Medical Massage Therapy in New York City

Medical Massage therapy is a system of structured manual movements or palpations of the soft tissues of the body done by Licensed, and certified Massage Therapists in the treatment of pain, injuries, swelling and full Range of Motion of functioning of muscles. Though in Western medicine massage is considered complementary and alternative medicine, it’s becoming increasingly popular for primary care as people are no longer satisfied with being told to take medication or to undergo a surgical procedure. People are seeking non-invasive, non-pharmacological holistic care aligned with resolving the underlying issues and origin of their pain points and trigger points, not just their symptoms.  From optimizing the body systems (circulation, respiratory, immune, digestion, cardiovascular health etc) to relieving pain, inflammation, headaches, TMJ and more. Medical massage therapy is a powerful natural treatment that uses specific manual (hands-on) gliding movements, tolerable compression or palpation techniques to address specific areas of complaint of the Musculoskeletal system. Myofascial Release, Trigger point therapy, Lymphatic Drainage Massage, Craniosacral Therapy are offered by Dr. Kaminsky and Licensed Massage Therapists.

Call for an Appointment: (212) 328-1180

General massage therapy is aimed at providing relaxation and is a common treatment for those experiencing physical soreness.  Medical massage therapy focuses on healing and providing therapeutic benefits with the body’s natural healing systems, such as, the central nervous system to:

  • Alleviate pain & nerve compression
  • Reduce Muscle soreness
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Improve circulation 
  • Enhance range of motion & flexibility 
  • Promote digestion & more

Medical massage therapy aims for results in achieving wellness necessities such as the ability to sleep well, walk comfortably, sit pain-free, or breath well in addition to delivering relaxation and stress reduction.

Medical Massage includes the following

  • Vagus Nerve Toning massage
  • Myofascial Release Therapy massage
  • Craniosacral Therapy
  • Lymphatic Drainage massage
  • Trigger Point massage

What conditions does medical massage therapy treat?

Medical massage therapy is recognized as effective therapeutic care for everything from chronic pain to insomnia and countless other ailments – with little to no side effects.  Conditions medical massage therapy can treat include but are not limited to:

  • Neck, shoulder & lower back pain
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Immune system restoration
  • Headaches, including sinus, cluster, tension and migraine headaches
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Sciatica
  • Temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ)
  • Whiplash
  • Torticollis
  • Tendonitis
  • Gastrointestinal & digestive issues
  • Radiating pain
  • Lessen depression and anxiety
  • Sports injuries
  • Improve the condition of skin, the body’s largest organ
  • Increase joint flexibility & improve arthritis
  • Reduce spasms and cramping
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Releasing of endorphins—amino acids (the body’s natural painkiller)
  • Recurring stress injuries from standing or sitting for extended periods
  • Herniated Discs (nerve compression)
  • Sleep issues including insomnia and painsomnia (pain during the night)
  • Resolves tightness and stiffness by improving range of motion and flexibility in your entire body

What type of bodywork is medical massage therapy?

It should be noted that the term “medical massage therapy” does not refer to one particular form of massage. Instead, it relates to the general implementation of one or multiple manual bodywork techniques intended to target a particular pain point or medical condition that affects the patient. A variety of manual bodywork techniques can be utilized to target health improvement and relief.  The medical massage therapy modalities offered are mostly made up of the following:

(click for a deeper dive on the treatment)

Most techniques stated above are done by Dr. Kaminsky and some by Massage Therapists. Even though medical massage therapy may involve a variety of different manual treatments, it is important to know that the way these massage treatments are performed is different from traditional general full-body techniques. I conduct a thorough analysis of your health status, learn about the symptoms you’ve been experiencing, look at the demands and stressors you’re coping with and explore the best approach for you. Many people are looking for specific modalities and know what they need. But most people would take the recommendation once in the office. Understanding your unique circumstances helps our office in organizing and applying the most effective treatment combining multiple modalities, where necessary, for a speedy recovery which is another way that medical massage therapy differs from a general massage.  With medical massage therapy you receive a custom-tailored therapeutic protocol and treatment plan, implementing components of multi treatments and designed to accelerate your recovery and return to full health. 

Call for an Appointment (212) 328-1180

Research Supporting the Effectiveness of Medical Massage Therapy:

Immediate Pain Relief: Research has demonstrated those experiencing musculoskeletal pain enjoyed immediate reduction of their pain after a single session of a medical massage.

Anxiety & Stress Relief: Research has demonstrated those receiving medical massage therapy also found it beneficial in improving mood, reducing anxiety, and enhancing health-related overall quality of life.

