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An ongoing series of informational entries

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January 15th, 2018

Massage Therapy for Adhesive Capsulitis (Frozen Shoulder)


Lately I have had several clients that presented with different levels of adhesive capsulitis, from mild to severe.

Adhesive capsulitis is a condition characterized by stiffness, pain and decreased range of motion in the shoulder joint.  The shoulder typically presents protracted and internally rotated.   Symptoms begin gradually and tend to worsen over time if gone without treatment. The cause is mainly related to cervical spine compressions, hormonal imbalances and shoulder injuries.  It has also been linked to psychological downfalls.   At a certain point of mobility loss in the glenohumeral joint (shoulder joint) the capsule surrounding the joint becomes adhered, hence the name Adhesive Capsulitis.  Although the definition, symptoms and causes are similar across the board, your doctor will almost always point to (NSAID) cortisone injections or surgery.

The last four clients that I have treated with this condition were eighty percent asymptomatic after two sessions and almost one hundred percent after three. By approaching the surrounding muscles of the shoulder using positional release, progressive myofascial application and combined with advanced joint mobilization techniques and specific capsular stretching, in just two sessions they have almost full mobility back.

You can see why this may concern me, hence the reason for this article.

Maybe not all massage therapists are equipped to handle this condition or maybe the public isn’t being informed of the true benefits of massage therapy.  I would say a little bit of both.  For any of you reading this with a restricted or frozen shoulder, massage therapy is the answer for you.


Domenic J. Falvo R.M.T.

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April  21st, 2018

Pregnancy and Massage Therapy


Early prenatal care is essential in a pregnancy.   If a women is planning to become pregnant, it is recommended that she build her health and strength up for as much as six months before conceiving. Eliminating the intake of any toxins and developing a proper diet and exercise routine is very important for child development. Along with regular doctor visits, massage therapy can play a big role during a pregnancy.

Any women that has ever been pregnant will tell you that your body will go threw major changes. From my own experience at home and at work, every pregnancy is different. Not all women will have morning sickness and not all women swell up.  I have seen women lie on their stomachs in their third trimester and I have seen them in hot tubs with no after effects.  Everyone is different.  What I am sure of is that the ones that take care of themselves are the ones that have the best pregnancies.

In my practice I see all types of pregnancies.   For my patients, I make recommendations for their daily routines and instruct some general pregnancy exercises.  Within the first and second trimester, most women will be comfortable with using pregnancy pillows.  This is a special three-piece bolstering set that gives leeway for a pronounced abdomen and breast area.  During the third trimester it is not likely that we can use these pregnancy pillows but some women can. Some clinics have specific pregnancy tables that have three wholes in the table, two small for the breasts and one large for the belly.  These tables are the best and can be used threw out the entire pregnancy.  If these tools are not available then the treatment is done in a side-lying position.

As all treatments are not the same, the focus and aims are.  The benefits of pre and postnatal massage are several. Reduce back and joint pain, improve circulation, reduce edema, muscle tension, headaches, stress and anxiety and improved sleep.


Domenic J. Falvo RMT, DOMP

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December 15st, 2018

Massage Therapy for Stress Management


It’s that time of year now when the weather starts to get colder and soon enough we will all be out there shoveling and shopping for holiday season gifts in the traffic, crowds and line-ups. We all know that even though it’s supposed to be a cheery time of year but with that comes stress.

Stress can lead to many ailments that can disrupt our daily lives and take a toll on our bodies. It can lead to anxiety, mood swings and depression to name just a few. For the most part, stress is unavoidable but there are several way that you can manage it.

Identifying the problem and taking steps to deal with it. Try to simplify things and don’t try to tackle too many things at once. Becoming active and getting some general exercise is an great way to let out some stress.

There are numerous amounts of articles and research that has been done to prove that receiving a massage therapy can decrease stress. In my opinion massage therapy is one of the best ways to handle stress. Sometimes you just need to take some time for yourself and shut down for an hour and just feel good with a relaxation treatment. I receive a massage at minimum once every two weeks not only for self-management but also for stress prevention. Just knowing that you have a massage booked gives you something to look forward to. It can help you to feel rejuvenated and gives you that extra energy you may need to handle pressure of everyday life.


