Deep tissue massage is “the understanding of the layers of the body, and the ability to work with tissue in these layers to relax, lengthen, and release holding patterns in the most effective and energy efficient way possible.”

— Art Riggs, author of Deep Tissue Massage: A Visual Guide to Techniques

 

 

 

Our Clinic

Our clinic, located at 503 12th Ave. East Seattle, WA. 98102, at the corner of Republican, is in a four-story home on Capitol Hill. There is parking on the street and we are well served by public transportation.

 

Links and Resources

A medical massage clinic on Seattle's Capitol Hill

http://www.grouphealthresearch.org/newsroom/newsrel/2001/010417.html Cherkin, D.C., Eisenberg, D., Sherman, K.J., Barlow, W., Kaptchuk, T.J., Street, J. & Deyo, R.A. (2001).  Randomized trial comparing traditional Chinese medical acupuncture, therapeutic massage, and self-care education for chronic low back pain. Archives of Internal Medicine, 161, 1081-8.

METHODS: 262 patients who had persistent back pain received Traditional Chinese Medical acupuncture, therapeutic massage, or self-care educational materials for up to 10 massage or acupuncture visits over 10 weeks.

RESULTS: At 10 weeks, massage was superior to self-care on the symptom scale and the disability scale. Massage was also superior to acupuncture on the disability scale. The massage group used the least medications and had the lowest costs of subsequent care.

Degan, M., Fabris, F., Vanin, F., Bevilacqua, M., Genova, V., Mazzucco, M. & Negrisolo, A. (2000). The effectiveness of foot reflexotherapy on chronic pain associated with a herniated disk. Professioni Infermieristiche, 53, 80-7.

METHODS: A group of 40 persons suffering almost exclusively from a lumbar-sacral disc hernia received three treatments of reflexology massage for a week.

RESULTS: Sixty-three percent of the group reported a reduction in pain.

Hernandez-Reif, M., Field, T., Diego, M., & Fraser, M. (2006). Lower Back Pain And Sleep Disturbance Are Reduced Following Massage Therapy. Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies, In Press.

METHOD: Twenty-four adults with lower back pain were randomly assigned to a massage therapy or a progressive muscle relaxation group. Sessions were 30 minutes long twice a week for five weeks. On the first and last day of the 5-week study, participants completed questionnaires, provided a urine sample and were assessed for range of motion.

RESULTS: By the end of the study, the massage therapy group, as compared to the relaxation group, reported experiencing less pain, depression, anxiety and improved sleep. They also showed improved trunk flexion, and their serotonin and dopamine levels were higher.

Hernandez-Reif, M., Field, T., Krasnegor, J., & Theakston, H. (2001). Lower back pain is reduced and range of motion increased after massage therapy. International Journal of Neuroscience, 106, 131-145.

METHOD: A randomized between-groups design evaluated massage therapy versus relaxation for chronic low back pain. Treatment effects were evaluated for reducing pain, depression, anxiety and stress hormones, and sleeplessness and for improving trunk range of motion associated with chronic low back pain.

RESULTS: By the end of the study, the massage therapy group, as compared to the relaxation group, reported experiencing less pain, depression, anxiety and improved sleep. They also showed improved trunk and pain flexion performance, and their serotonin and dopamine levels were higher.

Preyde, M. (2000). Effectiveness of massage therapy for sub acute low-back pain: a randomized controlled trial. CMAJ, 162, 1815-20.

METHOD: This randomized controlled trial compared comprehensive massage therapy (soft-tissue manipulation, remedial exercise and posture education), 2 components of massage therapy and placebo in the treatment of sub acute (between 1 week and 8 months) low-back pain. Subjects with sub acute lowback pain were randomly assigned to 1 of 4 groups: comprehensive massage therapy, soft-tissue manipulation only, remedial exercise with posture education only or a placebo of sham laser therapy. Each subject received 6 treatments within approximately 1 month. Outcome measures obtained at baseline, after treatment and at 1-month follow-up consisted of the Roland Disability Questionnaire (RDQ), the McGill Pain Questionnaire (PPI and PRI), the State Anxiety Index and the Modified Schober test (lumbar range of motion).

