Myofascial Therapy In Our Office…A Massage or Something Different?

By | Active Release Technique (ART), Chiropractic, Graston Technique
Personally written by Dr. Milan Lassiter, Chiropractor, 1303 W. Main St., Richmond, VA, Tel #: (804) 254-5765


fascia_1244463_whiteI am not a massage therapist, although I greatly respect and appreciate the work that massage therapists do. I am a chiropractor in Richmond, VA, who has been in practice for about 15 years. In chiropractic college, we learned a lot about the spine and adjusting the spine in order to correct spinal mis-aligment, improve spinal movement dysfunction, and increase nervous system function.


As soon as I was licensed and started working on patients, I couldn’t help but notice an inordinate amount of soft tissue problems. I was always doing pressure point therapy and cross friction massage on the soft tissue disorders that I’d notice. In 2008, I started to study Active Release Technique (ART), a patented myofascial technique that is widely used with athletes (it’s really appropriate for anyone with tight, tense, or dysfunctional soft-tissue movement). Most of the professionals who do Active Release Technique are chiropractors or physical therapists, and I noticed that many of them also did another myofascial technique called Graston Technique. I preceded to study that technique too, and, between the two myofascial techniques, it totally changed the way that I practice. By the way, the word myofascial stands for muslces (myo) and fascia (a connective tissue that is replete throughout the body and is very important in producing movement).


Most of the dysfunctional movement problems in the body fall under one of 2 categories: (1) Joint mobility dysfunction or (2) Tissue extensibility dysfunction. The chiropractic adjustments that we perform in our office corrects joint mobility problems. The myofascial work that we do, and that massage therapists perform, corrects the tissue extensibility problems. Tissue extensibility dysfunction basically means soft tissues (muscle, fascia, ligaments, tendons, etc.) that can’t or aren’t able to move properly. They’re stuck, restricted, contracted, and just plain lacking the proper ability to move the way that they should.


I love the way that massage therapists work the soft tissue system from head to toe, but I’ll leave that to them…they’re the professionals that you should go to for that because they do that better than anyone. The soft tissue work that I do, ART and Graston Technique, is much more regional. I identify specific soft tissues that are dysfunctional and I work to correct that.  Examples would be an ITB syndrome, patello-femoral syndrome, achilles tendonosis (tendonitis), or rotator cuff syndrome that is hindering someone from running or from moving their shoulder properly.


In our Richmond office, I address joint mobility dysfunction by chiropractic adjustments, spinal decompression therapy, and Laser therapy. I address tissue extensibility dysfunction by various myofascial techniques, including ART, Graston Technique, Dry needling, and Laser therapy. When patients come to our office, they get one or both…they get adjusted and/or they get myofascial therapy (ART and/or Graston), depending on what’s indicated. Most people get both…they get adjusted and then they get some soft tissue myofascial therapy. To me, the two systems work symbiotically and one doesn’t work without the other, so it’s natural to make sure both the spine/joints are working properly while at the same time making sure the soft tissue system is doing the same.


Part II: Chiropractic Care for A Better Quality of Health

By | Chiropractic

Written by Dr. Milan Lassiter, Chiropractor, 1303 W. Main St, Richmond, VA 23220  (804) 254-5765

This is a follow-up to the previous blog (click to read it), Forks in the Road; Choices of Two Friends.  The synopsis of the previous blog is that if you’re making bad decisions in one area with your health choices, you’re probably making bad decisions in many areas, which can lead to dire consequences down the road for your health and life-style.

People who go to chiropractors are often proactive with their health in many ways.  They’re more likely to seek out information about their health, have active lifestyles, be more careful and mindful about what they eat, dislike taking medication (unless their life depends upon it), and be more sensitive to what’s going on with their body. Chiropractic care is part of a lifestyle…it won’t give you good health on it’s own. You can’t go to the chiropractor and expect it, in and of itself, to give you good health, if you’re also smoking cigarettes, eating fast food all the time, and never exercising. The funny thing is that you’ll notice that people who go to chiropractors usually have very active lifestyles, make conscious decisions about what they eat, don’t like taking medications, and are much more likely to preventatively take natural supplements.

Chiropractors have a simple health philosophy:

It’s more simple and logical to maintain your health, while you’re healthy, than to let your body break down and then treat the problem or symptoms. 

Now, I know that people get sick and they get diseases…and I certainly wouldn’t tell someone to stop taking their high blood pressure meds or to forgo their medical treatments for diabetes or cancer.  But there are a lot of proactive things that we can do to keep ourselves healthier and prevent sickness.  Even the medical literature shows that many of the things that lead to a higher risk for health problems are related to lifestyle choices that are directly under our control (ie: lack of exercise, bad diets, too much sugar, excessive alcohol consumption, smoking cigarettes, lack of hydration with water, gaining too much weight, etc.). There are also risk factors for health problems that are not related to lifestyle choices, such as genetics, family history, gender and race, or unknown environmental exposure.  The point is, there are plenty of things that are directly under our control through the choices that we make everyday. If you’ve been making poor choices, it’s never too late to make better choices or to change some of the things that we do on “auto-pilot.”

