Wellness isn't just diet and exercise.
To be well also means to move well, free of pain and injury.
Optimum Wellness Massage is the massage therapy side of Optimum Sports Performance. I have created this site to make the same massage therapy and corrective exercises services that I offer to athletes open to other clients in the general public, who may benefit from these services or are interested in taking a different approach with their exercise, training, or recovery programs.
I view massage in two basic categories:
General or Recovery Massage is aimed at delivering soft tissue therapy with the intent of assisting the body in recovering, relaxing, and decreasing stress and muscle tension. This type of therapy is often used for athletes who are looking to recover following competition or intense bouts of training or need to “fine tune” their muscle tone prior to competition.
For the general public this type of massage is designed to help with decreasing stress and muscle tension brought on by the rigors of everyday life. While the category is classified as “general,” an assessment is still performed to provide focus and ensure that the treatment session is guided in some way so that you can get the most out of the work. However, the therapy is considered “general” because it is not aimed at dealing with a specific issue such as pain or injury but rather looks to address multiple soft tissue structures throughout the 60min session.
Specific or Treatment Based Massage is aimed solely at improving or resolving a specific issue. This may include injury, pain, dysfunctional movement patterns, postural issues, or improvements in specific ranges of motion that may be needed to help enhance sports performance – for example, improving hip mobility to enhance your golf game.
This therapy session is highly focused and starts with a much more comprehensive assessment than a general massage session. The assessment will take place in three phases – movement assessment, joint and muscle range of motion assessment, and palpation assessment – and seeks to connect the dots between the region of your chief complaint and other areas of dysfunction in your body. As strange as it may sound, an issue with your hip may sometimes require treatment of your foot and an issue with your shoulder may occasionally require treatment of your hip or your neck. The body is highly complex and trying to look at all the contributing factors that may be influencing the area of your complaint is the main goal of the specific massage therapy session. Aside from just working on the soft tissue, this sort of massage therapy session also incorporates corrective exercise to help get you moving again and re-integrate the work we are dong back into normal movement.
Corrective exercise is focused on improving some sort of movement limitation. Following your assessment and soft tissue treatment we use corrective exercise to help the brain “re-learn” a movement pattern that may be limited or restricted. One of the biggest issues with any sort of passive care – massage, chiropractic, physical therapy modalities, etc – is that, while these treatments may do wonders for the individual in terms of pain reduction or relaxation of muscle tone, they do not help the individual gain back any sort of functional capacity.
My view of passive care is that it can be used to help “open the window” to getting you pain free or improving range of motion in some region of the body. However, if the individual does nothing when that window is opened, then the window slowly begins to close and the person is right back at where they started.
How many times have you heard a friend or loved one say, “I love getting a massage when my neck is stiff! I feel great after the session for about two weeks and then I go back for another massage because it starts getting stiff again.” The problem is that they opened the window but did nothing after that. By using some corrective exercises that are designed to specifically address your movement needs, we can slowly begin to keep that window opened for longer periods of time so that less treatment sessions will be needed and those sessions become less frequent until you feel like you don’t need to rely on any sort of therapy to get by.
How long are the sessions?
A typical session is about 60-70min in length. However, the first session of “specific”/ treatment-based massage normally takes about 90 minutes, allowing enough time for a comprehensive assessment to be conducted along with treatment.
What is the price of massage?
$85 per session
What do I need to wear to my massage? Do I need to get undressed?
Our therapy takes place inside of Optimum Sports Performance, which is a sports performance training facility. We do have a private treatment room but most of the sessions are done in the gym to allow you to get up and perform movements or exercises. That being said, loose fitting shorts and a t-shirt or tank top work the best for the treatment session as they will not restrict movement and are easy to perform massage through or palpate muscles through if needed. If we do need a more private room we have that available and if a female client does need to have parts of their upper body exposed for necessary treatment then appropriate draping will always be used with a top sheet.
How long will it take for me to get better when receiving the specific/treatment-based massage”?
This is always a tough question to answer because each person is unique in their ability to heal, recover, and deal with treatment stress (which can be hindered due to life stress or training stress). Another factor that needs to be considered is the length of time you have been dealing with your issue as the problems that have been there for years may take much more work to see improvement. My general rule of thumb is that you should have a good feeling after one session that we are moving in the right direction and you should feel some sort of improvement after that first session with much more dramatic improvements after 2-4 sessions. If we have gone 2-3 sessions with no improvement then we may need to think about looking elsewhere. My referral network is large, and I will gladly refer you to a medical professional if it is necessary. The goal, however, is to try and help you improve in the fastest time possible without compromising your health! If you are proactive and take the advice we are offering, a fast healing time is usually within reach for most people.
How much corrective exercise is there in the specific/treatment-based massage session?
The answer to this question will depend on your individual needs, determined following our comprehensive assessment. Many people come for soft tissue therapy with a specific complaint and we sometimes find that we don’t have to do much hands on therapy at all (sometimes none) but rather we need to direct our focus at more exercise based interventions. This all depends on what you need.
