Medical massage (MM) is an especially effective treatment for scoliosis. In some cases, it is the number one treatment. It provides for a customized approach to special needs presented by each part of the spine.
It’s crucial for anyone administering massage to understand how to customized treatments for the special needs present with spinal curves. Some techniques are contraindicated (inadvisable) for
convexed areas while indicated (helpful) for concaved areas.*
According to clinical testing, optimal results when treating deeper muscles require a layered approach never going beyond the first threshold of pain—typically experienced as “feel good tenderness.” These moderate treatments avoid muscle guarding, thus allowing therapy at greater depths than traditional "deep tissue" massages. Techniques that are contraindicated for the condition, can further traumatize muscles that are already traumatized. It may feel better temporarily, but the overall impact can be harmful and certainly provides no lasting improvement.
The younger a person is when they start receiving massage customized for scoliosis, the better for preventing future problems and helping avoid surgery. Yes, parents can learn some techniques to use in helping care for their child between advanced treatments provided by medical massage practitioners with advanced skills.
Yes, as shown in the case described below, older adults can get significantly stable results from advanced treatment protocols offered through MM.
* Note the backward S-shape of the spine in the diagram above. The concaved areas next to the spine is colored blue. The convexed areas are colored red. The muscles enclosed by the concaved spine are over contracted. The muscles pressed by the convexed spine are overstretched.
* See more details in Medical Massage Vol 1, by Dr. Ross Turchaninov, Figure 486
See testimonies below --->
Evie Vincent, a university student, was diagnosed with Scoliosis of approximately 20 degrees at age 18. After following customized advanced medical massage
treatment protocols, her quality of life has been restored.
This is what Evie, age 21, is saying about Restored by Touch:
“I have dealt with severe scoliosis pain that interfered with everything—standing, walking, cooking, sleeping, driving, and sitting. Now I can stay pain and tension free between medical massage sessions for 4 – 6 weeks! It took about a month of frequent treatments and gradually decreasing to less frequency before achieving this but I noticed significant improvements from the beginning.
I started medical massage short break protocols in December 2015 and currently continue with maintenance massage on average of every four weeks. I’m amazed at the precision of advanced medical massage vs other massages I'd received previously!
The protocol for scoliosis treating with superficial techniques in some areas and deeper in others including targeted stretching really makes all the difference compared to general massages. And, I’m motivated by the extra special self-care coaching and follow-up included with every session.
Carole has helped me overcome obstacles and find self-care options that appeal to my personal preferences. Learning to recognize my body’s early warning signs and how to manage them helps motivate me for self-care.
I had tried other forms of massage prior to this advanced medical massage. The results were very temporary and I was getting worse in that I progressively needed more frequency.
My favorite part of all is that special care and attention I get at Restored by Touch. And I can now do the normal things of life without pain! If I should have a flair-up, Carole works with me to determine how to make modifications allowing me to keep my treatment frequency limited to four weeks.
I’m very thankful for Carole and Restored by Touch."
Update: nearly 3 years after her initial 21 days, she has been able to maintain pain and tension free as long as she follows the protocol for the follow-up treatment of scoliosis. Her maintenance messages are usually required every 4 weeks--2 weeks on rare occasion. She has also had 2 short-break medical massage series.
Research shows the short break series are typically needed in Ss treatments every 12-months. She beat the odds through good self-care. She was able to go 18 months before she needed her second set of short-break treatments. The third set of short-break series was required 15 months since her second set.
Anonymous. 70-year-old female. 40-degree scoliosis curve.
“As a retired massage therapist trained in medical massage, I can say this type of MM is very different than anything I’ve experienced. During the start of my first MM session, it seemed so light, I didn’t think it would do much. Toward the end of the first session, I knew we were reaching some areas that needed deep work but <without> discomfort. The techniques used early had paved the way for effective pain-free deeper muscle release. Some phases included treatment of periosteum trigger points on bony prominences. That is necessarily painful, but it’s a very small part of the treatment process and no lingering pain. It was only included in a few of the initial sessions--never in the maintenance sessions.
With high hopes that the restoration of muscle balance would allow visible changes in posture, we took pictures before and after the first 21 days of treatment. Success; it’s visible! More importantly, I see it every day in the mirror when my clothes fit better—no more bunching up on one side or uneven hemlines on my dresses.
More important than visible changes, I can feel changes. I notice my improved sense of balance every time I dry off after a shower—no more need to hold on to something while I dry one foot. I also notice increased stability during simple balance ball exercises. The resolved pain in a relatively short time was well worth the investment!
Thus, far we are at maintenance treatment 3 since the photos. These are mostly a therapeutic massage with current frequency at every 2 weeks--much more relaxing than the initial MM protocols. Thus far, we have included a deeper focus on the left rhomboid muscles to continue increasing range of motion in my left arm and increase my rib cage balance.
Prior to receiving treatment at Restored by Touch, I went to a DO who specialized in neuromuscular health. That helped, but nothing near what these MM treatments have done for me. As someone who has been on top of muscle health treatment options for all my adult life, this is the best treatment I’ve thus far for Scoliosis.”
What’s more, I know Carole Suzanne as my longtime former client. I know her high ethics and professionalism. She keeps the best interest of her clients first and foremost. She is candid about possible treatment outcomes. She will tell people if she is <not> able to help and she refer patients out for other specialties if necessary.
I highly recommend, at least getting evaluated to determine whether you are a good candidate for successful MM treatments.”
Update 18 months after the 21 days results. She has been pain and tension free most of this time. Typically, Ss maintenance requires maintenance at least every 4 weeks. For the last few months, she has remained pain and tension free even when her travels have caused her to extend past the 4-week maintenance schedule.
Update at 20 months: She is doing so well with self-care alone, she has decided to schedule massages periodically rather than every 4 weeks. Currently, she is remaining pain and tension free though she has not had a message for 3 months!
Compare where the low back is in relation to the top of the back of the black easy chair in the background. The right side in the before picture is significantly lower than it is in the after picture. The other pictures must be studied in a similar fashion. But, even if there were no visible change, the fact that this patient has been able to stay pain-free for over a year is remarkable. She is NOT in pain when she gets her maintenance treatments every four weeks.