RESULTS: The comprehensive massage therapy group had improved function, less intense pain and a decrease in the quality of pain compared with the other 3 groups. At 1-month follow-up 63% of subjects in the comprehensive massage therapy group reported no pain as compared with 27% of the soft-tissue manipulation group, 14% of the remedial exercise group and 0% of the sham laser therapy group.

Meaningful relief from cancer by massage therapy

Eight female cancer patients were given massage for 10 consecutive days and then interviewed using phenomenology as a theoretical framework. The massage contributed to the development of a positive relationship with the patients, to feeling strong, and to a balance between autonomy and dependence. The findings of this study can be of use to health care professionals as it shows that the relatively short period of massage can result in physical and emotional benefits for cancer patients (Billhult A, Dahlberg K, Cancer Nurs. 2001 Jun;24(3):180-4.)

Safety and efficacy of massage therapy for patients with cancer

Conventional care for patients with cancer can safely incorporate massage therapy, although cancer patients may be at higher risk of rare adverse events. The strongest evidence for benefits of massage is for stress and anxiety reduction, although research for pain control and management of other symptoms common to patients with cancer, including pain, is promising. The oncologist should feel comfortable discussing massage therapy with patients and be able to refer patients to a qualified massage therapist as appropriate. (Corbin L, J Psychosom Res 2004 Jul;57(1):45-52)

Quinn, C., Chandler, C., & Moraska, A. (2002). Massage therapy and frequency of chronic tension headaches. American Journal of Public Health, 92, 1657-1661.

METHOD: This study examined the effects of massage therapy on chronic, non-migraine headache. Four chronic tension headache sufferers (aged 18-55 yrs) received structured massage therapy treatment directed toward the neck and shoulder muscles during a 4-wk period.

RESULTS: Massage therapy reduced the number of weekly headaches. Headache frequency was significantly reduced within the initial week of massage treatment, and continued for the remainder of the study. A trend toward reduction in average duration of each headache event between the baseline period and the treatment period was also observed.

Headaches: http://www.massagemag.com/News/massage-news.php?id=8539&catid=264&title=healing-touch-helps-chronic-headaches

Quinn, C., Chandler, C., & Moraska, A. (2002). Massage therapy and frequency of chronic tension headaches. American Journal of Public Health, 92, 1657-1661.

METHOD: This study examined the effects of massage therapy on chronic, non-migraine headache. Four chronic tension headache sufferers (aged 18-55 yrs) received structured massage therapy treatment directed toward the neck and shoulder muscles during a 4-wk period.

RESULTS: Massage therapy reduced the number of weekly headaches. Headache frequency was significantly reduced within the initial week of massage treatment, and continued for the remainder of the study. A trend toward reduction in average duration of each headache event between the baseline period and the treatment period was also observed.

Massage therapy and frequency of chronic tension headaches
The effect of massage therapy on chronic non-migraine headache showed the musclespecific massage therapy technique used in this study has the potential to be a functional, non-pharmaceutical drug intervention for reducing the incidence of chronic tension headache. (C Quinn, et al., A. AmJ Public Health. 2000 Oct,92(10):1657-61)

Appraisal of treatment of the trigger points associated with chronic headaches. Relationship with anxiety and stress adaptation strategies
Treatment by relaxation allows for a perceived increase in control of symptoms by the sufferer. Consequently, it reduces anxiety, improves the quality of life and the behavioral responses to stress. In turn, the treatment improves the long-term prognosis for the headaches as well as the health of the sufferer in general. (Goffaux-Dogniez C, et al., Encephale. 2003 Sep-Oct;29(5):377-90)

 “An HMO-Based Prospective Pilot Study of Energy Medicine for Chronic Headaches: Whole-Person Outcomes Point to the Need for New Instrumentation,” Authors: Elizabeth G. Sutherland, Cheryl Ritenbaugh, Susan J. Kiley, Nancy Vuckovic and Charles Elder.

Sources: Helfgott Research Institute, National College of Natural Medicine, Portland, Oregon; University of Arizona Department of Family and Community Medicine, Tucson, Arizona; Kaiser Permanente Northwest, Portland, Oregon; Intel Corporation, Hillsboro, Oregon. Originally published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (2009) 15(8): 819-826.

This study involved 13 people with chronic pain, recruited from the Kaiser Permanente Northwest Pain Clinic. Subjects involved in the study reported an average duration of pain of about 14 years. Participants had been treated for chronic pain at the Kaiser Permanente Northwest Pain Clinic, which is also where they received the massage sessions.

