Massage Therapy

TRADITIONAL MASSAGE THERAPY
People use massage for a variety of health-related purposes, to relieve pain, rehabilitate sports injuries, reduce stress, increase relaxation, address anxiety and depression, and aid general wellness. Annie Allen, is a leader in the massage and manual therapies industry in WNY with over 27 years experience providing both hands on interventions and energy medicine, her work is powerful, cumulative and beneficial days after the work has been provided.  She uses a variety of modalities in which she has trained to alleviate pain and increase range of motion, ease medication dependence, enhance immunity, help athletes of any level prepare for or recover from strenuous workouts, maintain or increase joint health, and promote tissue regeneration.  During her sessions she also encourages her patients to establish strong communication with their deeper intentions for healing their bodies utilizing the breath and visualization techniques. Patterns of posture are positively affected as are patterns of thought and behavior.  Massage is a valuable tool in recovery of all kinds and Annie has the skill and ability to make your experience and investment truly valuable.

ADAPTIVE/PALLIATIVE MASSAGE THERAPY
Individuals with chronic illness benefit immeasurably from touch. The aim of this approach of adaptive touch is utilized to improve the health and quality of life for individuals living with chronic illness. Through using non-invasive interventions for improving the health status in patients with, neurological disorders: Ataxia, ALS, MS, Alzheimer’s, vascular dementias, migraines, fibromyalgia, and other conditions that affect the CNS individuals are living longer and enjoying more in life.  Adaptive Massage promotes and utilizes both therapeutic and palliative neuromuscular interventions as well as mindfulness techniques to increase body-mind communication and awareness, which is essential when the goal is to: maintain function; encourage muscular/emotional tension relief, balanced muscular action, body/mind communication, stress relief, and chronic pain relief.  For the individual approaching their end of life journey, palliative massage therapy can be a priceless gift. In her years of work with Hospice patients, Annie has come to realize the trauma living with a terminal illness can create.  The power of touch is profound, as is the comfort of knowing that your loved one is receiving appropriate touch.   Touch can unwind the trauma setting up patterns of relaxation and bringing a level of comfort and even joy.  Annie will come to your home, or to your loved one’s Skilled nursing home or assisted living facility. No massage table is needed for this work.  The individual is massaged where he or she is most comfortable allowing for a low impact approach for caregivers and family.  Depending upon the situation, doctor’s permission for treatment is needed.

MANUAL LYMPH DRAINAGE
Lymphatic drainage massage is a very gentle manual technique widely used in Europe and in larger cities across the US to increase lymphatic flow in the body which in turn stimulates immune function.  Harmful substances are removed from the system and neutralized in the lymph nodes by lymphocytes (white blood cells).  The lymphatic vessels are superficial to the musculature and just beneath the skin.  The protocol is very gentle, but powerful.  It has been proven that an increase in lymph flow stimulates an increased production of lymphocytes- enhancing immune function.  Lymphatic drainage massage is a great ally in any massage therapist’s toolkit. By address the lymph system directly we are addressing the immune system directly, and with measurable results.

MLD PRE/POST SURGERY Dermatologists and plastic surgeons have found it helpful in the regeneration of injured or burned tissue, as well as tissue that has been subject to scar tissue formation. As the lymph flow around the scar is increased, lymph vessels that have been damaged are stimulated to heal, and the increased lymph flow also draws away toxins, improving the health of the tissues.(Godart, S., “Lymphatic regeneration after second degree burn,” Progress in Lymphology, 1975/ Hutzshenreuter, P.O. and Brummer, H., “Manual Lymph Drainage used for Scar Healing,” University of Ulm). Lymphatic drainage massage can be used to prep the body for a variety of surgeries both elective and necessary, and it has been shown to help the scarring process by enhancing circulation and immunity.

MLD FOR CONCUSSIVE BRAIN INJURY, TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY, AND NEUROLOGIC DYSFUNCTION
Most recently, in 2015, research from the University of Virginia has discovered lymphatic vessels throughout the brain and central nervous system (CNS).  Textbooks are currently being rewritten to reflect this new awareness, as well as more research on the lymphatic system and its role in the health and maintenance of the CNS. Currently the NFL in response to the multi-billion dollar lawsuit regarding Concussive Brain Disorders is in the process of opening the first MLD clinic in Gainesville, Florida to research the benefits of this unique manual therapy on retired and current athletes with Parkinson’s ALS, Vascular dementia and other CNS issues that accompany Concussive Brain disorder.

MLD FOR SPORTS INJURIES
Lymphatic drainage massage is also useful in treating sports injuries. After the initial inflammatory stage has passed, lymphatic work can be applied regularly for a period of time. This will help to clear the tissue of debris, and help to reduce the minor edema that sometimes occurs after deep use. Continued applications of lymphatic drainage while healing happens can help enhance the tissue regeneration process by keeping the tissues as healthy as possible.

MLD AS AN ANTI AGING INTERVENTION Because of its anti aging effects to enhance the quality of the skin, can be used as an anti-aging treatment. When the lymph is flowing, the cells are being bathed in fresh fluid, cellular regeneration is increased with the increase of flow and cleaner fluids as toxins are neutralized causing the skin to look fresh glowing and alive.