Advantages in Pregnancy:  Research has demonstrated women receiving medical massage therapy during pregnancy reported a reduction in anxiety, depression, back and leg pain.  Cortisol levels declined resulting in excessive fetal activity also declining along with the rate of premature birthings.   In research centered around labor, women who received medical massage therapy endured significantly less pain with their labors on average being 3 hours shorter and less need for medication.   Specialized techniques are applied to deliver a prenatal medical massage therapy to pregnant women.

Lymphatic Drainage:  Medical massage therapy can improve blood circulation along with the flow of lymph. Stimulating nerve receptors triggers blood vessels to dilate and this invigorates blood flow. Lymph is a fluid that transports impurities, waste and toxins  away from tissues transporting them through the lymphatic system which functions as a filtering valve. Lymph circulates differently than blood and its circulation largely relies on the squeezing effect of muscles contracting. On one hand, sedentary people have difficulty stimulating lymph flow and on the other hand, very active people and the increased waste produced from their activity can overwhelm their body’s ability to sufficiently move lymph.  Fortunately either way, research has demonstrated medical massage therapy involving moving the skin in particular directions based on the structure of the lymphatic system helps encourage drainage of the fluid and waste through the appropriate channels.

Nerve Compression Relief:  Research has demonstrated medical massage therapy effective in reducing lower back pain sciatic nerve symptoms.  Nerve compression happens when the surrounding tissues (bone, muscles, tendons) become inflamed or stiff, often from overuse,  and surfaces as sensations varying from a mild annoyance of numbness or tingling to intense radiating pain.  An example of an injured nerve is carpal tunnel syndrome, affecting the wrist joint and radiating pain through the hand or arm. Medical massage therapy can reduce nerve damage symptoms by increasing circulation and reducing muscle tension. Through an in-person assessment I can identify the location(s) of any compression(s) along with the cause and structure a healing protocol.  The most common sites of nerve pain include: 

  • Cervical Spine – In the neck a compressed nerve produces tingling and pain sensation in the spine, capable of traveling to the shoulder blade region and arm.
  • Arm – tennis elbow 
  • Carpal tunnel – in the wrist when the median nerve is injured
  • Sciatic nerve – produces lower back, hips and leg pain
  • Lateral Femoral Cutaneous Nerve – the sensory nerve in the upper thigh has become compressed
  • Ulnar nerve –  Long-term pressure placed on the elbow or base of the palm, also results in golfers elbow

As most compressed nerves are caused by tight muscles, medical massage therapy applied to the tight and shortened muscles, followed by stretching to re-lengthen the muscles will displace the compression off the nerve allowing healing. 

Stress Relief, Improved Breathing & Gut Health: Research has demonstrated trigger point compression massage can increase parasympathetic nervous system activity and thereby trigger the body to calm. The parasympathetic nervous system manages the body’s ability to achieve a “rest and digest” state and essentially controls the body’s ability to relax.  The parasympathetic nervous system is the key to maintaining daily functions like your metabolism; your resting heart rate; and your resting bronchial constriction (affecting your breathing rate).  When your  parasympathetic nervous system is functioning well, your risk of cardiac heart disease and stroke is reduced;  your digestive metabolism and gut health increases, and occurrence of migraines decreases. 

Improved Circulation & Posture while Reducing Inflammation: Research has demonstrated medical massage therapy increased blood circulation and reduced inflammation. Circulation is improved by stimulating the lymphatic system which accelerates lymph flow and the removal of metabolic waste and toxins from the body – resulting in the simultaneous reduction of swelling and pain and increased relaxation.  A medical massage triggers an increase in blood flow around muscles (elevating levels of oxygen and essential nutrients used for the repair of damaged muscle), thereby also increasing muscle temperature which improves the elasticity of muscle fibers – resulting in an increased range of movement. Improving tissue elasticity and reducing restrictions allows muscles to relax and both standing and sitting posture to return to normal. Research has demonstrated medical massage therapy increased blood circulation and reduced inflammation.

Medical Massage Therapy Treatment Portfolio 

The Following Services are Offered by Dr. Kaminsky, Craniosacral Therapy which facilitates the body’s innate regulatory and healing ability by stimulating, through the focused touch of the therapist, flow of Cerebro-Spinal Fluid throughout the body.

LINK:  Most Frequently Asked Questions About Craniosacral Therapy – Craniosacral Therapy NY

Myofascial Release:  Decreases pain and improves movement by activating muscle and underlying fascia to uptake more vital fluid available in the body for optimal structural and functional integrity.

LINK:  Myofascial Release Therapy NYC (craniosacraltherapyny.com)

Somato Emotional Release (SER) Helps the body release trapped, stuck negative experiences / emotions resulting in restructuring of the nervous system and a reversal of symptoms and various ailments of the mind-body.

