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Massage... And Beyond Massage Therapy

Overview Of "Massage Therapy" Skill Levels...


Massage techniques taught in accredited schools are generally based on Swedish Massage.  After graduation and licensure by the State, therapists can choose to expand their abilities by investing in more advanced techniques and therapies.


Continuing Education is a requirement for License Renewal.  However, it does not require therapists to choose from the more advanced soft tissue seminars offered.  And very few massage therapists make that choice.  The skill levels that "Massage Therapy" presents to the public... is something like the following:

50-60% offer "just a massage"...

20-25% offer massage with some "deep tissue therapy"...

10-15% offer the above, plus a minimal level of some advanced therapies...

Only about 5% are experienced in the more advanced therapies...

Therapists like Joel Safran are well within the upper level of that 5%.  That means... you have less than a 1 in 20 chance of finding in finding "a good therapist" who will be more able to help you in resolving a Chronic Condition.  About two years ago, a highly respected educator in our field wrote an article about the Massage Therapy profession.  It was entitled "Marching Toward Therapeutic Irrelevance".  If you just want a nice massage, there are many therapists who can provide that for you.  But, if you need help with ongoing Chronic Conditions, patients have said that there are very few doctors or therapists who even come close to what Joel Safran can do.

Basic Benefits of Massage Therapy

Regular Massage appointments will benefit your health.  Generally, benefits are superficial.  Even with so called "Deep Tissue" therapy, it is generally not focused on finding & following relationships within your body... or the understanding & handling of "root causes" of your health issue.  Basic Massage Therapy benefits can be described as:


Improving Flow of blood, lymph and other fluids.

Enhancing tissue and cellular nutrition.

Assisting in the removal of toxins and cellular waste products.

Improving immune system functions.

Promoting healing.

Increasing flexibility.

Reducing muscle pains and spasms.

Promoting calmness and a sense of WellBeing.


However, basic massage does not get to the root causes of Chronic Conditions... and it is generally ineffective in a number of ways.  I know this to be true from what patients have told me.  The therapy you can expect from Joel Safran will provide benefits that go well past basic massage therapy... and even past what other professionals have been able to provide.  And on an hour to hour comparison, the cost to you will be about the same as "just a massage".  However, the value for your time and money will be much more.

Osteopathic Approaches & Principles


The benefits of "Advanced Soft Tissue Techniques" go much further than basic Massage Therapy.  They are goal oriented and they tend to integrate the body's healing processes more thoroughly.  Treatments such as these generally provide more profound and long lasting results.


Joel Safran's practice is based on the Principles of Osteopathy... which emphasizes overall health by encouraging balance & harmony between the relationships of the body's Nerves, Muscles, Fascia, Bones and Organs.  Treatments are based on the understanding that the systems of our body are interconnected.

Principles of Osteopathy

And The Focus Of This Practice


1.  The body is an integrated Whole.  When each structure and part is able to support the whole body, the result is increased function and health.


2.  The natural flow of the body's fluids... lymphatic, vascular & neurological... must be balanced and maintained.


3.  Nerves play a crucial part in controlling the fluids of the body.


4.  The body possesses self-regulatory mechanisms for its self maintenance.  When its ability to adapt is disrupted, disease and dysfunction generally occurs.


5.  When the body has no restrictions retarding it proper functions, it has the inherent ability to heal itself.


6.  A healthy human body is the sum total of its physical, emotional, social and spiritual parts & systems working in harmony.

Primary Soft Tissue Therapies

Utilized In This Practice


NeuroMuscular Therapy

Clinical Massage Techniques

Osteopathic Techniques

Joint Mobilization

Structural Integration

Myofascial Release Techniques

CranioSacral Therapy

CranioSacral Structural Integration

Muscle Energy Techniques

Organ Specific Therapies

Visceral Manipulation

 Flexibility Conditioning

Health & Nutritional Education

NeuroMuscular Therapy...

(Janet Travell, M.D)

(Paul St. John, LMT)

Leon Chaitow, D.O.)


The assessment and specific treatment of hypertonic muscle tissues.  Tightened and contracted tissues contribute to BioMechanical imbalances that reduce our ability to properly move and function.  Usually these conditions are accompanied with pain and stiffness.  Left untreated, these heightened levels of neurological activity affects the health & function of other muscles, organs and glands.


Clinical Massage Techniques...

