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  • Writer's pictureRashelle Bytendorp

The Benefits of The Hendrickson Method - Pain Relief and Improved Well-being

The Hendrickson Method is not a well-known modality of bodywork, and yet it's growing like wildfire! Chances are if you're not a massage/manual therapist you haven't heard about it.

The Hendrickson Method is an advanced system of massage and manual therapy that effectively treats acute and chronic pain. It is a gentle, pain-free orthopedic modality that involves rhythmic wave-like strokes, joint mobilization, and muscle energy techniques. It is not the typical full-body massage you get at a spa. With this approach, only one area or condition will be focused on and addressed during the session. People are often surprised to find that I can spend a full hour just on one elbow and wrist, but I get into the nitty-gritty of every muscle, every tendon, and every attachment point in that area.

I have specific intentions and objectives in each session. I will break them down into 4 categories: Structural, Neurological, Emotional, and Energetic goals.

Structural Goals:

  • Mobility: Mobility assists the repair and regeneration of soft tissue by inducing the movement of fluid and fibers. Restoring mobility in soft tissue brings back the normal range of motion in joints. This is a huge goal! This means sitting on the floor and playing with the grandchildren, or being able to ride a bike again! There are so many ways in which our mobility affects our quality of life.

  • Alignment: By aligning the fibers and soft tissues that cross the joint it helps to maintain a normal joint position. Wonky joints that are not in normal position can cause spread pain and dysfunction throughout the body. The alignment of fibers also dissolves adhesions (knots), helps balance muscular forces, and mobilizes restricted joints.

  • Extensibility: shortened tissue is lengthened and your motion is no longer limited. Hooray!

Neurological goals:

  • Neuromuscular reeducation: is used to reduce muscular spasms, minimize muscular inhibition(weakness), to identify which muscles are tight and which ones are weak through isometric testing, and correct those muscular dysfunctions.

  • Proprioceptive reeducation: Proprioception is a big word that simply means your awareness of your body position and its movement. Proprioceptive reeducation is the active stimulation of nerves to maintain optimum function. Muscle Energy Techniques are used to bring conscious awareness to muscle action, and provide effective rehabilitation for the proprioceptors (nerve endings). I often educate clients on balance exercises and posture as "reeducation homework".

  • Sensory awareness: clients with chronic pain and dysfunction are often unable to feel if they are tight or weak, or struggle to contract specific muscles. Using Muscle Energy Techniques and touch the client is able to find or bring awareness to these areas.

  • Pain management: Information about pain is sent to the brain through a “gate.” This “gate” can be “closed” and pain can be reduced by applying gentle touch, slow rocking movements, gentle Muscle Energy Techniques, and mobilization of soft tissue and joints. I highly recommend going down this rabbit hole of information if you experience chronic pain! Message me and I'll send my my favorite youtube video on the subject.

  • Relaxation: A state of relaxation stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system. This allows the body to rest, digest and repair. The heart rate lowers, blood pressure lowers, and the body is in a state where repairs and rejuvenation are promoted. You’ve probably seen yourself or someone else after a Swedish massage, their hair is disarray, they are so relaxed they've put their pants on backward, and they are spilling their water, this state of relaxation is much more profound in healing than most people think it is. Hendrickson Method is another massage modality that is profoundly relaxing while also being clinical in nature.

Emotional Goals:

  • Healing Words: it is important that I create a mental image of healing for my clients using healing words and praising the client's efforts. Negative thoughts like “I’m always going to be in pain” can lead to anxiety, depression, and irritability. With chronic pain and conditions, this often leads to avoidance behavior where the person will limit activity and movement. I want to encourage my clients to be proactive and to help create an image of healing. I am a firm believer in the power of our perceptions and how those can directly affect our physical states.

  • Nurturing Touch: Decreased blood pressure, reduced stress, and improved mood can all be brought about by gentle and nurturing touch. I can work on deeper tissues without deep or painful pressure. If you are one of those people who don't tolerate pain well and have gotten bodywork where you've cursed and wanted to punch your practitioner in the face because of the intensity, this modality is for you! I have many incredibly sensitive clients, I can deliver results without making you want to cry.

Energetic Goals

  • Induce energy flow: An injury or dysfunctional state can disrupt electrical signaling because of swelling and adhesions. Piezoelectricity is a phenomenon that results in the generation of electric currents (streaming potentials) during massage and manual therapy. Muscle energy techniques, stretching, and contracting soft tissue generate these currents through the fiber's ability to respond to mechanical loads.

  • Improve vitality: Injury and dysfunction lead to a loss of mobility, which leads to stasis or sluggishness. Electromagnetic waves are generated by movement, which improves cellular communication, cellular synthesis, and energy.

  • Create inner calmness (coherence): Before every session, I establish a state of unity between my mind, body, and spirit by taking a few minutes to focus on my breath, qi gong, or metta meditations. This state of harmony allows you to be more present and aware and my clients resonate and match this harmonious state.

  • Healing: Medical research has shown that magnetic fields emanating from therapists' hands (Biomagnetic fields) stimulate healing. It has also been demonstrated that this biomagnetic field can be focused for healing.

The Hendrickson Method is a revolutionary approach to massage therapy. This powerful method can help you experience relief from chronic pain, increase your mobility, and simply improve your quality of life.

So if you're looking for a massage that goes beyond typical spa relaxation, book an appointment with me today to experience the Hendrickson Method for yourself! Let me help feel your best and give you the care you need to get back into balance.

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