Recently, Renee Swasey of Coraopolis, PA and owner of Allegheny Muscle Therapy and Massage and Carol A Santella, host of Business Innovators Radio, had the pleasure of meeting to discuss Why Massage is a Necessity and Not Just a Luxury.
As the conversation progressed, it was evident that Renee’s diverse background and astute knowledge of the muscular system, its workings and what it takes to heal and re-educate a muscle as well as the various applications and massage techniques clarified just why massage is a necessity and not a luxury. It was very informative. Take a “listen.”
CS: Tell us a bit about yourself Renee, please and what led you to the opening of Allegheny Muscle Therapy and Massage.
RS: Happy to Carol. Since 1994, I have worked with clients ranging in ages from newborns to the elderly and I have worked with hospitals, hotels, spas, chiropractors, students and professional athletes, professional companies and individuals who are working toward achieving their health related goals.
My training encompasses a variety of techniques used for muscle therapy, muscle re-education and relaxation. These include, but are not limited to, such techniques as: medical massage, naturopathy, cranial sacral work, orthobionomy, Neural Reset Therapy and Bellanina Facelift as well as many other modalities.
I have taught massage at both the college and trade school levels and have lectured publicly on the health and quality of life benefits achieved through muscle therapy and massage.
As far as what led me to opening my business, I’d say: to have the freedom to help people using a combination of techniques without working for someone else, and God provided.
CS: I can relate. Thank you Renee.
It is a pleasure to have you with us today On Business Innovators Radio. I’d like to start by asking you: What is the difference between muscle therapy and massage?
RS: Great question! The definition of Muscle therapy, at our office, has to do with the amount of interaction the patient/client has during the session. Muscle Therapy is a combination of many types of bodywork that a therapist has in, per se, their “tool box,” which will help them to achieve results the client needs to feel better. The client might be moving around more during the session than with just massage.
For example, I may start the client lying down on their belly and begin with basic massage and then determine that I need to incorporate some strain counter strain and stretching. With massage, a lot of clients just lay there and there is no interaction, but with muscle therapy, there is more interaction. You have to have communication open to see if there is still pain or not. That’s the basic difference. Muscle therapy is more on the medical end and with massage, the client doesn’t interact as much.
CS: You mention, “medical end.” Medical massage isn’t a term that seems frequently used. I find the term very interesting. What is medical massage exactly Renee?
RS: My definition of medical massage is when clients seek relief from pain or discomfort such as those who suffer from motor vehicle accidents. Whiplash is a result in a Motor Vehicle Accident and most patients do not need to strengthen the muscles, in my experience, but release and relax the muscles to regain their elasticity instead of muscles being restricted and tight. It’s becoming more recognized in the medical field on how important massages are and we are so blessed to have doctors, chiropractors, physical therapists and nurses refer patients to us as well as us referring patients to them.
Medical massage can also be done on those clients who come in to see us on their own. For example, if they have an ache or pain that they have been suffering from for years, then we suggest a routine to help them get back on their feet again to see if massage will help them.
CS: So, in that sense, the client sees or feels themselves that massage for them is a necessity and not just a luxury, right?
RS: Absolutely, because people are coming in because, yes, they want to feel good, but they also want to relieve their pain. Some clients come to us because they know that’s the way their bodies can be maintained, be pain free, and relieve a stress.
CS: So medical massage is a name like shiatsu or pregnancy massage or something like that?
RS: We don’t wrap up names in our office. We just do the techniques that are going to get the job done. Clients that are referred by a doctor or chiropractor are considered a patient not a client and that’s in part where the medical massage term comes. Plus, the term itself leans toward what we are discussing today: that massage is not just a luxury, but a necessity.
CS: Muscle re-education is one of the techniques mentioned earlier. What is muscle re- education?
RS: Muscle re-education is when we suggest a client comes in for a series of sessions close together. Usually to start: its once or twice a week for three weeks and then re-evaluate. We do that because muscles have memory and the closer together the treatments are the better the muscle learns to leave its old pattern of tightening up in the past. An example would be a patient that comes in from a car accident. Not only does the patient have memory of the accident, but the muscles react and stay in the defensive position. Let’s say they slam on their brake with their right leg. Most likely their right calf will be tight and stiff which causes pain and discomfort. So now after the accident, they are still driving and their right leg reacts unconsciously every time they put on their brake. With muscle re-education, we utilize muscle therapy techniques to allow that muscle to relax and function in a non-defensive way to bring healing.
CS: Very, very interesting. Thank you so much for that explanation.
It is becoming increasingly more clear how important massage is or can be. Would you like to expound upon its importance further?