The special stretches and movements are part of what makes this approach so effective.  (You will also learn some of these stretches, along with other unique self-care techniques, as something you can do on your own to maintain and accelerate your progress.)

A typical session includes the following:

The Personalized Evaluation: 

  • Client history
  • Postural Analysis
  • Assess Active Range of Motion
  • Assess Passive Range of Motion
  • Assess Resisted Range of Motion


  • Area Preparation
  • Myofacial Release
  • Trigger Point Therapy
  • Cross Fiber or Multidirectional Friction
  • Eccentric Scar Tissue Alignment
  • Pain Free Movement
  • Stretching (pain free)
  • Strengthening (pain free)

Continuing Home Care Recommendations


The Personalized Evaluation:

First, the therapist will ask you to fill out a brief, confidential health history form.  Whether you are hoping massage will help you find relief from pain or support your recovery from an injury or surgery, time will be spent discussing your reasons for seeking bodywork, your expectations, and your history.  

Postural analysis follows. 

Soft Tissue Pain Clinic

About Us

Your First Session:  How to prepare

Don't worry - you don't have to endure more pain to get out of pain!  Although Soft Tissue Release may sound like the kind of rough approach that makes one wish for a stick to clench in one’s teeth —it's not. 

Do expect to move around more than you would in a relaxation massage therapy session. 

In many cases, your street/work clothes will do just fine.  For Orthopedic Massage, there's no need to get completely undressed like you might for a Swedish or relaxation-type massage session.  The therapist might instruct you to bring athletic wear to change into.  For men, just a pair of shorts will do.  For women, a pair of shorts with a sleeveless top is best. (Lycra is a good all-around choice since it's not bulky and stretches well.)  

The center piece of our office is a state of the art hydraulic Comfort Craft table.  This table allows for wonderful decompression and passive stretching - all of the work we do is 100% pain-free.

The Soft Tissue Pain Clinic therapists have been personally trained and certified by author and international lecturer James Waslaski (pictured), pioneer of deep pain-free orthopedic massage, pain management and sports injury treatments. 

To learn more about the extensive experience and ground-breaking techniques of James Waslaski, visit

If you do not live in the UP, and are looking for someone like our therapists, click on this Preferred Practitioners list to find someone in your area.

Call Us:  906-792-0494

Then, the therapist will perform a thorough assessment of your condition.  This normally involves range of motion & muscle tests to further identify the soft-tissue structures needing attention.  As well as functional assessment tests that can determine most orthopedic conditions and outline a treatment plan using multiple modalities.
After the personal evaluation, the therapist will have a clear understanding of your situation. If the therapist is partnering with your physician, chiropractor, or physical therapist, then the notes from that (those) medical professionals will also be consulted. A treatment plan will then be created.

The Treatment:

While you are in a session, Orthopedic Massage is not anything that you would probably recognize as "massage therapy".  That is to say, you don't immediately go into a room by yourself, get under a sheet, and wait for the massage therapist to come in - that much you have realized after reading about the evaluation procedures.  The session that follows is not usually passive, but instead active and engaged.  It focuses less on relaxation and stress relief, more focused on finding the root cause of a particular pain and relieving it. 

Deep Tissue = Pain
Orthopedic Massage is a very deep therapy, but also pain-free.   For many people who have experienced deep tissue massage, that may seem like an oxymoron.  One of the main ideas behind Orthopedic Massage is that any kind of discomfort/pain that would create a "guarding" response in the muscle group being affected would make any therapy much less (if at all) effective.  We try to work with the muscles, rather than against them.  If the muscles tense against the discomfort of the work, it defeats the effectiveness of the techniques.

The therapist works with the client on the table. You may be asked to bring shorts or a bathing suit for a postural analysis and/or to make it easier to do stretching or other treatments.
By using various soft tissue manipulation techniques, the massage therapist can alleviate an assortment of painful conditions caused by soft tissue strain.  The therapist may release tight muscles, help to stretch shortened muscles and tendons, and decompress joints. The goal is to normalize the soft tissues of the body, both to treat specific conditions and non-specific pain issues.

Depending on your issue(s), multiple sessions may be recommended to treat the problem - to ensure that the problem is eliminated and to build up strength and resistance in the affected area so that the condition does not reoccur.

Continuing Home Care Recommendations:

Your treatment is followed by a teaching session and homework.  You will be taught techniques that you can do at home/work to assist in  the prevention and elimination of soft tissue injury & pain.  These techniques may include problem-specific stretches, tonis building exercises, and tips to improve your posture during daily activities. The suggested homework you receive (stretching exercises) will help maintain what we achieved in session.  This gives you control over how good you feel.  

Credit where credit is due. 

The ideas and text expressed herein are not mine, but a culmination of theories, techniques, and protocols learned from the current big names in the field of massage theropy and orthopedic massage - such names as author Whitney Lowe,Dr. Erik Dalton, Dr. Janet Traveli (myofacial trigger points),  James Waslaski, Aaron Mattes and many others.  I tell all who ask, it’s not just me – it’s the therapy. The therapy is just that effective, and for those practitioners with the will to learn and not get too proud to accept the learning transitions happening in the field of massage therapy, the results that can be achieved for people in pain are just astounding.

If this page sparks questions, comments, or conversation, please contact us.  If you have any additional items/topic that you would like to see addressed on this page, tell us about them (including any websites you have found).