What’s the difference between active therapy and passive therapy?

What’s the difference between active therapy and passive therapy?

I personally offer registered massage therapy and movement (yoga) therapy, so I will speak to those.

Massage therapy would be considered a passive therapy. The treatment is happening to you. The main benefit is symptom relief. 

The moment you go back to your regular activities, movement patterns and habits, everything that caused your symptoms in the first place will begin to build up again… And then you’ll be back for more relief. 

Movement therapy would be considered an active therapy. The treatment is happening within you. One of the many benefits is actual symptom resolve and prevention.

You actually learn how to address and change the way your body moves through and responds to the world around you.   

I love to combine these two things in what I call ‘Discovery appointments’. We split time a little more evenly between movement and massage. The movement therapy provides me with the assessment and home care I am required to provide within the context of a massage appointment, but you get both the relief and the building blocks to resolve. 

This blog entry was written by Heather and is based on what she has seen work and not work for her clientele for over a decade. She is a career student who keeps her massage and yoga therapy training current, and does her best to keep up with the newest research and evidence that is constantly being released.

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Massage therapy and evidence

Massage therapy and evidence

There has been growing research in registered massage therapy and how/why it works. 

So far, what we’ve mostly learned is that a lot of old narratives were inaccurate.

From what I’ve read, so far there’s been more debunking what we thought was going on than actual answers about what IS going on. For example;

We now know that ‘trigger points’ aren’t what we thought they were. In fact, we don’t know what they are – only that these tender spots tend to have common referrals patterns in most people and are often found in similar locations on most bodies. 

We also know that fascial cannot be ‘released’ or stretched. We know that the manual techniques we’ve used for years that we thought were releasing fascia still give people relief and results… We just don’t know why. 

In my humble opinion, regardless of the ‘why’, the important thing is that massage therapy does help people. Also, it’s not typically an invasive or aggressive approach to care, so the risks of causing harm are very low. 

Personally, I think that the reason massage therapy works is very simple:

People get quality one-to-one time to feel heard and cared for. They receive human contact, and that contact (the techniques and pressure used) is tailored to what that person responds to best. They feel safe, cared for, heard, validated and most importantly, their nervous system is given the opportunity to chill out.

I think that pretty much all of the actual physiological effects that a massage provides – decreased muscle tension, decreased blood pressure, improved ease of movement, pain relief – all happen as a direct result of the person’s nervous system going into ‘rest and digest mode’. 

I think that people’s systems essentially ‘fix’ or ‘reset’ themselves – we massage therapists simply provide an environment and a stimulus to facilitate it. 

This blog entry was written by Heather and is based on what she has seen work and not work for her clientele for over a decade. She is a career student who keeps her massage and yoga therapy training current, and does her best to keep up with the newest research and evidence that is constantly being released.

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Which exercise is the best one?

Which exercise is the best one?

Isn’t the world of exercise, stretching and ‘self care’ sometimes overwhelming?

How do you know what to try, who to listen to and what to use?

Well, the answer is, it depends, and here’s why. 

There are so many exercises, stretches, props and tools out there. And not only that, there are so many different ways one single exercise can be done. 

What it boils down to is finding what works best for you. 

What does your body respond well to?

What have you tried already, and how did you feel during, immediately after and in the following days? Did you feel better? Great! Did you feel like crap? Maybe you need to tone down the intensity, speed, frequency, duration or resistance for a bit, or try something else altogether. 

If you’re getting conflicting advice from health care practitioners or gym leaders… great! You have options and guidance from different people with different skill sets! 

Now you get to decide what actually serves you. 

I know this is a frustratingly roundabout answer.. But the thing is, everyone’s body is different, AND your body is different day to day, month to month and year to year. 

An exercise that felt great last month may not work for you this month. That’s ok!

It comes own to your ability to feel your body, know what it’s telling you, and respecting it’s limits in that given moment. 

This blog entry was written by Heather and is based on what she has seen work and not work for her clientele for over a decade. She is a career student who keeps her massage and yoga therapy training current, and does her best to keep up with the newest research and evidence that is constantly being released.

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‘Taking control of your health’ means reminding ourselves of our innate ability to heal and feel. You are powerful, with many defensive mechanisms allowing you

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If you are in a car accident, ICBC will automatically grant you 12 visits with an RMT, chiropractor, physiotherapist, acupuncturist… possibly others (don’t quote me

Why Things Hurt – Lorimer Moseley

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The pain isn’t where the problem is

The pain isn’t where the problem is

I have worked with people for over a decade now as a registered massage therapist, and I can tell you that more often than not, the pain that brings people in for treatment is not felt at its actual source

Now, if someone has fallen and landed on their butt, or taken a kick to the leg in a soccer game, then yes… The pain is coming from the point of impact. 

However, anything that has developed over time – even ‘secondary’ symptoms that occur after a couple weeks of limping from that fall or soccer incident – are usually a response to the original trouble spot. 

Think of it this way. There is an office in which 2 office workers are employed. Worker #1, for whatever reason, never gets all of their work done. Worker #2 finishes their own work, and then finishes worker #1’s responsibilities.

Which worker is going to show signs of frustration and burnout???

If you take this analogy and apply it to your body, it’s easier to understand that when one part of the body is ‘carrying the weight’ of another, it will eventually feel similarly to Worker #2.

As my yoga therapy teacher puts it, “the pain is merely an expression of a problem that exists somewhere else”. 

This blog entry was written by Heather and is based on what she has seen work and not work for her clientele for over a decade. She is a career student who keeps her massage and yoga therapy training current, and does her best to keep up with the newest research and evidence that is constantly being released.

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The Power Within You

‘Taking control of your health’ means reminding ourselves of our innate ability to heal and feel. You are powerful, with many defensive mechanisms allowing you

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If you are in a car accident, ICBC will automatically grant you 12 visits with an RMT, chiropractor, physiotherapist, acupuncturist… possibly others (don’t quote me

Why Things Hurt – Lorimer Moseley

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What does a yoga therapy session ACTUALLY look like?

What does a yoga therapy session ACTUALLY look like?

A one-on-one movement (yoga) therapy session is not a private Hatha flow class. 

It’s all about digging into your symptoms, concerns and goals, and checking out how your body is actually moving. 

Do the muscles and joints involved in your goal actually have the capacity to do what you want them to do?

No matter what your goal is – pain relief, symptom management, strength, flexibility – the body needs to be moving well. 

A lot of it boils down to making sure the communication channels between the brain and your body parts are working efficiently. 

Imagine someone desperately trying to wiggle their ears, yet the ears remain perfectly still while the rest of their face wiggles around. 

This same concept happens all over the body. 

You can’t change what you don’t know about, and that’s where these sessions come in. 

We will spend a lot of time breaking down larger activities and movements into their component pieces. 

I will help you learn how to feel your body and it’s signals on a much deeper level. 

You will begin to take a new level of awareness into your day, and you will quickly discover that you have the ability to know what your current limits are and to avoid injury. 

 

This blog entry was written by Heather and is based on what she has seen work and not work for her clientele for over a decade. She is a career student who keeps her massage and yoga therapy training current, and does her best to keep up with the newest research and evidence that is constantly being released.

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More To Explore

The Power Within You

‘Taking control of your health’ means reminding ourselves of our innate ability to heal and feel. You are powerful, with many defensive mechanisms allowing you

WCB vs ICBC

If you are in a car accident, ICBC will automatically grant you 12 visits with an RMT, chiropractor, physiotherapist, acupuncturist… possibly others (don’t quote me

Why Things Hurt – Lorimer Moseley

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