In the general massage session there is very little corrective exercise and mainly just soft tissue therapy with some general movements following the session to help bring us back to “vertical” after lying on the table. However, the intent of this session is very different and not specifically focused towards the improvement of some sort of dysfunction.
Occasionally people have a very specific complaint but just want a general massage. THIS IS NOT THE BEST WAY TO GET WHAT YOU ARE LOOKING FOR! If you have a specific complaint it needs to be addressed specifically and thinking that it will just “go away” with general treatment is not a wise decision.
How much time is needed between sessions?
The length of time between sessions depends on the type of therapy you are receiving and what your goals are. During general massage for recovery purposes this sort of treatment may occur as infrequently as once every 4-6 weeks or as frequently as 1-2x/week depending on your needs. During specific treatment therapy you may initially want to start with 2 sessions per week to help jump start the process with the goal of lowering that to once a week and/or on an “as needed” basis.
In addition, during the specific treatment sessions, you will be given corrective exercises to perform at home on your own. If you are serious about your healing then you need to be very proactive in performing these exercises to ensure that you are constantly giving your body what it needs. Failure to perform these exercises or make the activity modifications that we are recommending may result in a longer healing time or prevent healing altogether as we are constantly trying to work to undo the negative influences.
What sort of issues do you treat?
The types of complaints that we have treated with our specific massage sessions is varied and are mainly centered on soft tissue and myofascial complaints such as:
• Foot and ankle pain
• Low back and hip pain
• Neck and headache pain
• Upper back tension
• Shoulder pain
• Golfer’s elbow
• Tennis elbow
• Patellar Tendonitis
• Knee pain
• Postural improvements
• Loss of range of motion or function
The reason you may be experiencing one or many of these ailments can vary and should you need referral to a medical professional we will ensure that you get the appropriate care.
Do I need a doctor’s referral to see you for a specific/treatment based massage?
You do not need a doctor’s referral to receive massage. However, there may be medical instances where massage is contraindicated. When you call or email to schedule an appointment we will go over your chief complaint, and I will let you know my honest opinion of whether or not it will be worth your time to come to the facility for treatment or if I feel you should need to see a medical professional.
Additionally, if you are at the clinic and something is uncovered that deserves medical attention I will refer you to the proper medical professional to ensure that everything is okay. I have had clients referred from physical therapists and chiropractors when those medical professionals felt that it was appropriate, and I feel comfortable referring back to them when I think that you are better off in their care.
Do you take insurance?
We do not take insurance at this time.
Where can I find out more about your ideas on soft tissue therapy?
All of my ideas on soft tissue therapy, training, exercise, and sports performance can be found in my blog, OptimumSportsPerformance.com
On the lower left hand side of the page there are topic headings that I have conveniently grouped my blog articles into so that you can search a specific topic. By clicking the ‘soft tissue techniques‘ tab in the left hand column you can find all of the articles I have written on this topic, located here.
You can also use the ‘search’ function in the upper right column if you are looking for something specific.
How do I schedule a session, and what are your hours?
Massage therapy sessions are by appointment only. I am there Monday through Friday and some Saturday mornings depending on my travel schedule.
To schedule an appointment please email me at email@example.com or call 602-377-3362.
I am a licensed massage therapist in the State of Arizona, specializing in clinical, therapeutic, orthopedic and sports massage. I am certified in Neuromuscular Therapy (NMT), Active Release Techniques (ART) for the Upper Extremity and Functional Movement Screen (FMS).
I hold a Masters Degree in Exercise Science, and I’m a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the National Strength and Conditioning Association, a Titleist Performance Institute Certified Golf Fitness Instructor, Certified Personal Trainer and Performance Enhancement Specialist through National Academy of Sports Medicine, and a USA Weightlifting-Certified Coach.
I have been working in the field of strength and conditioning for over 8 years. In 2006 I created Optimum Sports Performance LLC and opened my training facility in the summer of 2009 in Tempe, AZ.
My professional experience working with a diverse clientele includes training and massage therapy for optimal health, injury or post-surgery rehabilitation, injury prevention and optimal athletic performance. In addition to running my own practice, I teach at Cortiva Institute in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Prior to starting my own practice, I was a top-level fitness and human performance specialist in New York City, where I also presented seminars and clinics for other fitness professionals.
I strongly believe that one should never stop learning. I regularly attend continuing education events and stay up-to-date with industry research and literature. Some of my sources for continuing education include:
Neuromuscular Therapy (NMT)
Active Release Therapy (ART)
Gray Cook / Functional Movement
Titleist Performance Institute (TPI Seminars)
ACSM (National Conference)
NSCA (National Conference, State Clinics, Personal Trainers Conference)
NASM (National Conference, Personal Training Workshops, Specialization Courses)
ISSN (Annual Conference)
USA Weightlifting Workshops
Strength Pro Strength Summit
Perform Better Seminars
Mike Boyle Seminars/Workshops
Staley Training Summit
Patrick Ward, MS, LMT
Optimum Wellness Massage / Optimum Sports Performance
Comments or questions are welcome.
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