Specialized Physical Therapy

Dr. Mowry brings a unique skill set to the table. She integrates a wide variety of specialized manual therapy techniques that she has learned from advanced courses all over the United States. Each treatment is unique and may include a combination of the therapy techniques described below.

Myofascial Release

Myofascial Release is a very effective hands-on technique that provides sustained pressure into myofascial restrictions to eliminate pain and restore motion. The theory of Myofascial Release requires an understanding of the fascial system (or connective tissue). The fascia is a specialized system of the body that has an appearance similar to a spider’s web or a sweater.

Fascia is very densely woven tissue, covering and interpenetrating every muscle, bone, nerve, artery and vein, as well as all of our internal organs including the heart, lungs, brain, and spinal cord. The most interesting aspect of the fascial system is that it is not just a system of separate coverings. It is actually one structure that exists from head to foot without interruption. In this way you can begin to see that each part of the entire body is connected to every other part by the fascia, like the yarn in a sweater.

Fascia also plays a critical role in the support of our bodies, since it surrounds and attaches to all structures. These structures would not be able to provide the stability without the constant pull of the fascial system. In fact, our bones can be thought of as tent poles, which cannot support the structure without the constant support of the guide wires (or fascia) to keep an adequate amount of tension to allow the tent (or body) to remain upright with proper equilibrium.

In the normal healthy state, the fascia is relaxed and wavy in configuration. It has the ability to stretch and move without restriction. However, when we experience physical trauma, scarring, or inflammation, the fascia loses its pliability. It becomes tight, restricted, and a source of tension to the rest of the body. Trauma, such as a fall, whiplash, surgery, or just habitual poor posture over time, plus any repetitive stress injuries have a cumulative effect. The changes they cause in the fascial system influence comfort and the function of our body. The fascia can exert excessive pressure producing pain or restriction of motion. It affects our flexibility and stability, and is a determining factor in our ability to withstand lifelong stress and strain.

The use of Myofascial Release allows us to look at each patient as a unique individual. Our one-on-one therapy sessions are hands-on treatments during which our therapists use a multitude of Myofascial Release techniques and movement therapy. We promote independence through education in proper body mechanics and movement, through the enhancement of strength, flexibility, and postural and movement awareness.

CranioSacral Therapy

CranioSacral Therapy is a method of examining and treating your head and body for restrictions that cause you pain and dysfunction. CranioSacral Therapy addresses the membrane system and connective tissue that connect the cranium and sacrum to each other. CST permits improvements in brain and spinal cord function, which increases the health of your entire body, enhances your resistance to disease, and assists in a return to optimal function.

CranioSacral Therapy works by releasing restrictions in the fascial and/or membrane system. The cranial bones and the sacrum are used as handles to these membranes. The Cerebrospinal fluid circulates within these membranes and has a normal pumping rhythm of 6 – 12 cycles/minute. By utilizing the cranial bones and the sacrum as handles to these membranes, restrictions can be released and the normal rhythm re-established. This has direct influence on the hormonal and nervous systems – two of the systems that govern the body.

If you experience chronic pain, recent injuries, headaches, head injuries, facial pain, whiplash, jaw pain and dysfunction, chronic fatigue, depression, anxiety, nervousness, post traumatic stress disorder or immunosuppressive symptoms, as well as many other physical and emotional symptoms. CranioSacral can help to release pain and restore normal function.

Balancing your CranioSacral system speeds your recovery and helps to relieve your pain while improving neural, hormonal, muscular, visceral, and brain function.

