Masset Acupuncture &
Physical Therapy Center

Neuro-Orthopedic and Pain Management Specialist

THE ART AND SCIENCE OF MANUAL PHYSICAL THERAPY

Manual physical therapy is a hands-on approach to assessing and treating neuromuscular, skeletal, visceral, and craniosacral dysfunction through a broad variety of cutting-edge manual therapy techniques.  The goal is to identify and alleviate restrictions and compensations that have settled in the body over the years due to factors including lifestyle habits, physical trauma, and surgery.  Manual physical therapy normalizes the mechanics and physiology of each individual system and promotes better working interrelationships among them.  The results are joints that move more freely, increased range of motion, muscles that are freed from restrictions, and a body that works more efficiently and painlessly.  Michèle often combines manual physical therapy with acupuncture and functional rehabilitation to optimize the healing process and reduce the chance of relapse.

Manual physical therapy requires a true commitment from the therapist to know the body thoroughly; and to obtain mastery of therapeutic skills.  Michèle brings to each treatment session her passion for studying and healing the body, as well as dedication to making a difference in her patient’s life.

Commonly Treated Conditions by Manual Physical Therapy:


Techniques Used:

Manual Therapy

Human touch is an essential component of Michèle’s philosophy and approach to treatment.  Manual therapy is a hands-on treatment of muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints.  It encompasses a broad range of skilled techniques, including soft tissue and joint mobilization or manipulation to decrease pain and increase function.             Top  

Myofascial Release

Myofascial release is a gentle process of stretching, lengthening, and freeing the fascia from restriction.  The fascia is the dense, tough tissue that surrounds and interconnects the body's organs, muscles, and bones.  Fascia can lose its pliability and become tight as a result of disease, overuse, trauma, infectious agents or inactivity, creating tension in parts of the body with resulting pain and restriction of motion.  After an area of tightness is identified, a gentle stretch is applied until the tissue begins to relax.  The process is repeated and the stretch is gradually increased until the area is fully released from restriction.  Progress can be measured by a decrease in the patient's pain and by improved range of motion and overall posture.              Top  

Trigger Point Dry Needling

A myofascial trigger point is the small, hard nodule “knot” in the muscle tissue that is tender to touch and may be felt in the middle of the tight muscle band.  Common trigger point areas include the tight band of tissue in the upper shoulder.  Trigger points can cause symptoms that may be quite distant from the actual painful area.  Dry needling involves the insertion of acupuncture needles into the trigger points to release the “knot,” relieve the pain, and increase the range of motion.  Michèle incorporates trigger point dry needling as part of a complete therapy program combined with manual soft tissue release, stretching, and neuromuscular reeducation.              Top  

Visceral Manipulation

Visceral manipulation is a gentle and precise osteopathic manual therapy technique that facilitates the body’s natural ability to release restrictions, compensations, and pain caused by visceral dysfunction.  The visceral system refers to internal organs or “viscera.”  Its optimal health depends upon each organ’s inherent physiological, rhythmical movement, and connection to the musculoskeletal system through fascia and ligaments.  If an organ loses mobility due to physical trauma, surgery, lifestyle, infection, pollution, diet, or other factors, its natural physiological movement is altered.  When an organ’s movement is restricted, it brings stress by pulling on the musculoskeletal system via its fascial connection.  The body is forced to compensate, creating abnormal points of tension that result in chronic irritation, functional and structural problems, and pain.  Through soft manual pressure, visceral manipulation reestablishes normal mobility, tone, and motion of the viscera, as well as normalizes its connection with the musculoskeletal system.              Top  

Craniosacral Therapy

The craniosacral system consists of the dura mater membrane and the cerebrospinal fluid that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord. It extends from the bones of the skull, or cranium, to the sacrum or tailbone area.  When bones or tissues are restricted and cannot move properly, the flow of the cerebral spinal fluid is restricted. The result is an imbalance that can cause sensory, motor, or neurological dysfunctions in the entire body.  Craniosacral therapy is a subtle, light-touch, hands-on manipulation of the connective tissue and bone structures that releases restrictions and obstructions in the craniosacral system and relaxes the nervous system.  It rebalances the body at a deep and subtle level, allowing for improved functionality and a reduction in pain.              Top  

Neural Manipulation

A nerve functions optimally when it is able to move freely within the surrounding tissue. If it becomes fixed, it loses ability to glide and/or stretch in length.  With fixation, smaller nerve sections can harden and become sensitive or painful to the touch.  Neural manipulation identifies and releases nerve restrictions while at the same time addressing the effect these restrictions may have on the rest of the body. Neural manipulation can resolve more comprehensive dysfunctional patterns by helping to release nerve fixations.  It also can facilitate nerve conductivity and intraneural blood supplies, both locally and systemically.  Neural manipulation is administered through precise and gentle applied pressure.              Top  

Pain Management

Chronic pain can have a devastating effect on a person’s quality of life.  It can limit your ability to work and perform daily tasks, partake in social activities, and interact with others.  Pain infringes on your range of activity by directly affecting physical abilities, but also affects mood, sleep, memory, the immune system, and metabolism. Most patients opt for pain medication, but are often unaware of other alternative, complementary options.  Research has demonstrated that the most successful pain management plans combine a number of strategies, where the use of medication is often subordinate.
Michèle Masset has been helping patients with chronic pain for over 25 years.  Her successful strategy to overcome pain involves: understanding and treating the root cause of the pain, braking the pain cycle, restoring movement and function, alleviating the stress caused by pain, and educating the patient about self-pain management tools and how to prevent the reoccurrence of pain.  Her multi-dimensional approach combines manual physical therapy and functional rehabilitation techniques, acupuncture, mind-body empowerment methods and self pain-management education.  The diversity of knowledge and skill that Michèle brings to each treatment gives her patients a greater potential to successfully overcome their pain and return to a normal life.               Top  

Physical Therapy for Breast Cancer

The diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer can be both physically and emotionally overwhelming.  In the healing journey it is important to surround yourself with competent and caring practitioners.  After a lumpectomy, mastectomy, breast reconstruction, radiation, and/or chemotherapy, the body needs to recover physically, neurologically, physiologically, and emotionally.  An integrative approach offers more than improved motion and function of the affected body parts—the usual goals of conventional physical therapy.  A holistic focus helps to alleviate stress, rebalances your body both physically and emotionally, optimizes your recovery, and restores self-confidence.  Michèle offers a unique set of skills and knowledge that she tailors for each breast cancer patient before, during, and after treatment:  

Treatment Modalities

Commonly Treated Conditions by Manual Physical Therapy

Orthopedic

Neuromuscular

Women’s health

Visceral