MLD PRE/POST NATAL Expectant Mothers and New mothers especially if they have had or will have a C-section benefit from MLD.  It reduces swelling, constipation, and overall discomfort during pregnancy.  Post-natal benefits also include increased milk production and quicker recovery time.

ELEVATE YOGA
Annie sees yoga as one of the arts and sciences of bringing the body into dynamic anatomical neutral during both movement and stillness. Yoga is a practice, and as a practice it must be done consistently over a period of time to see real and lasting benefits. When the physical form is aligned structure and function are balanced. Flow is free and the mind naturally turns more inward, while enjoying and celebrating the moments of physical embodiment.

The benefits of the practice of yoga are twofold.  Body/mind communication  is increased and the immune system is stimulated.  The movements of hatha yoga gently stretch and lengthen the muscles while at the same time strengthen them, some of the postures require subtle alignment which calls for mental focus and body awareness.  Yogic exercise is a form of mindfulness training.

The immune system is stimulated through yoga via the lymphatic system.  Over 70% of the lymph capillaries are in and just under the skin. These capillaries are delicate, about one cell thick. They are supported within the connective tissue by collagen and elastin fibers that help to anchor them in place. When the skin is slightly stretched through yogic exercise and precise alignment the filaments along the lymph capillary wall open and receive fluid from the surrounding space to be filtered by the lymphatic network in the body.

The practice of hatha yoga increases lymphangio motoricity which is the speed at which lymph flows in the body by ten times.  Lymphocyte (white blood cell production is also increased as the system is stimulated.  This all increases immune system function.  New research shows increased lymphatic flow also stimulates microglial cell production in the brain and central nervous system potentially decreasing the amount of proteins in the brain which cause damaging plaques associated with many dementias and CNS disorders.

The postures and movements of yoga have many evidence based benefits:

  • Increased flexibility
  • Improved Immune function
  • Increased muscle strength and tone
  • Improved respiration, energy and vitality
  • Maintaining a balanced metabolism
  • Weight reduction
  • Cardio and circulatory health.
  • Improved athletic performance
  • Protection from injury

ELEVATE Mindfulness Meditation Trainings
Mindfulness is way of being in relationship with life which positively affects the central nervous system and elicits a balanced state of mind and optimal wellness. Mindfulness simply means openness to life’s experiences happening in the present moment in a state of nonjudgment.  This is a skill which comes natural to some and for others it needs some nurturing, however; it can be developed in almost everyone and there is evidenced based research to back this claim.  “It is fascinating to see the brain’s plasticity and that, by practicing meditation, we can play an active role in changing the brain and can increase our well-being and quality of life,” says Britta Hölzel, first author of the paper and a research fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital and Giessen University in Germany. “Other studies in different patient populations have shown that meditation can make significant improvements in a variety of symptoms, and we are now investigating the underlying mechanisms in the brain that facilitate this change.” Mindfulness and contemplative practices have been scientifically proven to reduce amygdala activation in the brain which is associated with the reptilian brain and strong primal reactions. Further, they activate the area of the brain in the preoccipital cortex, area of brain in control of reframing or recontextualizing a particular concept.. This empowers an individual with the ability to objectively analyze him or herself.

It’s been accepted as a useful therapy for anxiety and depression for about a decade. It’s being explored by schools, pro sports teams and military units to enhance performance, and is showing promise as a way of helping sufferers of  ailments brought on by stress like headaches, obesity, diabetes, depression and anxiety, intestinal disorders, accelerated aging, PTSD, chronic pain, addiction, tinnitus and infertility.

Mindfulness practice

  • Reduces anxiety levels
  • Boosts Immune system function
  • Increases mental clarity and productivity
  • Improves social relational skills
  • Uplifts mood
  • Decreases negative emotions
  • Regulates Endocrine system function
  • Reduces fight or flight response
  • Helps in chronic pain management

ELEVATE Yoga and Mindfulness for Infertility
This program incorporates contemplative practices like yoga and mindfulness meditation, imagery, massage, emotional support such as group discussions and sharing, as well as mindful eating including cutting down on caffeine, alcohol, fats, and sugar. Evidenced based research shows women who participate in a program of infertility yoga had a 50 percent fertility rate within one year of finishing the program. What makes these results even more remarkable is that regardless of the cause of the woman’s inability to conceive, whether it was unexplained infertility or low sperm counts, participants were helped in encouragingly high numbers. One is not only encouraged not only to relax but also to establish a more loving connection with a body they may feel angry at for failing them.

This 10 week program with impart tools to positively affect the overall health of an individual, influence positive interactions in relationships, support a positive body image, and greatly increase the chances of fertility.  Not only that, one may experience a whole new lifestyle emerging, one that not only facilitates making a baby, but also fosters less stressed parenting.

With permission from one’s attending physician Annie Allen will perform a thorough initial assessment visit where she will evaluate the individual’s physical function, discomfort, anxiety level as well as their personal goals for therapy and create a treatment plan.

Participants will matriculate in an ongoing weekly infertility yoga class.  Her years of experience as a massage therapist has given her a unique perspective on the role movement, touch, relaxation, visualization and mindfulness can play as one negotiates the trauma of disappointment during the journey. A bright future awaits through the process of Elevate Therapeutics Infertility Yoga.

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