Chiropractic care keeps your body moving well, so that there’s not so much “arthritis” and stiffness that typically develops as we age.  Chiropractic care enhances performance and prevents injuries in athletes. Many people describe a certain “vibrancy” after a chiropractic adjustment.  This happens because there is a lot of increased stimulation to the body with a chiropractic adjustment (ie: increased dilation of blood vessels, increased oxygen around the body, improved nerve receptor stimulation).  Ultimately, chiropractic care influences the way your nervous system functions (chiropractors adjust the spine, and your spine surrounds and is attached to your nervous system).  Since your nervous system controls everything that happens in your body, there can be many changes in your body that happen with chiropractic care.

Chiropractic care is an important part of a proactive, healthy lifestyle. Most people come into my office for pain relief, but if they’re conscious about their health, they periodically  continue with their chiropractic care with a proactive “tune-up” to enhance their health…this is no different than trying to eat more consistently with healthy, natural foods or working at maintaining a regular exercise program.  All these things are about having a better quality of life by attaining a better quality of health.

Dr. Milan Lassiter, Chiropractor, 1303 W. Main St, Richmond, VA 23220  (804) 254-5765

PART I: Forks in the Road

By | Chiropractic

This is a fictitious story about two friends, Ned and Heath (you can keep the names straight during the story by thinking Heath=Health)

Written by Milan Lassiter, Chiropractor, Richmond, VA

Ned and Heath grew up as best friends. They were inseparable and played sports together growing up. They were both popular, thin, healthy, and athletic.

After high school, they both went off to different colleges. Ned started to party a lot, binge drinking often and eating fast food. He stopped exercising and ran around with the “wrong” crowd. He gained 40 lbs. his freshman year.

Heath studied a lot and worked out in the gym often. He enjoyed his social life, having a beer occasionally with friends. He had a steady girlfriend who was a vegetarian, so he adapted her eating habits too. He graduated college with the same waist size that he had in high school.

Ned took a job at a local company, sitting all day in front of a computer while drinking soda. Most days he went to the local bar after work, where he’d have a burger and fries with beer. All of his friends at the bar smoked cigarettes, so he started smoking too. On the weekends he’d watch sports on TV, while drinking alcohol and snacking on chips. Saturdays and Sundays meals were predictable, donuts for breakfast and a microwaveable frozen dinner. He had now gone from a waist-size 32 to a size 44.

Heath went off to graduate school. He woke up every morning at 5 AM to go to the gym, where he’d run and lift weights. He continued to eat his vegetarian diet and didn’t keep any snack foods or sweets around his place. He drank water all day long. He still had his same waist size as when he graduated from high school.

When they were 40, Ned and Heath arranged a reunion to see each other. They were catching up on old times when Ned had to excuse himself to take his medications for high blood pressure, high cholesterol and depression. Heath and Ned went outside to shoot some baskets and continued talking. After 5 minutes Ned had to sit down because his back hurt and he was short of breath. Heath told Ned that he had been seeing a chiropractor and that he really noticed a difference in how he felt, but Ned thought chiropractors were “quacks.”

At age 63, Heath had a retirement party. He still exercised daily, looking muscular and healthy, with erect posture and a strong midsection. He took no medications, only a daily Omega 3 tablet. His M.D. had just given him a clean bill of health. He rarely went to “the doctor,” but now went to an acupuncturist once a month and to his chiropractor once every 2 or 3 weeks. He still had his same waist size as when he graduated from high school.

By now Ned had diabetes along with his high blood pressure and high cholesterol. He had smoked cigarettes for 45 years, so he had emphyzema. He also had kidney disease, was obese, and had both knees replaced.  A few years earlier he had a triple by-pass surgery to unblock clogged arteries in his heart. He used a pill-box to keep all of his medications straight, as he took 12 pills in the morning and 10 at night, every day. He had a huge, round belly and was hunched over, using a cane to keep himself upright. He had to schedule his life around his doctors’ appointments because there were so many of them.

Two years later, at age 65, Heath got a call that Ned had passed away. He couldn’t believe it.  They said it was from “natural causes.” Heath lived another 30 years and died in his sleep, from natural causes, at age 95. Even at that point in his life, he took no medications, had a sharp mind, and still was taking daily walks with his wife. He had seen his chiropractor 2 weeks before he passed away. His waist size was the same as when he graduated high school.

Click here to read Part II of this blog.

A man who has aged with strength, great posture and probably good health all around

A man who has aged with collapsed posture and probably other health complications too