I was surprised to find a very new practice to me. James, is in fact a massage therapist, but he is also an Athletic Therapist who is also currently learning Osteopathy as well. After our assessment he felt I could most benefit from Athletic Therapy at that time. I must admit, at first I was a little disappointed. I was expecting soft music aroma therapy and a relaxing massage.....now I was having a treatment!
I need not have been disappointed. The therapy I experienced, having spent years in physio, was nothing like I expected. It is a gentle treatment done while you are fully clothed and it is very effective.
The reason I was seeing him that day was nerve pain down my arm with pins and needles into my hand. I had awoken two days in a row with no feeling in my right hand. I couldn't raise my arm over my head and my shoulder and neck were hurting nonstop. When I left that day, I wasn't pain free but the nerve pain and numbness were completely gone. It took about four treatments and the issue had settled once again. James uses ultrasound and EMS machine as well.
If you are interested in knowing more about EMS(electric muscle stimulation) and TENS (Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) this is an excellent site to explain the differences and what they are used for.
Generally TENS is to relieve pain and a TENS machine can be purchased easily now, as it has become more mainstream and therefore can be used at home. EMS is more of a rehabilitation tool and mostly used by professionals, but with instruction, can also be used at home. I have both and have been taught to use them at home.
Ultrasound uses sound waves to generate heat in the area being treated. That heat then loosens the muscle tissue making it more pliable for stretching and treatment. It also helps create blood flow and lesson swelling and inflammation. I have found it to be helpful in many cases, including foot, shoulder and knees.
I have since seen him for my arthritic foot and knee. James knows my overall condition and we have dabbled in pain management for my back as well.
The Canadian Athlete Association describes the therapy like this: "Certified Athletic Therapists specialize in treating acute and chronic injuries to muscles, bones, and joints.
Best known for providing immediate on-field emergency care of professional and elite athletes, Athletic Therapists are skilled in returning athletes to competition and maximizing their performance potential as fast as possible after an injury. Those same skills and techniques also make them very effective in treating the injuries sustained by everyday active Canadians, including:
- Common injuries from falls, daily activities and sports
- Chronic and recurring conditions, pre-surgery and post-surgery
- Emergencies at sporting events such as concussion, fractures, and spinal injuries
- Workplace and motor vehicle accidents
Certified Athletic Therapists are recognized by the credential CAT(C)."
In a word I describe it as relief, and relief without the usual pain. James has never hurt me during a treatment. When I can, I generally come home, have an epson salts bath and lie down for a short time afterward. I try to incorporate this aftercare into any treatment I have whether it is physio, acupuncture or massage. It seems to increase the effectiveness of the treatment. That is what I find most effective but it is possible to go about your day or even back to work if needed.