Manual Therapy

Five Element Wellness Center

Acupuncture & Integrative Medicine & Massage Therapy located in Weston, FL & Coral Springs, FL

Five Element Wellness Center has highly trained, licensed and experienced manual therapists on call. We offer manual therapy for relaxation, health and fitness purposes. A good manual therapy session restores balance and well being. It releases muscular tension and allows your body to move more freely and with greater strength. It counters the effects of stress, anxiety, the lack of exercise and the shortage of rest as it facilitates the flow of vital energy. Our therapists will make sure you're completely comfortable whether it's your first manual therapy session or your fiftieth.

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Sports Manual Therapy

Sports manual therapy uses strong, penetrating strokes helps to relieve soreness in specific areas of the body. It is designed to improve circulation, stretch muscles for better flexibility and release deeply rooted tension. It is used to treat muscle, tendon and ligament injuries, and the effects of crippling diseases. It is remarkably effective on skeletal structures that lie deep within the body that cannot be reached with the fingers in regular manual therapy. It is done transversely on muscle fibers and has no relationship to relaxation manual therapy. Sports manual therapy works by breaking down scar tissue and crystallization in the muscles, ligaments, and tendons. restoring proper balance between the muscular and bone structures.

Sports manual therapy increases the blood circulation, very helpful to injured and aging areas that have experience decreased blood supply. Whether it be injury or a muscle disorder, sports manual therapy gets results. When muscles become injured, they automatically restrict natural movement to avoid further damage. This is natural and useful for a time. However, after a preliminary period of rest, it is necessary to begin exercising and strengthening the injured muscle to redevelop the tissue in a safe and orderly fashion. Otherwise, it begins to atrophy. Each day without therapy causes the injured muscle to grow more moribund. After a while you will have to ask yourself, "Do I carry my muscles around or do they carry me?" Superficial techniques cannot be expected to correct the problems. These techniques can help reduce inflammation, aid circulation, and soothe hyper-toned muscles, but the root problems will remain buried deep in your tissue. Scar tissue (lesions) and inappropriate attachments (adhesions) in addition to the atrophy will have developed. A penetrating technique is clearly necessary if such tissues are to be affected in a permanent, positive way.Sports manual therapy is the most successful form of remedial physical therapy to address these problems. Sports manual therapy is a very specific manual therapy technique, utilizing heavy pressure. Sports manual therapists look for shortened muscles and distorted postural patterns. With slow deep strokes, the therapist works to lengthen the muscle fibers, to restore balance, and to reestablish structural and functional integrity to the greatest degree possible for the client. Sports manual therapy increases range of motion and restores economy of motion. It often seems the very opposite of soothing and relaxing techniques that we normally associate with manual therapy.

Joints and Soft Tissue Manual Therapy

The underlying purpose of joints and soft tissue manual therapy refers to a variety of techniques specifically designed to relax muscles by applying pressure on them against deeper muscles and bones, and rubbing in the same direction as the flow of blood returning to the heart. Joints and soft tissue manual therapy was developed in the 1700's by a Swedish doctor named Per Herrick Ling, making it one of the oldest scientifically organized manual therapy disciplines.

Joints and soft tissue manual therapy is to increase the oxygen flow in the blood and release toxins from the muscles. It shortens recovery time from muscular strain by flushing the tissues of lactic acid, uric acid, and other metabolic wastes. It increases circulation without increasing the client's heart rate.
Additionally, it stretches the ligaments and tendons, keeping them supple and pliable while stimulating the skin and soothing the nervous system. Like most manual therapy, Joints and soft tissue manual therapy reduces the effects of stress and is indicated as part of a healthy program for stress management. Joints and soft tissue manual therapy employs a variety of techniques. These include long strokes, kneading, friction, brisk tapping or tapotement, percussion, vibration, gliding strokes called effleurage, kneading movements known as petrissage and shaking motions. Swedish manual therapy feels good. It is relaxing and invigorating and has beneficial affects on the nerves, muscles, glands, and circulation.

Pre-Labor Manual Therapy

Pre-labor manual therapy is tailored to the needs of pregnant women and their changing bodies. Pregnancy affects each woman differently. Sensitivity, flexibility and physical comfort levels vary widely from women to women. Therapists trained in pre-labor manual therapy adjust their techniques to the specific needs of each client. Almost from the start of pregnancy, most women find it uncomfortable to lay face down. On the other hand, laying flat on your back is not a good idea, particularly once you're past mid-pregnancy. As your body changes shape, this latter position puts too much pressure on the vein that returns blood from your legs to to your heart. A trained manual therapist will provide either a special table or special padding to provide support as the client reclines on her side. How can pre-labor manual therapy help?

Manual therapy may help ease low back pain and chronic headaches. Carrying a baby changes one's center of gravity and puts a lot of stress on the back, neck, abdominal muscles, and shoulders. Pregnancy also relaxes ligaments, so that one's pelvic joints are less stable. It progressively changes a woman's posture, pulling the pelvis forward. In fact, all these changes are progressive, making it difficult for some women to adjust to their changed and changing circumstances. A trained pre-labor manual therapist knows where a pregnant woman's sore spots are likely to be and may be able to provide relief. The therapist also knows that communication with her client is critical since each pregnant woman's manual therapy needs are likely to be as different as her cravings.


Shiatsu is a form of Japanese bodywork based on the theoretical framework of traditional Chinese medicine. Shiatsu means "finger pressure". Shiatsu techniques include manual therapy sessions with fingers, thumbs, feet and palms, assisted stretching, joint manipulation and mobilization. Using pressure along specific pathways (aka meridians) and organ systems, shiatsu balances the flow of your chi. Gentle stretching and rotation of joints will help to develop flexibility and body awareness. Shiatsu practitioners promote it as a way to help people relax and cope with issues such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Muscle Pain
  • Nausea
  • Stress


Safety Precautions and Contraindications

Manual therapy is a highly useful therapy and a wonderful treat for the body. However, certain medical conditions require the exercise of caution when receiving manual therapy. If you are in any doubt or if you are under medical supervision, please check with your doctor or other qualified medical practitioner prior to making use of manual therapy. This advice applies particularly in the case of cardiovascular conditions and heart disease. Some things a manual therapist will not do: Apply pressure under or over varicose veins. Apply pressure directly over infected skin-like warts, herpes sores, or boils. Apply pressure to fractures. Apply pressure where there is inflammation, unexplained lumps, bruises and open cuts. Apply pressure on the abdomen during the first three months of pregnancy when the risk of miscarriage is highest. The causes of acute back pain should first be diagnosed by a physician prior to receiving manual therapy. Manual therapy is not indicated in cases of raised temperature, infections, or contagious disease. Consult a qualified medical practitioner instead. Finally, cancer patients are best treated by specially trained practitioners who know which areas to avoid and which kind of manual therapy is appropriate.

Contact Us

Hours of Operation

Weston Location

Monday/Wednesday: 12:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Tuesday: CLOSED
Thursday: 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
Friday/Saturday: 9:00 am - 3:00 pm

Hours of Operation

Coral Springs Location

Every other Monday: 10:00 am - 2:00 pm
Tuesday/Thursday: 11:00 am - 8:00 pm
Wednesday/Friday: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Saturday: 9:00 am - 3:00 pm