This manual therapy intervention is classified by five grades of motion used to manage musculoskeletal dysfunction. Joint mobilizations are used to restore joint play that has been lost due to injury or disease, when range of motion or mobility are lacking. Manipulations (joint thrusts) are designed to increase the available range, improve flexibility and stability, and strengthens major muscle groups.
These are methods of instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization and diagnostic and therapeutic applications and procedures. The therapy is designed to help the practitioner identify areas of restriction and attempt to break up scar tissue.
This holistic healing practice relies on extreme finger pressure to optimize body movement and restore function to the joints. Using a soft touch, generally no greater than five grams (the weight of a nickel), the therapist releases restrictions in the craniosacral system to improve the functioning of the central nervous system. Suzanna developed her skills directly under the tutelage of osteopathic physician John E. Upledger, who pioneered and developed CST. She uses it to benefit a variety of conditions: hip dysplasia, joint dysfunction, spinal injuries, hind end lameness, head traumas and more.
This manipulation separates joint surfaces by pulling them apart. The goal is to to stimulate nutrition to fluid around joints and to encourage the extension of the surrounding tissues. In so doing, force is applied either intermittently or as a sustained hold. This improves mobility, decreases physical stress, and reduces muscle spasm by stretching tight spinal muscles.
The result is that pain is alleviated and flexibility is increased.
(Note: When working on canines, the manipulation may also correct spine alignment).
Healthy postural alignment is an easy feeling throughout the musculoskeletal system. Occasionally, this ease may be replaced with muscle spasm and spinal misalignment which results from poor body mechanics, injury or inflammation.
Posture Alignment requires an understanding of the way bones fit in relationship to one another, and to the whole body form. Ideal postural alignment causes the least amount of musculoskeletal pain and strain that occurs at the joints with the two bones meeting at their centers. Through stretching, strengthening, and physical therapy, a more perfect alignment.
MANIPULATION OF CONNECTIVE TISSUE
Connective tissue manipulation is performed using the soft pads of the fingers to move one layer of skin on the layer below. This movement creates a short and sharp stretch reflex. When this happens, an impulse is created which spreads throughout the connective tissue, reducing tension. The reduction of this tension around the blood vessel walls allows more blood to flow into the damaged area, reducing the inflammation. Treatment often begins at a distance from the injured part. The practitioner then gradually works closer to the source of injury. Once the tension has been lowered by treatment reduction of inflammation is reached. Further reduction in connective tissue tension occurs with each additional treatment.
This is a highly specialized form of manual therapy. It is used by practitioners who are intimately educated and experienced in nervous system physiology, and on muscular and skeletal systems. Neuromuscular therapy uses static pressure on target myofascial points to relieve pain by manipulating the soft tissue such as muscles, tendons and connective tissue. In neuromuscular therapy pressure balances the central nervous system. It is used to address ischemia (lack of blood supply to soft tissues), muscle trigger points, and postural distortion (faulty movement patterns).
Note: Neuromuscular therapy can make a big difference for geriatric dogs who experience pain and postural dysfunction.
This is an effective hands-on technique delivering sustained pressure into myofascial restrictions eliminating pain and restoring motion. What is the fascia? It is a specialized system of the body that is likened to a spider’s web. In its healthy state, the fascia is relaxed and wavy in configuration, able to stretch and move without restriction. Using an animal as an example, when dogs experience physical trauma or inflammation, the fascia loses its flexibility, becoming tight and restricted. It can exert pressure that produces pain or restriction of motion. This affects flexibility and stability. Suzanna has studied under John F. Barnes, P.T., an internationally recognized authority on Myofascial Release. She utilizes Barnes' innovative, whole-body approach for the evaluation and treatment of canine pain and dysfunction.
UPLEDGER INSTITUTE TECHNIQUES
These techniques are used to assess the central nervous system and fascia as a full body treatment protocol; and assessment of acute and chronic conditions.
Training in canine sports massage. Approved and Regulated by the Colorado Department of Higher Education, Division of Private Occupational Schools.
The goal of practicing acupressure is to restore, replenish, and maintain the natural harmony and balance needed in animal and human bodies to create optimal health and well-being.