.

How long is  a Deep Tissue Massage Treatment?

Treatment time can vary from 30-90 minutes depending on the extent of treatment needed and your personal preference.

How will I feel after a DTM Treatment?

Relaxed and muscles should feel looser and freer. You may feel like you need a nap.  You should drink lots of water following a treatment to help flush out waste that has been mobilized by the treatment.

For questions about deep tissue massage, contact Helen Bhavnani, RMT, Lois Piper, RMT or CJ Patterson, RMT at Forces of Nature by calling 416-481-0222 or email reception at Maria@ForcesofNature.ca to book an appointment.

4 Ways to Get the Most from a Massage

registered massage therapy by a registered massage therapist or RMT

How to Get the Most from Massage Therapy

By Helen Bhavnani, Registered Massage Therapist

Massage therapy offers many health benefits.  Here are a few tips to help you make the most of a massage treatment.

  1. Do the stretches, or other self-care activities, that our awesome massage therapists (Helen, CJ, Sam or Lois) give you at the end of your treatment. We give these exercises to you because we want you to feel better longer!
  2. Ask questions. If you’re unclear about anything, please ask us to clarify.  If you think of something after you get home, call or email us especially if you are not sure about how often you should be coming for treatment.
  3. Come more often. Sometimes we can’t properly treat you in only one session. You will often feel better after one treatment, but find that soon afterward you go back to feeling aches and pains again. This means the underlying cause is not fully resolved. So like anything, give it a little more time. If massage is not helping your condition, we will always refer you to someone who we think will.
  4. Give us feedback. If you want us to change something about the way we do your
    treatment, if you’re not comfortable with something, or if you feel it would be more effective if we did something differently, please tell us. You know your body best. We want you to have the best experience possible, and it’s your treatment. We are there for you!
  5. Hydrate.  Before and after a treatment it’s a good idea to drink plenty of water to help the body flush out waste that has been mobilized by the massage.