(various presenters)


Tightened and fibrotic tissues are treated so as to encourage... the regeneration of more normal & healthy cells... the improvement in the flow of circulatory fluids... and the elimination of waste products, toxins and other debris.


Structural Integration...

(Ida Rolf, Ph.D.

(Bill Williams, Ph.D.)


The remolding of Fascial tissue.  Resultant increases in tissue length and elasticity then permits... a more anatomically correct posture & alignment... movement with greater range, freedom, grace & flow... improvement in physiological functioning... and an increased sense of confidence & self esteem.


MyoFascial Release Techniques...

(various presenters)


This includes several techniques, most of which are based on gently inducing tissue motion, and then following the tissue release to its conclusion.  Release and unwinding of fascial tissues will then enable improved structure, motion & functions of your body.


CranioSacral Therapy... and

CranioSacral Structural Integration...

(William Sutherland, D.O.)

(John Upledger, D.O.)

(Dallas Hancock, D.C.)


The CranioSacral System involves the inner most part of our body... the membranes and connective tissues that house the Brain and Spinal Cord.  It also includes the Nerve Roots that exit the Spine and spread throughout our body.  Functioning properly, this system refines blood into CerebroSpinal Fluid which bathes & nourishes our Brain and Central Nervous System.


When the CranioSacral System is not properly functioning, there is less fluid to keep our Brain optimally functioning.  Internal Structural Imbalances contribute to Structural Distortions in other parts of our body.  Restricted Venous Blood flow from the Cranium creates internal pressures resulting in various neurological disorders.


The goal of this gentle approach is to normalize the CranioSacral System so that its rhythm is strong, full and balanced.  The goal is also to remove restrictions within and in between the Cranial Bones.  This will enable improvements in structure and neurological functions throughout your whole body.


Muscle Energy Techniques...

(Fred Mitchell, Sr., D.O.)


This involves soft tissue techniques that reduce difficult joint restrictions.  A patient is placed in a specific position... and then asked to gently move in a specific direction.  At the same time, the therapist resists movement in a specific direction.  That then results in a release of the restricted joint... enabling proper posture, function and movement.


Visceral Manipulation...

(Jean-Pierre Barral, D.O.)


This is an Organ Specific technique which is used to remove internal soft tissue restrictions.  These restrictions can affect problematic relationships between Organs... or they can involve Organ adhesions to internal cavity walls (such as your RibCage) resulting in pain felt in the external parts of your body.


Like the structures in the CranioSacral System, organs are supposed to move freely and rhythmically.  As Organs become less mobile, that will contribute to a variety of dysfunctions, "diseases" and discomforts.  The goal of this gentle therapy is to remove restrictions deep within your body so as to promote internal mobility and overall health.


Flexibility Conditioning...

(Aaron Mattes, RKT)


Based on the work of Aaron Mattes and others... these stretching techniques achieve tissue elongation at a lower tissue stress level by utilizing passive muscle positioning... and an appropriate stretch duration.


Health & Nutrition Counseling...


Therapy can be enhanced with information and recommendations regarding positive lifestyle choices... such as stretching routines, exercise, mind/body awareness and nutrition.  Nutrition goes beyond proper intake.  It must include the body's ability to absorb, assimilate and utilize what we eat & drink.



(various Doctors of Osteopathy)


"True" Osteopathy encourages balance & harmony between the relationships of the body's Nerves, Muscles, Fascia, Bones and Organs.  It is an integrated approach that looks upon the body as a highly integrated "Whole"... the sum total of it inter-related parts.  When the parts inter relate in a harmonious way, the body is healthy.  When there is not harmony, the body is dysfunctional of "diseased" in various ways.


When the American Osteopaths won a legal "turf battle" with the American Medical Association... and gained equal status with Medical Doctors... they began to practice "Manual Medicine" less and less.  Today, almost all American Osteopathic Doctors practice along the same "drug-em-up" and "cut-em-up" treatment styles as the MDs.  It is easier... and they can make a lot more money.  "True" Osteopathic Manual Medicine can only be found in places like Europe and Australia.  That is a shame, because American Osteopathic Manual Medicine at one time had been quite significant in the history of Osteopathy.

This  Practice   Is  Based  On  Osteopathy...


The principles of Osteopathy are the basis of my practice.  If I were to start all over again today, I would become a Doctor of Osteopathy... specializing only in Manual Medicine... and doing pretty much what I presently do for people who choose to work with me.  That is what you can expect.

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Best Value for your Time & Money