Zero Balancing

The mission of Zero Balancing is to provide a holistic body therapy that amplifies a person’s experience of health and vitality on all levels. Zero Balancing…

  • is a hands-on body/mind system of therapy designed to enhance health by balancing body energy with body structure
  • is a non-diagnostic system of therapy integrates Eastern principles of energy and healing with Western scientific investigation of human anatomy and quantum physics
  • integrates energy movement with structural organization
  • focuses on bone and the skeletal system
  • works with both energy fields and structure of the body
  • works at the interface of energy and structure
  • works with expanded fields of consciousness
  • is a precise system that incorporates feedback loops from the client to gauge and pace the client’s response to our touch
  • focuses on the evaluation and balancing of structure and energy
  • is a body handling system that is done through clothing. An average session lasts about 30 minutes
  • heightens a sense of well-being and general wellness
  • reduces stress and promotes a better flow of energy in our bodies
  • enhances development processes
  • reduces body discomforts and pain
  • promotes postural alignment
  • enhances transformational processes
  • heightens an increased sense of connection, peace, balance and harmony
  • helps release tissue held memory and helps reframe and heal our life history

Muscle Energy Technique

Muscle Energy Technique is a method of manual manipulation of the skeleton. MET is similar to a chiropractic adjustment in terms of its focus on alignment and nervous system function, while it is dissimilar to chiropractic in that little or no force is applied to the patient by the practitioner. In MET the ‘adjustment’ is called a “Fix”.The practitioner evaluates the patient’s body in forward bending and back bending to identify specific restrictions of motion. Slowly and methodically, the therapist positions the patient’s body in the opposite position to the restriction and supports the patient to create their own ‘Fix’.This gentle, patient-directed technique can be used in a wide variety of situations to treat a broad spectrum of conditions.Muscle Energy Technique may feel like a simple bending and stretching. It may feel like a pinch at an anatomical barrier. It can feel like an accurate accessing of an already painful area followed by a relief, release, and an increased range of motion.

Strain-Counter Strain

Strain-Counter Strain is a manual technique which relieves spinal or other joint pain by passively putting the joint into its position of greatest comfort: relieving pain by reduction and arrest of the continuing inappropriate proprioceptor activity.

The practitioner uses palpation and passive positional procedures to find and alleviate dysfunctions in the body. This is accomplished by markedly shortening the muscle that contains the malfunctioning muscle spindle by applying mild strain to its antagonists. This position is held for at least 90 seconds. In other words, the inappropriate strain reflex is inhibited by application of a counter strain.

The position of comfort is identical with that of the original strain. This position again shortens the muscle containing the dysfunctioning proprioceptors,or nerves that inform the body of its spatial position relative to its time and depth. The comforted position allows the central nervous system to turn down the neuromuscular discharge enabling the muscle to return to easy neutral at its resting length. The technique is done in slow motion with no surprises for the central nervous system.

Strain-Counter strain is used when the strain which we believe to be the cause is stopped yet evidence of injury and pain persists, even becoming progressively worse. Palpable objective evidence of the continuing dysfunction is found not in the tissues that were overstretched, but in the tissues that are the antagonists of the overstretched tissues. The focus of attention is directed especially at the neuromuscular reflexes rather than tissue stresses.

Trigger Point Therapy

The damage to muscle and connective tissue which results in trigger points can occur several ways. Trigger points can happen as the result of repetitive overuse injuries (using the same body parts in the same way hundreds of times on a daily basis) from activities such as typing/mousing, handheld electronics, gardening, home improvement projects, work environments, etc. Trigger points can also originate from sustained loading as with heavy lifting, carrying babies, briefcases, boxes, wearing body armor or lifting bedridden patients. Habitual poor posture due to our sedentary lifestyles, de-conditioning and poorly designed furniture also contribute to trigger points. Another common cause of trigger points is muscle clenching and tensing due to mental/emotional stress. Surprisingly, trigger points can even develop due to inactivity such as prolonged bed rest or sitting.
Since a trigger point is an abnormal biochemical and mechanical area in contracted muscle tissue, the number and exact location on each person can vary.  All muscle tissue is potentially prone to developing trigger points. Sometimes people have one trigger point but more often they have many. Prolonged referral of pain and weakness from a one trigger point to another area of the body will generally cause other trigger points to develop in that area. These, in turn, if left untreated, can activate and also refer pain, creating multiple pain patterns. The more areas that have pain and the longer you have had the pain, the more trigger points you are likely to have. It is rare for someone with pain to only have one or two muscles with trigger points.
Many patients experience relief from pain during the first treatment. For others several treatments are needed before their pain starts to diminish. It is common for patients to experience some soreness for one to two days after treatment. This usually resolves after the first few treatments.