Link: Somato Emotional Release Therapy in New York City (craniosacraltherapyny.com) 

Vagus Nerve Toning: Recalibration of the nerve often referred to as the Rest and Digest part of the nervous system. Best done with specialized vibrational sound healing tunning forks of 128 hz frequency. 

LINK: Vagus Nerve Treatment with Chiropractic Care in New York City (craniosacraltherapyny.com)

About Dr. Kaminsky & Craniosacral Therapy

Dr. Kaminsky is a 1999 graduate of the University of Bridgeport College of Chiropractic. He is licensed to practice in NY and has completed close to three thousand hours of professional continuing education since becoming licensed in March of 2000.

The primary approach used in his office is Craniosacral Therapy (CST) which is a method focusing on the cranium (head) and sacrum (a large bone at the base of the spine) scientifically proven to control life sustaining fluid flow throughout the body.

Craniosacral Therapy is a gentle, non-invasive, hands-on manual therapy approach that brings about healing via the fluidity of the body. The existence of the Craniosacral System was first discovered by Osteopath Dr. William Sutherland in the early 1900’s, calling it Cranial Osteopathy.  And later rediscovered, validated, and developed by Dr. John Upledger in the late 70’s early 80’s, who renamed it Craniosacral Therapy after doing five years of research at the Michigan State University, School of Medicine. In 1983 Dr. John, as he was fondly called, established a teaching institute in Palm Beach, Florida, to teach this cranial sacral method to all healthcare providers. The Upledger Institute is still very active today.

The craniosacral mechanism pumps fluid which is produced in the brain, called cerebro-spinal fluid (CSF), through the fascial network of the body, the purpose of which is to lubricate joints, muscles, organs, all cells and all tissues. It is the driving life force for your body’s systems to function properly, CSF also carries healing properties to bodily traumas, injuries and past surgeries.

The proper function of your cranial sacral mechanism, via CSF flow, maintains the normal tone of your muscles, provide nutrients to your organs, and keeps you out of pain. It sustains human life and allows your nervous system to stay responsive to challenges of daily living and your mind-body life experiences. The better your craniosacral mechanism functions, the better the flow of this life sustaining fluid, the better your body can handle physical and emotional stress. The uninhibited flow of this fluid throughout your body allows you to thrive, opposite of survival mode.

CSF is part of the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) brain and spinal cord), which is physically encapsulated within the dural membranes of the spine and head.

One of the functions inside of your brain is to automatically generate energetic rhythmic impulses that function to pump CSF throughout your body, regulating your peripheral nerves, nervous system and organ systems, which in turn, sustain your function (physiology) and life. It is an important force that maintains everything functioning in your body. This is what we call the Craniosacral System, or Craniosacral Mechanism. It is the hydraulic, energetic and rejuvenating system of your body.

This measurable life force of moving fluid is palpable to a trained craniosacral therapist, like the heart rhythm, pulse rhythm, breathing rate, that can all be felt, so too can the Cranial Sacral Rhythm (CSR) be palpated and measured. It is the foundational diagnostic tool in real-time used to evaluate your current state of well-being (or lack thereof), and potential for health improvement and healing.

Compromises of your rhythmic impulse, correlates to CSF flow restrictions in the system which the body is unable to self-correct or overcome on its own. This is the reason why over time we develop pain, dis-ease, symptoms, conditions, mind-body disconnect and basically all human physical and psychological ailments.

When the fluid isn’t flowing optimally, your bodily rejuvenation is affected, and this is where the skill of an experienced craniosacral therapist becomes valuable. By placing his or her hands on your body, most commonly on your head and sacrum, for diagnostic purposes, the practitioner can detect, feel, evaluate, and rate the SSQAR (strength, symmetry, quality, amplitude, rate) of the rhythm; then bring forth correction of any limitations with subsequent experienced hand placements on different parts the body during a session.

A craniosacral therapist helps your rhythm reset, restore and renew allowing for healing to take place of the mind-body connection, musculoskeletal tightness and spasms, neurological deficits, autoimmune issues, organ function, many common conditions, and of course pain. Through a practitioners properly focused and attuned touch, your body is facilitated to release channels of fluid stagnation and flow restriction, which ultimately breakthrough, overcome and improve CSR and the function of vital fluid flow.

Dr. Alex Kaminsky is an advanced practitioner of Craniosacral therapy, having studied up to advanced levels including SER and pediatric courses. He has built a solid foundation with many years of experience, treating babies, children and adults.

To learn more, visit the other pages on this website. Call to schedule your appointment with Dr. Kaminsky.