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Natural Awakenings Greater Boston - Rhode Island

Combining Massage and Chiropractic for Lasting Improvements

Jul 30, 2012 11:04PM ● By Julie Burke


In the general course of living people can develop unhealthy structural patterns, often as a result of repetitive motions, poor posture, pregnancy and athletic activities. Harmful patterns may also form in those compensating for injuries and other stressors. The result is poor regulation of muscle tone, improper mechanical functioning, and discomfort. Some people may seek relief by getting a massage, while others try chiropractic. In fact, the combination of these modalities can create lasting change and improved health for most people.

Massage is defined as the manual manipulation of soft tissue to promote health and well-being. Soft tissue includes muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia, skin, and connective tissue, and manual manipulation encompasses everything from light touch for relaxation to specific, deep tissue work. Massage therapy thus covers a variety of ways to induce positive changes in the structure and function of soft tissue, goals that are completely synergistic with those of chiropractic care.  

Network Chiropractic (also known as Network Spinal Analysis or NSA) is a gentle, yet powerful, approach to wellness that respects the body’s innate ability to heal. Like massage, NSA attempts to induce positive changes to the soft tissue. It does so by engaging the person’s own body to reduce any interference in nervous system communication. As the nervous system responds to NSA treatments, unhealthy muscular tension is decreased, which improves posture and removes pressure from chronically stressed bones, joints and other structures.

As therapeutic massage releases unhealthy muscle tension in targeted areas, it prepares the body to receive and incorporate the maximum benefits from chiropractic care. NSA adjustments then help to integrate these improvements, allowing someone to create positive structural patterns for mobility, posture, health and increased well-being. In some cases, these goals take some time to accomplish.

Often in the course of chiropractic adjustments, the shifting energy patterns can produce discomfort in another area that was being held in an incorrect way. In massage, getting the “knots” out of muscles and tissue can make someone more aware of problems that they didn’t even know they had. Sometimes a person may come away from a really good massage or adjustment not knowing if they feel any better, and sometimes they may think they feel worse. This temporary discomfort likely stems from the shifts in body structure that can occur with both modalities.  

The healing process can be intense at times, as the body detoxes after a manipulation by releasing pent-up waste products into the system for elimination. Drinking lots of clean water helps with this process. Of course, all healing treatments are more effective when the client follows a regimen of proper nutrition, exercise and healthy lifestyle choices.  

Dr. Julie Burke is the owner of Newton Chiropractic and Wellness Centre, 345 Boylston St., Suite 300, Newton. To make an appointment for massage or chiropractic, call 617-964-3332 or visit