Brenda Howell, owner and operator of Healing Hands Body Therapy, is a gifted medical massage therapist with good business sense. She has combined those two traits to open her medical massage clinic in Fayetteville NC. The services provided there help to answer a challenge which is very familiar to the local community of Fort Bragg soldiers, how to mend the broken bodies of military personnel.
Brenda set out to alleviate some of the strains, tears, bumps, bruises, aches and pains which her husband Markus had sustained over years of military service. She began his treatment using conventional techniques such as Swedish massage and some others which were relaxing but only provided temporary pain relief.
Brenda was not content with short term solutions. She wanted to help her husband heal and experience a better quality of life.
She turned her attention and studies toward medical massage. Relatively quickly Markus began to realize longer pain relief and experience the beginning of some real healing. What had grown from a personal goal to help her ailing husband, blossomed into a medical massage clinic that would help not only help her husband, but many other soldiers and civilians in pain as well as well.
Her concept fills a specific niche. There are many day spas offering a variety of massage modalities and packages, yet they are not providing medical massage therapy. Howell explains it this way, “Medical massage is more than just a single modality, it is an understanding of the human body’s biomechanics and the kinetic chain as well as how each massage modality affects that kinetic chain. Combining this knowledge with the knowledge of the most popular massage modalities (i.e deep tissue, myofascial, trigger point therapy and sports massage) results in medical massage”.
The therapeutic techniques used in medical massage often provide noticeable pain relief from muscular injuries. The massage methods that most day spas promote are generally for relaxation massages. While these methods do have minor therapeutic attributes, they do not provide the same relief or postural correction that stems from medical massage.
Howell presents a compelling case for her modality, “There is an art and a science to every medical massage performed. If a massage therapist approaches patient pain using a superficial predetermined routine, the patient gets superficial results. The patient may feel good for the remainder of the day, or even for a few days, but when daily stress levels begin to climb again, those pains will quickly return. This is because a superficial massage cannot determine or treat the root cause of the pain and if neither of those things happen, the muscular dysfunction which caused the pain is still present. Medical massage traces to the root cause and therefore both relieves the pain and more importantly, facilitates the body’s healing process.”
Comparing the average day spa and Howell’s medical massage practice brings up some major differences. A day spa will have the client fill out a basic intake form. The atmosphere is relaxing and comfortable. The placing of hands on the skin, based on the skill level of the therapist, has a relaxing and circulatory benefit. Here the resemblance ends. HHBT’s medical massage intake is much more focused and intensive. There is an evaluation of postural tendencies. One of the most obvious differences about medical massage is the patient’s active participation level during treatment. There is a constant dialogue. A medical massage requires active involvement in the patient healing process.
The name of the practice, Healing Hands Body Therapy, is reflective of the procedure. There is a healing, therapeutic effect of the placing of hands, by a caring and well trained massage therapist, that greatly aids the healing process. The therapists at Healing Hands Body Therapy do not see themselves as healers, but as assisting the body during the natural healing process.
Medical massage therapists help patients in that process discover root causes of pain, as well as provide the tools needed to avoid re-injury, in order to change the way patients feel in their daily lives.
Additional recommendations are made that will facilitate continued healing during the time between visits. Howell aptly calls this ‘homework’ and it is an extension of the unique process that is determined for each patient. Patients are taught to avoid some things, add some things and be aware of other things. She cautions pain sufferers not to wait until the damage is greater. Her clinical goal is to begin the process as quickly as possible and coach patients along the way to healing. Her mantra is, “We will help you change the way you feel”.
Healing Hands Body Therapy also offers aromatherapy and other products such as essential oil blends which are developed in-house. For more information visit the website at www.healinghandsbodytherapy.com or call at 910-818-2513.