The Touch: A periodic bulletin from Valley Healing Therapeutic Massage
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December 2015

Massage & Chiropractic Help Restore Mobility & Minimize Pain From Trauma 

The Most Effective Time For Therapy Is After Swelling But Before Scar Tissue Sets In

During our lifetime, we will all experience some form of trauma to our soft tissue - muscles, tendons and/or ligaments.  This can present as a burn, bruise, sore or wound.   Since imperfect healing can lead to the formation of scars and adhesions, the repair of these damaged tissues is crucial to maintain their optimal function and your future health.
A scar is defined as a mark left by a healed wound, sore or burn.  An adhesion is defined as the abnormal union of adjacent tissues. By definition, a scar may appear as nothing more than a surface blemish; conversely, an adhesion can be much deeper and has the potential to impair a tissue’s integrity, mobility, healing and function.   While many of these injuries are minor, some may be more serious and would ultimately require the care of medical professionals.
The process of healing develops over a series of stages. Immediately following an injury, inflammation and bleeding occur, which triggers cells known as macrophages to get to work to consume and remove the damaged cells.  Once the injury has been “cleaned up” by these macrophages, new tissue is laid down.  This is the job of cells called fibroblasts.
To create strength in the damaged tissue, fibroblasts lay down the fibers of the new tissue in a random fashion.  The randomness of the new tissue provides strength but its strength is much weaker than organized structured tissue. 
Random tissue patterns also cause a shortening of the tissue, which can create resistance where before there was a flow and glide between tissue layers.  This can result in imbalances within the physical structure of the body and lead to discomfort and pain.
Massage and Chiropractic techniques work in an effort to apply movement to these new tissues so that the random laying down of the new tissue can be aligned to provide increased strength and a greater ability to move.

The best time for this work to be done is when the new tissue is most susceptible to the actions of physical movement, which is right after the inflammation has subsided and the scar or adhesion has formed. Depending upon the severity of the injury, this time frame could be between 2 to 4 weeks after the initial injury.
For instance, if you sprain your ankle in December, you’ll want to ice it for the first 24-48 hours (multiple times per day, no more than 20 minutes at a time), consider a brace for support, and also do simple stretching and flexing to restore range of motion as pain tolerates. But, you should also visit our office 2 weeks after the injury so we can access when massage and/or chiropractic treatments should start. This way we can nurture the body’s natural healing ability and further restore range of motion to prevent long-term issues in the future.
Without that early therapeutic intervention, the tissue becomes more established and it becomes far more painful for the patient and much more difficult for the healing therapy to make positive changes.
It’s not uncommon for us at the clinic to see the effects of new or long standing adhesions or scars in our patients. 
Adhesions and shortening of tissues do not just happen from blunt trauma, but can also occur due to repetitive movements or minor trauma over many years. So, scar formation can result from the aftermath of a recent surgery, an old car accident, a job that requires small repetitive movements or even a job that requires prolonged sitting. 
Regardless of the cause of your injury, be aware that your discomfort today may actually be the result of less than optimal healing of your body’s tissues from injuries you had years ago.  Although your injury seemed to mend itself at the time, the healing was really not as strong as it could have been, if you’d added massage or chiropractic care as part of the healing process. 
As specialists in physical therapy, we do our best to eliminate pain and restore proper form and function to all the tissues of your body, while encouraging you to perform specific stretching and strengthening techniques aimed at making these new tissues as strong and pliable as possible for short-term and sustained results.

Extended Benefits
Expire Dec 31 

Make your appointment today to use up your benefits for chiropractic or massage before you lose them!

Gift Ideas

  • Gift Certificates
  • ChiroFlow Water Pillow $65

ChiroFlow has a water bladder inside that gives the sleeper better neck support and helps combat neck pain and tension headaches, which leads to improved sleep overall. The majority of our clients who have tried them say they are the best/most effective pillow they have used. 

Refer-A-Friend Rewards!

Refer a friend or family member to Valley Healing Therapeutic Massage or Houlgrave Chiropractic during the months of December or January, and you will be entered into a drawing for a $25 gift certificate valid at either practice.

T'ai Chi Participants Experience Decreased Pain & Other Benefits

Tai chi, as a series of standardized movements to promote health improvement, dates back about 1000 years in China.

While often referred to as a form of gentle exercise, tai chi is not just a physical activity, according to Peter Wayne, an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and the research director at Harvard's Osher Center for Integrative Medicine. 
He says, "Tai Chi is a mind-body exercise that integrates slow, gentle movements, breathing and a variety of cognitive components, including focused attention, imagery and multi-tasking," Wayne told Live Science. (Source:
Valley Healing Therapeutic Massage's founder, Sean Murphy, volunteers his time to assist with these local classes, which welcome new comers at any time.  Check out the website to see a demonstration:
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Phone: 250-941-8181

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