Old 11-26-2008, 03:05 PM
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Default Graston Therapy

Kathleen Flach, a longtime distance runner and Ultimate Frisbee competitor, played through debilitating hip pain most of the past year. As the discomfort grew, however, so did the 30-something Tampa resident's need to address it.

So she tried stretching and rest. Cut down on her running. Saw a doc about arthritis. Grilled a sports medicine specialist. Endured rounds of physical therapy. Relied on ibuprofen.

Still, she hurt. And her frustration grew.

Flach, like many of us, wanted to avoid a surgical or pharmaceutical solution to her injury. This wasn't a tear or a broken bone. In fact, she knew she had been injury-free for nearly 20 years. But the pain had evolved as little dings and bruises became scar tissue, and it significantly reduced her flexibility and increased her discomfort.

For her, the solution was Graston Therapy, an increasingly popular form of massage therapy used by chiropractors. Imagine a deep, deep, deep tissue massage for which the therapist uses tools resembling handle bars, tongue depressors and boomerangs to break up scar tissue. Eight Tampa area clinics offer the technique.

The six treatments hurt so much it left bruises, Flach says. But it also was the first time something worked.

"I'm as flexible now as I was when I was 15," she says of the treatments, which cost about $40 a session.

Flach's chiropractor, Craig Newman, says he's seen a significant increase in interest in this type of treatment alternative since he started using it in 2003. The specialized tools and treatments, designed at Ball State University in the early 1990s, differ from the chiropractic and massage therapy techniques already in place at his 27-year-old practice.

He says many of the people he treats with the Graston tools are active and athletic, and adamant about wanting to remain so despite such injuries as rotator cuff, shoulder and hip stiffness or plantar fasciitis. The tools better help him break up the fibrous tissue and built-up lactic acid than can be done with a bare hand.
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Old 11-29-2008, 10:33 AM
jfh jfh is offline
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This report reminded me of Rolfing massage therapy. After a "rolfing", I felt bruised all over. I think they were trying to massage my skeleton, my bones. That was not too difficult for them; because I've always been skinny. This was 20 years ago. Things might have changed.

What is rolfing massage therapy?
- Jim
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