Visceral Manipulation

Ninety percent of all musculoskeletal disorders have a visceral component. Any structure that crosses a joint has the ability to restrict the joint. For example, the mesenteric root of the small intestine can limit the mobility of the spine as it crosses the 3rd and 4th lumbar vertebra. Also, in order to walk, the cecum must glide in the iliac fossa and the bladder must rotate in relation to the pubic bone.

Visceral Manipulation is a therapeutic approach to relieving abnormal tissue tensions of and around your organs thereby promoting and improving organ function. The basic philosophy of Visceral Manipulation is that an organ in good health has good movement.

If a tissue becomes fixed or adhered, it will become a point of chronic irritation. Other tissues will pivot around that point in an effort to adapt to it. Their function will become altered as well. Altered motion creates organ dysfunction. Adhesions can form between organs and the surrounding tissues, which also attach to your bones. A longstanding adhesion can cause a chronic tension on the spine creating back pain, shoulder pain, and/or neck pain.

The practitioner listens to your organ function, heat, movement, and lack of movement with a trained hand and thorough knowledge of anatomy and physiology. The practitioner listens for abnormal tissue tone and lines of tension, following these influences throughout your body. With specifically applied manual forces these tensions are released. By encouraging normal organ function, through the restoration of proper motion, organ function is enhanced, and the body can regain optimal health.

You may experience an increased awareness of an existing area of discomfort that you already have. Sometimes symptoms are recreated before they go away. Many times Visceral Manipulation is only experienced as an improvement in body function and a feeling of well-being.

Neural Manipulation (NM) addresses restrictions of the dural and neural components, which are not a common focus within musculoskeletal symptoms. NM identifies and releases local nerve restrictions while at the same time examines the effect that these local fixations have on the rest of the body. By accessing this relationship, resolves the more comprehensive (global) dysfunctional patterns.

Lymphatic Drainage

The lymphatic system is a fluid system comprised primarily of lymph vessels and nodes while working together with our blood system to maintain our health. The proper functioning of the lymphatic system is critical to our body’s ability to detoxify and regenerate tissues, filter out toxins and foreign substances, recover crucial substances that have escaped from the blood, and maintain a healthy immune system.

LDT is a hands-on technique that activates and cleanses our fluid system. The therapist will assess the rhythm, direction, depth, and quality of the lymph flow. This evaluation will determine the therapist’s approach for draining body-fluid stagnations. The therapist works with flat hands, using all the fingers to stimulate wave-like movements. The pressure applied is very light, and most people fall asleep during treatment.

Some may experience some muscle aches, sluggishness, or fatigue for several days. This simply is a sign that toxins are being eliminated from your body. It is important for you to drink as much water as possible to help flush out the toxins and aid detoxification.

Somato Emotional Release

SER is an offshoot of CranioSacral therapy which clears your mind and body of the residual effects of past injuries and negative experiences.

Often, during a CranioSacral therapy session, the patient will revisit past injury, insult, or trauma. Your therapist, acting as a facilitator, supports you to re-experience and express the body’s memory thus ending the suppression, consequent pain, and dysfunction.

When pain has become chronic and other therapies have provided only temporary relief, it is likely that your body may be suppressing or dissociating from, a memory of an injury. CranioSacral will facilitate this release. SER is often approached as an avenue for personal growth.

The re experiencing of a past injury or trauma frequently results in a re experiencing of the pain, fear or anger that was present at the original injury. The complete release of this memory, physically and emotionally, brings about a profound relief that is well worth the effort required to complete the process.