Each subject received at least three of these energy healing sessions at approximately weekly intervals.  After this, the sessions were customized to the subjects. Assessments took place before the first session, to collect baseline data, and also after the last session and three months later. The assessments involved the collection of qualitative data, obtained through open-ended, audiotape interviews lasting roughly one hour. In the interviews, 12 of the 13 subjects reported improvement in headache pain following the third session.

Hernandez-Reif, M., Field, T., Krasnegor, J., Theakston, H., Hossain, Z., & Burman, I. (2000). High blood pressure and associated symptoms were reduced by massage therapy. Journal ofBodywork and Movement Therapies, 4, 31-38.

METHOD: High blood pressure is associated with elevated anxiety, stress and stress hormones, hostility, depression and catecholamine. Massage therapy and progressive muscle relaxation were evaluated as treatments for reducing blood pressure and associated symptoms. Adults who had been diagnosed as hypertensive received ten 30-minute massage sessions over five weeks or they were given progressive muscle relaxation instructions (control group).

RESULTS: Sitting diastolic blood pressure decreased after the first and last massage therapy sessions and reclining diastolic blood pressure decreased from the first to the last day of the study. Although both groups reported less anxiety, only the massage therapy group reported less depression and hostility and showed decreased urinary and salivary hormone levels (cortisol). Massage therapy may be effective in reducing diastolic blood pressure and symptoms associated with hypertension.

Hernandez-Reif, M., Field, T., Krasnegor, J., Theakston, H., Hossain, Z., & Burman, I. (2000). High blood pressure and associated symptoms were reduced by massage therapy. Journal ofBodywork and Movement Therapies, 4, 31-38.

METHOD: High blood pressure is associated with elevated anxiety, stress and stress hormones, hostility, depression and catecholamines. Massage therapy and progressive muscle relaxation were evaluated as treatments for reducing blood pressure and associated symptoms. Adults who had been diagnosed as hypertensive received ten 30-minute massage sessions over five weeks or they were given progressive muscle relaxation instructions (control group).

RESULTS: Sitting diastolic blood pressure decreased after the first and last massage therapy sessions and reclining diastolic blood pressure decreased from the first to the last day of the study. Although both groups reported less anxiety, only the massage therapy group reported less depression and hostility and showed decreased urinary and salivary hormone levels (cortisol). Massage therapy may be effective in reducing diastolic blood pressure and symptoms associated with hypertension.

Fibromyalgia pain decrease while sleep improves after massage therapy

Massage therapy has been observed to be helpful in some patients with fibromyalgia. This study was designed to examine the effects of massage therapy versus relaxation therapy on sleep, substance P, and pain in fibromyalgia patients. Across the course of the study, only the massage therapy group reported an increase in the number of sleep hours and a decrease in their sleep movements. In addition, substance P levels decreased, and the patients’ physicians assigned lower disease and pain ratings and rated fewer tender points in the massage therapy group. (Field T., et al, Journal of Clinical Rheumatology. 8(2):72-76, April 2002.)

Physical therapy in the treatment of fibromyalgia

Massage may reduce muscle tension and may be prescribed as an adjunct with other therapeutic interventions. Accordingly a multidisciplinary approach combining these therapies in a well-balanced program may be the most promising strategy and is currently recommended in the treatment of fibromyalgia. (Offenbacher M., Stucki G., Scand J Rheumatol Suppl. 2000;113:78-85.)

Lawler, S. & Cameron, L. (2006). A randomized, controlled trial of massage therapy as a treatment for migraine. Annual Behavior and Medicine, 32, 50-9.

METHODS: Migraine sufferers (N = 47) who were randomly assigned to massage of control conditions completed daily assessments of migraine experiences and sleep patterns for 13 weeks. Massage participants attended weekly massage sessions during Weeks 5 to 10. State anxiety, heart rates, and salivary cortisol were assessed before and after the sessions. Perceived stress and coping efficacy were assessed at Weeks 4, 10, and 13.

RESULTS: Compared to control participants, massage participants exhibited greater improvements in migraine frequency and sleep quality during the intervention weeks and the 3 follow-up weeks. Trends for beneficial effects of massage therapy on perceived stress and coping efficacy were observed. During the sessions, massage induced decreases in state anxiety, heart rate, and cortisol.

