What is spasmodic torticollis or cervical dystonia? These are two names for a disorder of the nerves and muscles that lead to muscle spasms, involuntary twisting of the head and neck, head tilt, and neck turning. The upper back, neck and head and jaw can all be affected.
Why is massage therapy a treatment for spasmodic torticollis or cervical dystonia? Routine, specific massage focused on the upper back, posterior neck, occipital ridge, and jaw is a treatment for spasmodic torticollis (ST) orcervical dystonia. The goal of massage as a treatment is to send necessary signals to the nervous system about how to unwind, be straight, and retrain the neural pathways. Specific massage techniques address the spasms, twisting, tilting, pulling and turning in the neck, head and upper back. Important note: in our opinion, massage to the sternocleidomastoid and scalenes (anterior neck muscles) should be avoided because these muscles are overly stressed by neuromuscular signals and it is counterproductive to increase stimulation here.
Benefits of Spasmodic Torticollis Massage Therapy…
...is exceptionally helpful to people with ST when provided regularly.
...is not the same as a spa or other therapeutic massages. The specific techniques are designed for spasmodic torticollis, a focal dystonia.
...helps people with ST to cope with discomfort after travel, long periods of sitting from sedentary postures and work-related stress.
...is an eye-opening experience for people with this neuromuscular disorder who have never received massage or who have had limited results with other therapeutic styles of massage or bodywork.
…is also helpful to people with other neck conditions such as idiopathic neck pain, chronic pain from whiplash injury, stiff neck, or wry neck.
...is described in this guidebook as instruction to professionals, family members, spouses, or friends who want to support someone with spasmodic torticollis or cervical dystonia. A few simple techniques from this guidebook can provide a lot of relief to a person with ST.
The Guidebook is currently available for purchase ($40 plus shipping and handling) through paypal. If you would like to pay by check please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The proceeds from the guidebook fund continuous printing costs and support our efforts to travel to the annual ST/Dystonia Symposium (held in different cities each year) to provide massage at a reasonable rate to people withspasmodic torticollis or cervical dystonia.