Archive | June, 2011

Not Your Average Massage

23 Jun

Massage using techniques from Osteopathy? It sounded intense and frankly scary. For interest’s sake I figured I had to be tough and check it out. Lucky I did because I now consider it to be one of my favourite treatments.

Cody Cummings works out of Glow Acupuncture and Wellness Centre in Vancouver. He is a practising Registered Massage Therapist (RMT) since 2003. He just finished his 4th  year (out of 5) of Osteopathic Manual Therapy non-physician.

Cody Cummings Registered Massage Therapist

His room is clean, bright and calm with thankfully no overpowering “aromatherapy” smell. Cody himself is very calm and pleasant. He really makes you feel comfortable and relaxed.

My treatment started with an assessment, probably the most thorough I have ever had. This part was done with my clothes on. He asked me to bend, rock and move in different ways in order for him to observe/feel any restrictions in motion or asymmetries that I may have. It turns out that I had both, mostly in my hips. Not only are my hips asymmetrical (common) but also one side’s movement was quite restricted. Once he had identified this he left the room, and I got undressed and under the sheet.

Although this was one of the most pleasant massages I have ever had, it was not just a relaxation massage. Massage using techniques from Osteopathy is actually extremely beneficial for your health and is designed to actually correct problems, not just rid you of the symptoms.

No lotions or oils were used; the massage was less rubbing and more pressure, rotation and breathing. I played a passive role for most of the massage but at times I was asked to push against resistance. Breathing was also a big part; I was asked to breathe in and out at specific moments for specific techniques. For example he pushed on my ribcage as I breathed in deeply and let then let go, allowing for air to come very quickly out.

During the massage, four specific techniques were used:

Osteoarticular Techniques: These techniques address the alignment of bones and the joint surfaces. Some may find this similar to chiropractic techniques but in fact they are very different in that they are much more subtle, having far less velocity and amplitude.

Muscle Energy Techniques: This group of techniques uses the energy of muscle contraction and inhibition to bull bones back into alignment using the client’s own innate energy to do the normalisations.

Craniosacral Therapy: This addresses the bones of the cranium/skull and tissue that supports the central nervous system (dura), the connection between the head and pelvis.

Visceral Manipulation:  This group of techniques is to help normalise the position and function of the organs in the body.  The purpose of which is to normalise the circulation to the structure (arteries, veins, nerve, and lymphatic flow).  By helping the circulation function better, the organ itself will do its job better, allowing the body to attain homeostasis and auto-regulate.  Organ dysfunction often goes unnoticed, and can be the underlying cause for many aches and pains in the body and postural imbalances (somatic dysfunction).

All the techniques used actually felt good; at no point was there any pain. When the massage was done I felt lifted, taller, straighter and lighter. I was really impressed and frankly… surprised. Visually you could even see that my hips were more even and symmetrical.

Treatment frequency depends on the condition being treated; even a healthy person can benefit from regular visits as often as every 6 weeks to as little as 4 times a years.

I have had a lot of massages, many different types, and I have to say that this massage, using techniques from Osteopathy, was one of my absolute favourites. It was enjoyable the entire way through and left me with an overall feeling of well-being. If you are experiencing any pain or discomfort, if you want to improve your health or even if you just like to be massaged, massage with techniques from Osteopathy is the treatment to try and Cody Cumming is therapist to see.

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