Emily Bilodeau, LMT (207) 779-6671

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Massage and Post-Concussion Syndrome

We're all familiar with school athletic departments and even the NFL taking concussion much more seriously than just a few years ago. But even with all of the focus on prevention and aftercare, more than 10% of folks who suffer a concussion will wind up with post-concussion syndrome.

As these brains need more time to heal, people with this kind of mild brain injury can experience
  • changes in intellectual function
  • mood swings
  • balance problems, dizziness and vertigo
  • depression
  • headaches
  • sleep disorders

Ruth Werner, an expert in using massage therapy to treat pathology has offered 
a more detailed explanation here. Essentially, massage can help the symptoms that occur simultaneously to post-concussion syndrome, but cannot help to heal the brain itself. 

Massage will:
  • help clients distinguish between the discomforts of musculoskeletal injury and brain injury.
  • help to alleviate anxiety, but not change the damages brain mechanism causing it
  • offer some temporary relief against disturbed sleep.

I see the reduction of physical pain as the most productive benefit I can offer clients working through post-concussion syndrome. If I can diminish the pain signals coming from whiplash, sprains, and other injuries that happened at the time of the concussion, I can help folks to distinguish what symptoms are purely physical, and how far their concussion recovery has come or has left to go.

There are certainly some challenges with helping someone deal with post-concussion syndrome. Clients may not feel comfortable with the same pressure or positions that they're used to in massages. Speak up, if this is you! We can activate the tilt-top on my table or work with you in my massage chair until you are better.
If you are looking to make brain changes,
craniosacral therapy may be a better use of our time together. And depending on how you were injured in the first place, I may refer you to an osteopath, chiropractor or physical therapist. There are some injury and holding patterns in our soft tissue that can ripple into the dura and brain, and the more intense interventions that this providers can offer may help you to heal more efficiently
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