There are a few people in my life whom when they enter a room, they bring a sense of calm, confidence and stability. It’s an “all is well in the world” kind of feeling. These are people whom you miss terribly when they are not present and for whom you are incredibly grateful when they are. Mr. Marc Tyrone Henry (Ty) is one such person to me.
This past year has seen many disruptions to Massage Therapy services. But where there was a cacophony of angry and frustrated voices against the Government restrictions by so many affected professionals and businesses, there was only quietness and stillness and acceptance by Ty. A consummate professional. A devoted husband and father. An exemplary citizen. This is our Massage Therapist. And for all of these reasons, our March blog is devoted entirely to our “gentle giant.”
Albert: It’s been a year of stops and starts for you with 2 lockdowns for massage therapy services. How did you spend your time and was it a meaningful time for you?
Ty: The silver lining of the lockdown was having the opportunity to spend more time with my family. I’ve been married for seven years and my wife and I have a 3 year old son.
My wife has been working from home. Her days are filled with Zoom meetings and so I was the primary caregiver for my son, Xavier. At the time, he was 2 years old. Our days were filled with a variety of activities to keep him engaged such as reading stories, completing puzzles, playing with Lego, colouring and painting crafts, teaching him his letters, numbers, and shapes. Also, I introduced him to several sports such as hockey, soccer, and basketball. We worked on his hand-eye coordination. During the morning and afternoons, we would go for walks or play in the backyard and as the weather warmed up, those outings became bike rides.
Also, I was the designated grocery shopper and cook during the lockdown. My family loves my cooking.
I also completed my Winter and Spring Semester at MacEwan University studying Acupuncture. It was difficult to study or complete my assignments during the day while caring for my son. This meant having to wake up early in the morning (5am) to study and then evenings (9pm) once he was put to bed.
Albert: Since your return to work and throughout this pandemic, what condition or injury has been the most prevalent in your practise this past year?
Ty: As people have been less active and working from home in less than ideal ergonomic positions, I have seen a lot of people struggling with neck pain and headaches. I also have a large caseload of people with shoulder pain or rotator cuff problems.
Albert: You have a large variety of techniques to choose from to treat different conditions, of which one is called RAPID. Can you describe RAPID briefly and how you use it and what sets it apart from other more traditional techniques?
Ty: RAPID is an active release therapy technique or soft tissue mobilization technique which combines both soft tissue techniques and movement of the limb or body area being treated. So, the patient is either moving or being moved as he or she is being treated. Its aim is to reduce pain and to improve soft tissue mobility and eventually whole body mobility.
This technique works by reducing tissue stiffness as a result of a deconditioned or weak muscle or from scar tissue that forms when muscles and connective tissues are overloaded (in an injury process). When the scar binds between muscles, it limits flexibility causing pain and stiffness in the muscle and joint. Adhesions can also entrap nerves. The manipulation of the soft tissues through RAPID breaks up the adhesions so the muscles, joints, and nerve can move freely again.
Albert: What is your favourite technique you find you use the most and what are some tools you use in addition to the use of your hands?
Ty: Myofascial Release: this technique is a therapeutic approach that can be used to treat myofascial pain syndrome. The technique will relax, lengthen, and realign fascia, the goal is to bring pain relief, as well as restore range of motion.
I also use Cupping and Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization like Graston Technique, Trigger Point release tools, and Percussive Therapy devices or a Massage Gun.
Albert: Can you describe your collaborative experience at the Clinic. How do you benefit as a Massage Therapist by working alongside Physiotherapists?
Ty: I have the privilege of working with an amazing group of Physiotherapists. The biggest benefit is the patient experience for me. As a massage therapist, I have been trained to assess injuries and treat a multitude of conditions. However, diagnosing an injury is not within our scope of practice. The patient is assessed, diagnosed, and begins a comprehensive treatment plan with a Physiotherapist. Patients can be assured that they will be cared for by a team of like-minded professionals with the primary objective of restoring their health. This way, there is no disconnect between treatment plans which allows for optimal outcomes to their rehabilitation process. In my own personal experience of rehabilitation from my own injuries, I always received the best results from collaborative care.
High praise for Ty Henry from our patients:
“I have tried many other massage therapists, and I have had mixed results. Every time I see Ty, I feel I come out ahead. One of his biggest strengths is the consistency in his approach. He takes the time to talk to me, he reviews my physio chart notes, collaborates with the physios, and is willing to use a variety of approaches to address my concerns.” – Cam C.
“Ty is great! He really takes the time to ask you what’s wrong and what is bothering you that day. You can see in his questions that your well-being and health really matters to him. I would never see anyone else again! And he’s never in a bad mood!” – Paul F.
“I have had unbelievable results while working with both Ty and Albert and I am continuing to improve with each visit. Ty is the first massage therapist with whom I have achieved such a result. I really like that he uses many modalities. Ty’s strongest trait is his patience. He is able to focus on a particular muscle and allow it to relax before moving on to another muscle. I can see increasing results in the weeks following a treatment. I have recommended him several times to people I know. Ty is the best!” – Julie U.
“The whole experience is different with Ty. He listens and treats me not as just another patient but as a unique individual and he is very connected to me as a patient. His knowledge and expertise are unmatched. Ty consistently exceeds my expectations. He is a true professional. I have never had a better massage therapist. He has helped both myself and my wife tremendously. We are so thankful for him.” – Thomas P.
“In 20 years of seeing different massage therapists, Ty Henry is by far the best massage therapist I’ve ever had. I suffer from chronic pain and Ty is the reason I can get out of bed every morning. His knowledge of the human body is incredible. He explains why and how everything is connected. He’s also a great conversationalist. He’s excellent at knowing when I want to chat and when I don’t. Ty’s strongest trait is that he is constantly developing his skills and learning new ones. Every member of my house sees him as well as other family and friends. Anyone who has seen him says they will never see another massage therapist again.” – Laura V.
Submitted by Ty Henry and Albert Chan, in collaboration of course!