What is our “Mobility Maker” treatment?
Updated: Jun 29
In Motion with Morrison Blog
Written by Aubrey Morrison
MS Sports Medicine, CSCS, Licensed Massage Therapist #16763
We needed a bodywork treatment that was specifically designed to increase mobility and range of motion, so we came up with our Mobility Maker session! It goes a bit further than a massage, although massage is still incorporated; but not everyone who needs a massage necessarily needs this. Below are some common questions to explain exactly what the treatment is, who it is for and not for, and what to expect!
What is our Mobility Maker treatment?
It is a 75-minute session that uses some massage, cupping, IASTM (scraping) and facilitated stretching. Each of these components contributes toward a physical and neurological response to relax and lengthen muscles and improve joint range of motion. IASTM (Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization) is the use of an edged tool to perform a scraping motion that breaks up restrictions in the fascia and muscle; it treats at a cellular level to release those restrictions that cause limited mobility and pain. Cupping uses negative pressure to draw the skin, fascia, and muscle upward; this removes waste and toxins from the muscle while replacing it with new blood flow for better recovery and healthier tissue. This enhanced circulation reduces inflammation and softens the tissue, making it more mobile and functional! An extra benefit is that it can “un-stick” fascia from skin and muscles so that the soft tissues can glide across each other properly to produce better movement. You may think of dark circles when you hear of cupping – this can occur, but contrary to popular belief, it is not a bruise! A bruise comes from a contusion; the marks from cupping are just toxins, stagnant blood, and waste products being pulled from the muscle tissue, which pulls in new blood for healing and recovery. Healthy tissue does not leave dark marks! Red-ish marks maybe, but not dark bruise-like marks. Facilitated stretching (also called PNF stretching – Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation) is a form of stretching that involves contracting and relaxing a muscle that is being stretched. When done correctly, a reflex is stimulated that allows the muscles to relax a bit more to get a better stretch, as opposed to just static stretching. PNF stretching is proven to improve flexibility and range of motion.
Who is it for?
This treatment session is not necessary for everyone and isn’t just a fancy massage. It is specifically to remove restrictions and to neurologically affect muscles in order to improve mobility. It is for someone who feels chronically tight and has trouble moving comfortably. For example, someone who has to turn the whole body instead of just the neck to look over the shoulder; or, cannot touch the toes no matter how often the hamstrings are stretched; or someone who cannot reach overhead properly; or an athlete who cannot improve their squat depth; or a runner who experiences back tightness and pain after runs. People who benefit from this maybe those who sit or stand all day, or are weightlifters or endurance athletes who are feeling like their performance is suffering from lack of movement capability, or just feel that their movement is limited for any reason.
Who is it NOT for?
It is not for someone who simply needs to reduce muscle tension, and this is the most common reason people get massages! We may use some of the same techniques in our customized massage treatment session, but not to the extent of the mobility maker. Also, customized massage sessions don’t usually involve PNF stretching. Further, reducing muscle tension is a different type of treatment that reducing soft tissue restrictions. The mobility maker is also not for someone who wants to just come to have a relaxing massage, since there will be lots of movement and tools being used, and the goal is not to relax and be pampered – although there is a time and a place for that! Also, this type of session is not recommended during pregnancy.
How is this different than a sports massage?
There is some overlap in techniques used in sports massage, and the mobility maker can definitely be sport specific, but this treatment session is not only for athletes. Non-athletes get soft tissue restrictions too! There also may be less deep tissue work during the mobility maker.
What can you expect from this treatment?
You can expect to move around quite a bit during sessions both for technique purposes and for switching to different positions. You can expect to come away possibly having marks from the cupping and IASTM, and possibly being tender the next day where focus work was done. You can expect to have more work with tools than traditional massage, and a bit more intensity than a traditional massage.
So there you have it! Of course, if you have any other questions or aren’t sure if you need this or not, you can contact us!
Coastal Massage & Wellness
411-B Western BLVD, Jacksonville, NC
28546, USA (910) 581-2900