What kind of Massage Therapy treatments do you do in Dakin Rehab?

Developed by Geoff Dakin the founder of Dakin Rehab The Alignment First Protocol©, is a combination of manual therapy and prescribed exercise. Our Neuromuscular therapists are experts in Posture biomechanics and corrective exercise.

The massage therapy technique that we practice most is called ischemic pressure. This manual technique involves palpating for and applying gentle pressure to trigger points and other hypertonic (too tight) soft tissues in order to return those tissues to healthier tone. Not only is this done to help decrease the soft tissue discomfort in the tissues themselves, but it is also can be an effective way to normalize alignment of the skeleton.

One of the biggest reasons the therapy we practice is different from more typical massage therapy is the use of a proprietary system of corrective exercise called the Alignment First Protocol ©, to promote lasting change in muscle tone improvements and bony alignment.

How can The Alignment First Protocol© Therapy help me?

Within the system we use in Dakin Rehab, the manual therapy we use is Ischemic pressure technic that can be an effective way to solve problems related to muscle imbalances, dysfunctional movement patterns and painful postures. It can be beneficial for people of all ages. This, in combination with the alignment exercises will bring relief to the tissues and joints as the body is compensating less and less.

The conditions we most commonly work with are:

  • Back pain
  • Neck pain and headache
  • Hip pain and sciatica
  • Achilles tendonitis and plantar fasciitis
  • Tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow
  • Knee pain and patellar tendonitis
  • Post-surgical (including joint replacement) rehabilitation
  • Postural re-education

Is The Alignment First Protocol© therapy always appropriate?

No, there are certain medical conditions that make manual therapy an inappropriate choice of care. That’s one reason why all patients fill out a health history form before beginning their first therapy session. An intake interview is also used to gather additional information and establish whether or not you are a good candidate for the kind of therapy we provide.

Does Neuromuscular Therapy hurt?

As with the vast majority of the other elements of each individual case, it depends.

In many cases the root cause of the pain does not exist where the pain is felt, and in such cases the treatment itself may not be uncomfortable at all. More often than not, the treatment involves some minor discomfort, but it is not harmful. If we do it right, the discomfort in question diminishes during the session, as does the painful problem you are seeking help for.

In cases where the painful site itself needs to be manipulated, your ongoing feedback regarding discomfort helps us to keep the pressure we are using the most appropriate pressure possible. Of course, the patient is able to stop the treatment at any time.

How do I start?

The first appointment is a free 30 minute Discovery Session, we do this so we can figure out whether or not we are the right answer to your problem. Here is where we start our relationship in your healing process. It is a great opportunity to hear your story, get all the details, get you scanned and discuss your case. Prior to this visit you will complete a confidential health history. Medical conditions, surgeries, medications and details surrounding your primary complaint, this are all important to know.

What can I expect during the first session?

We will combine the information we have gotten from you with information compiled from a series of postural and dynamic assessments that will take place at the beginning of the appointment.

Through this session we will be able to develop a logical treatment plan that accounts for your unique needs and goals.

You will be given a personally prescribed corrective exercise program to practice at home, with a demonstration video of each exercise for reference.

Do I have to remove all my clothing for my session treatment?

No. You will need to wear close-fitting clothes that you can exercise in. Close-fitting clothes help us to see your body positioning. Clothes that you can exercise in are necessary because you are not a passive participant in this therapeutic process.

During the typical session it is not unusual for the patient to have to get up and down off the treatment table multiple times. That would be awkward and incredibly time-consuming if you were naked. We also need you to be able to perform exercises, for assessment purposes and as corrective intervention. “Test, correct and retest” is standard operating procedure in our office.

It is critically important that you are comfortable with this approach. If you are uncomfortable with any aspect of the plan or execution of your care we need you to let us know immediately so that adjustments can be made.

After my therapy session is there anything specific I should or shouldn’t do?

Plan for some quiet time right after your treatment if at all possible. Although a hot bath might be a great idea, most people jump back in their vehicle and head back to work or rush home to get dinner ready. A better option would be to schedule time for at least a relaxing walk around the block or take some time getting to know your new exercises in a nearby park. These activities are recommended to help you calm your neuromuscular system and enhance the benefits of the massage. They will likely help minimize any post-treatment stiffness. Drinking plenty of water will also help to keep your tissues hydrated, healthy and mobile. The most important “do” is to persistently practice your exercise prescription.

It’s probably not a great idea to leave your massage therapy session and engage in any high demand activity, whether it is demanding mentally or physically. Most people leave the treatment room feeling relaxed, but for some people “relaxed” means “groggy” and for others it means “tired”. The experience is unique to everyone, but you are unlikely to be ready for any sort of peak performance. As much as it is possible take the rest of that day to regain your feet and get back up to speed at work and play the following day.

The third and fourth sessions also occur at weekly intervals as we continue to coax your body toward the desired changes in alignment, mobility and discomfort that are critical initially.

After four weekly sessions it is typical for the acutely painful crisis to be behind us. At this point we move forward with another four sessions, occurring every two weeks. Although some people are inclined to conclude their treatment plan at this point because they feel better, lasting improvements in posture, mobility and movement quality take time to develop and sustain.

Depending on many factors a fracture takes 6-12 weeks to heal. It has been our experience that significant, lasting alterations to the neuromuscular system takes a similar amount of time. Guided by a complex intelligence that we do not yet fully understand, the body repairs itself — and over a few months is made whole again. The process is spontaneous, natural, and seeks no direction from us.

Is The Alignment First Protocol© covered by insurance?

Yes, if you have benefits that cover massage therapy.