Manual Therapy

Manual therapy techniques balance and realign the soft tissues and joints so the body can function more efficiently. Manual therapy is the gentle use of hands on techniques to release soft tissue and joint dysfunction.  As restrictions are found, the techniques are used to gently release them.

These techniques have affects on the whole body:  musculoskeletal, circulatory, lymphatic and immune systems with exceptional functional outcomes.


  • Strain Counterstrain

    Strain counter strain is a “positional release” technique.  This gentle and painless technique is relaxing to receive. It is a hands-on treatment where stressed soft tissue is put in a “slackened” position allowing the relaxation of the strained tissue.  Following this release there is an immediate reduction of pain and tension in the involved tissue.  There is also improved circulation to the affected area. The relaxation of the stressed tissue helps restore the balance in the area allowing for more normal joint and muscle movement.  It is an effective treatment for a variety of orthopedic conditions including neck and back pain, joint and muscle pain, headache and jaw pain to name a few.

  • Myofascial Release

    Myofascial release is a soft tissue therapy used to treat a muscle/fascia dysfunction that has created pain and restriction of motion.  Restricted muscle/facial tissues are relaxed, increasing circulation and lymphatic drainage and decreasing inflammation in the area.   A gentle stretch is directed along the restricted tissue which allows the fascia/muscle to “unwind” itself. The gentle traction to the area results in increased circulation to the area.  This process starts to allow the body’s inherent ability for self correction to return, decreasing pain, and restoring optimum body function.  The myofascial tissue is stretched until a tissue release occurs.  Myofascial rlease techniques seek to change the restricted myofascial structure by stretching, elongating and mobilizing adhered muscle/fascia tissues.  The practitioner moves slowly through the myofascial layers until the tissues are fully released.  The body’s posture and structure are realigned by bringing the myofascial system back toward it’s normal pattern.

  • Muscle Energy Techniques

    Muscle Energy techniques are a mobilization technique in which the patient’s muscles are actively used in a specific position and direction against a counterforce applied by the practitioner. This technique is used to reposition a dysfunctional joint and its surrounding soft tissues.  Relaxation occurs after the muscular effort. Muscle energy techniques are used to treat musculoskeletal dysfunctions, especially decreased range of motion, joint dysfunction, and muscular shortening. Studies have shown that muscle energy techniques significantly decrease disability and improve function in patients with neck and low back pain.

  • Craniosacral Therapy


    Craniosacral therapy is a gentle hands-on method of body work that treats and assesses the craniosacral system and related structures.   This vital system influences the performance of the brain and spinal cord. Imbalances in this system can potentially cause a number of sensory, motor, and neurological problems.  First an evaluation is done of the craniosacral system which consists of the skull, spine, sacrum and the membranes and cerebrospinal fluid that surround the brain. Using a light touch the practitioner releases restrictions in the craniosacral system by gentle mobilization of the spine, skull, sacrum, and fascia. Craniosacral treatment promotes a deep relaxation that encourages your own natural healing mechanism to dissipate the negative effects of injury and stress on your system. Craniosacral therapy is a gentle subtle technique that people find relaxing and rejuvenating. Craniosacral therapy facilitates the body’s natural healing process and is effective for a wide range of problems associated with pain and dysfunction.  Common applications for craniosacral therapy are for neck and back pain, pelvic pain, TMJ problems, headaches, and muscle and joint pain.

  • Joint Mobilization

    Joint mobilization is a hands-on manual therapy technique designed to restore joint movement. Joint dysfunction can be caused by trauma, poor posture, and repetitive use injury.  Joints can then become stiff, fixated, and/or misaligned creating pain and tension.  Left untreated joint dysfunction can affect the surrounding soft tissue and may lead to loss of strength and flexibility. Joint mobilization helps to release these joints and relax the surrounding tissues.  Joint mobilization is a safe and gentle technique.

    Joint mobilization consists of small passive joint movements, usually applied as a series of gentle smooth rhythmic motions applied to individual joints.  The therapist’s movement of the joint is very precise and is limited by the amount of joint play.  It is a safe, slow, and gentle technique. Joint mobilization improves the mobility of a joint that had less than normal movement. The tight muscles, capsules, and ligaments of the joint can also be eased by the joint mobilization.  Loosening up the structures of the joint can help to relief pain and increase range of motion.  The overall goal of mobilization is to restore normal joint function including the surrounding soft tissue (muscle, ligament, fascia). Improving the mobility of a joint, so that the joint can again function in balance, can relieve pain and prevent further damage and injury to the joint.

    Joint mobilization can help relieve pain and release tension from areas such as the neck, back, pelvis and extremity joints (shoulder, elbow, hand, hip, knee, and ankle/foot joints).   Joint mobilization has proven to be effective in treating stiff and arthritic joints, strained joints from sports injury, and repetitive use stressed joints.

  • Soft Tissue Mobilization

    Soft tissue mobilization, is a therapy used to release tension stored in the muscles and fascia. Fascia are sheets of fibrous tissue that encase and support muscles separating them into groups and layers. Fascia also covers joints capsules and ligaments. Following trauma, the fascia and muscles may shorten restricting joint movement and blood flow. The hands-on techniques used in soft tissue mobilization release or break up fascial adhesions and relax muscle tension helping to normalize physical motion around the joints.  Myofascial release, massage, strain counter strain, and some craniosacral techniques are all soft tissue mobilization approaches.

    Soft tissue mobilization can help the recovery of stiff, painful or over-tired muscles by speeding up the elimination of waste products and temporarily increasing the local blood supply. STM primarily works the muscular system but can be utilized for scar mobilization and deep friction massage of tendons, fascial tissue, or ligaments. STM techniques are a combination of manual techniques designed to relax, release and stretch soft tissue.  The effects of soft tissue mobilization are:  increased localized circulation, stimulated lymphatic system, and increased flexibility and range of motion of connective tissue structures.  Soft tissue mobilization helps to normalize and improve muscle tone, promote relaxation, and stimulate circulation.





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