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 Natural Awakenings Lancaster-Berks

Orthopedic Medical Massage: Helping People Recapture Well-Being

Mar 29, 2014 09:53AM ● By Gisele Siebold


Dennis Williams, one of the few medical massage practitioners in Pennsylvania, established Orthopedic Medical Massage (OMM) in July 2013 with a goal of bringing authentic medical massage clinics to Lancaster and Berks counties.

After a long career in the military left Williams with years of back and shoulder pain, he noticed that a weekly massage alleviated it. As his interest in drug-free methods for resolving pain grew, so did his desire to help others struggling with similar issues. He resigned from his job and enrolled full-time in the massage therapy program at Berks Technical Institute (BTI) in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, with the help of the GI bill. He also discovered LMT (Licensed Massage Therapist) Success Group, which offered weekend classes in Philadelphia. In May 2012, he achieved national certification as a medical massage practitioner.

Upon graduating from BTI, Williams went on to obtain national certification from the International Sports Sciences Association, with special concentrations in exercise rehabilitation therapy and Greg Roskopf’s Muscle Activation Techniques (MAT). According to Williams, MAT is a methodical way of remedying imbalances in the body by identifying particular muscles and muscle groups as a basis for treatment.

Orthopedics is the branch of medical science that deals with the prevention or correction of disorders involving locomotor structures of the body—the skeleton, joints, muscle, fascia, ligaments and cartilage. Williams says, “Orthopedic massage is a technique that offers practitioners a systematic and effective approach to treating pain and injuries; a modality that seeks to address orthopedic conditions where the pain and injuries affect the locomotor soft tissues.”

Williams and the OMM staff—medical massage therapist Julie Judge and tui-na bodyworkers Lisa Li, Mary Ling and Jenny Wang—work with local healthcare providers that include medical massage as part of treatment plans for their patients with pain and physical injury caused by an auto accident, personal injury or injury on the job. If prescribed as part of their treatment plan, medical massage may be covered by health insurance or federal Flexible Spending Account programs for health care.

The methodology of orthopedic massage moves beyond the focus of a particular technique to include a more comprehensive approach to rehabilitation that incorporates different types of manual therapy to restore patients’ health and comfort. Tui-na, a form of Chinese manual therapy, engages massage, acupressure and manipulation techniques to realign the musculoskeletal system and ligaments, allowing the body to heal naturally.

Williams believes that patients that receive medical massage enjoy a faster rate of soft tissue healing. “Healing is measured by an increase in the range of motion, flexibility and muscle strength of the effected muscle or muscle group, as well as a reduction in scar tissue formation on the injured site,” he explains.

The massage modalities offered at OMM can be applied to myriad conditions from anxiety to weight loss, and a doctor’s referral is not required. The staff also provides orthopedic massage for anyone experiencing increased tension or pain in the back, neck and shoulders associated with common job-related situations such as holding incorrect postures or enduring sedentary conditions daily.

With a passion for helping clients move toward living life without pain, Williams blends his firsthand experience with knowledge of orthopedic massage to help people recapture the body’s natural state of well-being.

Location: 1873 Lincoln Hwy. E., Lancaster, and 525 Penn Ave., West Reading. For appointments and more information, call 717-490-6571 (Lancaster) or 610 927-5013 (West Reading), email [email protected] or visit See ad, p. 23.

Gisele Siebold lives in Lancaster and is a frequent contributor to Natural Awakenings.

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