Hernandez-Reif, M., Field, T., Dieter, J., Swerdlow. & Diego, M., (1998). Migraine Headaches are Reduced by Massage Therapy. International Journal of Neuroscience, 96, 1-11.

METHOD: Twenty-six adults with migraine headaches were randomly assigned to a massage therapy group, which received twice-weekly 30-minute massages for five consecutive weeks or a wait-list control group.

RESULTS: The massage group reported fewer distress symptoms, less pain, more headache free days, fewer sleep disturbances and taking fewer analgesics. They also showed increased serotonin levels.

Pregnant women benefit from massage therapy
Twenty-six pregnant women were assigned to a massage therapy or a relaxation therapy group for 5 weeks. Only the massage therapy group reported reduced anxiety, improved mood, better sleep and less back pain by the last day of the study. In addition, urinary stress hormone levels decreased for the massage therapy group with fewer complications during labour and their infants had fewer postnatal complications. (Field T, et al., J Psychosom Obstet Gynaecol. 1999 Mar;20(1):31-8)

Massage therapy effects on pregnant women with depression
Eighty-four pregnant women with depression were recruited during the second trimester of pregnancy and randomly assigned to a massage therapy group, a progressive muscle relaxation group or a control group that received standard prenatal care alone. Immediately after the massage therapy sessions on the first and last days of the 16-week period the women reported lower levels of anxiety and depressed mood and less leg and back pain. The data suggest that depressed pregnant women and their offspring can benefit from massage therapy. (Field T, Diego MA, et. al., J Psychosom Obstet Gynaecol. 2004 Jun;25(2):115-22.)

Stress hormone is reduced by massage therapy
In this article the positive effects of massage therapy on biochemistry are reviewed including decreased levels of cortisol and increased levels of serotonin and dopamine. Research reviewed included studies on depression (including sex abuse and eating disorder studies), pain syndrome studies, research on auto-immune conditions (including asthma and chronic fatigue), immune studies (including HIV and breast cancer), and studies on the reduction of stress on the job, the stress of aging, and pregnancy stress. (Field T, Hernandez-Reif M, Diego M, Schuanberg S, Kuhn C. Int. J Neurosci. Oct:115(10):1397-413).

Less pain, depression, anxiety and improved sleep with reduced lower back pain and range of motion
The massage therapy group, as compared to the relaxation group, suffering from low back pain, reported experiencing less pain, depression, anxiety and improved sleep. They also showed improved trunk and pain flexion performance, and their serotonin and dopamine levels were higher. (Hernandez-Reif M, Field T, Krasnegor J, Theakston
H. Int. J Neurosci 2001: 106(3-4):131-45).

The mechanisms of massage and effects on performance, muscle recovery and injury prevention
Post-exercise massage has been shown to reduce the severity of muscle soreness but massage has no effects on muscle functional loss. The majority of research on psychological effects of massage has concluded that massage produces positive effects on recovery (psychological mechanisms). (Weerapong P., Hume PA., Kolt GS., Sports Med. 2005;35(3):235-56).

The effects of athletic massage on delayed onset muscle soreness, creatine kinase, and neutrophil count: a preliminary report
Two hours after exercise, massage subjects received a 30-minute athletic massage; control subjects rested. Delayed onset muscle soreness and CK were assessed before exercise and after exercise. The results of this study suggest that sports massage will reduce DOMS when administered 2 hours after the termination of exercise. (Smith LL, et al, J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 1994 Feb;19(2):93-9.)

Patterns and perceptions of care for treatment of back and neck pain: results of a national survey
Chiropractic, massage, relaxation techniques, and other complementary methods all play an important role in the care of patients with back or neck pain. Treatment for back and neck pain was responsible for a large proportion of all complementary provider visits made in 1997. The frequent use and perceived helpfulness of commonly used complementary methods for these conditions warrant further investigation. (Wolsko PM., et al, Spine. 2003 Feb 1;28(3):292-7; discussion 298.)

Treatment of whiplash-associated disorders: Non-invasive interventions
Spinal joint mobilization techniques are recommended for the treatment of pain and compromised cervical range of motion in the acute Whiplash Associated Disorders patient. (Conlin A, Bhogal S, Sequeira K, Teasell R, Pain Res Manag 2005 Spring: 10(1):21-32.)