The benefits of therapeutic massage go far beyond simple relaxation. Depending on the techniques used, massage can also have the following effects:
- In post-surgery or post-injury clients, targeted massage can break up scar tissue or inhibit its initial formation. Furthermore, increased blood flow to the injured area can speed the recovery process. Massage for compensating areas can further aid the entire body in its return to normal functioning
- Improved flexibility and range of motion by lengthening shortened tissues. This also makes the muscles and joints less prone to injury and can help maximize athletic function
- Decreased swelling due to facilitation of movement of blood and/or lymph
- Improved immune system, with an actual increase in the number of white blood cells
- Lowered blood pressure, as well as decreased anxiety, depression, and even cortisol stress hormone levels
- Improved sleep
- Fewer headaches
- Facilitated breathing, leading to increased energy
- Improved circulation and a corresponding increase in the clearing of toxins from the body
Scar Tissue Massage
Scar tissue is the fibrous connective tissue which forms a scar. Scar tissue development is the body’s natural response to dealing with injury or trauma. It can form on tissue in the skin and internal organs where an injury, cut, surgery or disease has taken place and then healed. Scar tissue can present painful symptoms without proper treatment even after the initial injury has healed.
After surgery, healing starts quickly and it is during this time that scar tissue forms. Massage therapy can assist in reducing some of the factors that contribute to secondary scar tissue problems. Each person experiences different degrees of scar tissue development and some skin types develop scar tissue more easily than others. The development of excess scar tissue during the healing process may contribute to limited movement or pain. It is important to be proactive in dealing with scar tissue; therefore, the team wants you to work with scar tissue early and appropriately to assist in minimizing long-term concerns.
Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) and Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT)
MLD is a type of gentle therapy which facilitates the movement of lymphatic fluid. This can be helpful in decreasing swelling after injury or surgery (minimizing scar tissue development), as well as in assisting with respiratory decongestion from allergy or colds, decreasing facial and eye “puffiness”, and generally improving immune function. The sessions are extremely relaxing— using pressure about the weight of a nickel, the skin is slowly, gently, repetitively stretched in ways that encourage lymph flow along correct pathways.
CDT uses MLD in conjunction with compression bandaging to treat lymphedema. Lymphedema is a condition where tissues accumulate fluid, resulting in persistent swelling, and if left untreated can lead to further complications such as skin changes and wounds. This is often the result of damage to (e.g. from surgery or cancer radiation therapy) or malformation of lymphatic vessels or nodes. This condition requires lifelong management; there is no cure. We offer continued management after the intensive phase has been treated by another therapist.
Meet the Team
Linda Mazzotta, LMT
Linda is a Massage Therapist at The Vincera Institute. She graduated in 2010 with honors from the Cortiva Institute - Pennsylvania School of Massage Therapy and then became licensed in Pennsylvania. Prior to Vincera, Linda practiced in a chiropractic office, treating various client aliments as well as treating clients at their homes. Her continuing education includes Core Release Techniques and Active Isolated Stretching, Acupressure Point Location, and Oncology Massage. She specializes in Swedish massage, Deep Tissue, Trigger Point Therapy, and Sports Therapy.