Domenic J. Falvo RMT, DOMP

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March 12, 2019

Fly By Night


In the past I have noticed that there have been several, what I like to call, fly-by-nighters. These are clients that drop in for one visit and then either you never or don't see them again for six months to a year or even longer. In most of these cases, these clients need more than just one treatment. What happens is, they never really receive the treatment that they need and don't ever get better.

In general, most people that seek out massage therapy need a series of treatments. Ninety nine percent of the time people don't even realize that they have something going on that needs attention.

I'm writing this article because it would be more beneficial for you as clients to be aware that there may be something going on that you don't know about. Take my advice, when a therapist offers to do a full assessment, take it! It only takes about ten minutes for a good therapist to perform. Your therapist will likely find something that needs work and you'll be thankful that it doesn't turn into something worse.

With massage therapy, a lot can be done in a sixty minute session, even more can be done in an eighty or nighty minute session, but keep in mind some conditions that have been ongoing for several years, may take a series of sessions to treat correctly.


Domenic J. Falvo RMT, DOMP


May 30, 2019

Your massage begins?


There has been some confusion that has been an on going subject about when your treatment actually begins and ends. This has been a long time misunderstood issue that has been debated for years. This article is to clarify this topic.

Your session starts at the time that you booked. If you have an appointment at 12:00 pm, then 12:00 pm is when your session begins. It begins when you first step foot in the treatment room. Your session time includes your assessment, treatment, time to undress, dress and visit the bathroom if you must. It does not begin when you are on the table ready to go. If your therapist is late to greet you in the waiting room then it is likely they will compensate for that time.

Showing up ten minutes before your treatment to fill out required health history information is not anything new to any health care profession. If you show up to your appointment at the exact designated time, you will end up not getting what you are paying for, especially if it is your first treatment.

You wouldn’t show up at the airport at 1:00 pm when your flight is scheduled to leave at the same time, would you? Of course you wouldn’t. You know that there is a procedure that needs to undergo before you even board the plane.

Massage Therapy is just like any other appointment. There is a process that is essential to maintain proper ethical and business practice that cannot be avoided.

Did you know that your massage therapist is responsible for keeping your records accurate? If your health history is not correctly filled out, they are accountable for it.

Showing up to your appointment early is important so that you get the exact amount of time you booked and allows everyone to stay on his or her set schedule.


Domenic J. Falvo RMT, DOMP

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September 30, 2019

To Tip or not to Tip...

This is an interesting topic because tipping is pretty standard in the massage therapy industry but some clients are unsure of tipping protocol for massage therapists. You wouldn’t tip your chiropractor, physiotherapist or doctor. A registered massage therapist is a medical professional why would you tip them?

Tipping a massage therapist usually depends on the facility where you received your treatment. When working in a clinic or medical facility it wasn’t very often that I would see a tip. Usually in a spa or salon you would compliment your therapist with a gratuity.

But then how much do you tip?

I have had people tip me over fifty dollars when the cost of the treatment was only eighty. I have also had people leave twenty-five cents. Keep in mind when this happens its more like an insult than a compliment. Better to leave nothing, unless an insult is what your intending. In my practice clients tip anything from five to twenty dollars on average.

From myself, I would tip according to how good the massage was. Did they do everything I asked? Did they spend extra time? Was it one of the best treatments I have had? These are the things I usually judge my tips on. But everyone is different. I get treatments weekly, some people get treatments monthly or every other month or yearly. The frequency of your treatments may have an influence on your tipping and also your budget.

When its prompted, for example if you are paying with interact at a spa and the machine asks you “would you like to leave a tip?” fifteen percent is usually the default amount. But feel free to do what you like.

Always remember, tipping is never expected or necessary but always appreciated.


Domenic J. Falvo RMT, DOMP