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Medical Articles

We hope you can benefit from reading these medical massage therapy health articles regarding specific conditions. We want you to be encouraged to seek out Massage Therapy and get on the road towards good health. Remember, taking care of ‘me’ creates a better, “we.”


Our goal is to provide the best possible care for patients with chronic pain and understand their need for specialized attention. In our practice we work with people with acute and chronic pain, in addition to anxiety and stress. We strive to provide the highest quality care and outcome based massage therapy services. We believe you will find that we offer superior care.


We accept NYSHIP and no-fault insurance for auto accidents and many insurance companies,  are reimbursing our clients for their sessions.



Massage Therapy for health:  What the Science says


Mayo Clinic and Massage

Carpal tunnel Syndrome

Do you suffer with numbness, pain, and or tingling, in the hand or thumb, index, middle and half the ring finger? Do you use your hands repetitively or forcefully? Do you repetitively bend your wrist, have arthritis, especially the rheumatoid type, thyroid gland imbalance or hormonal changes associated with menopause and pregnancy? If so, you may have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome for Medical Massage

There is a group of small bones that make up your wrist and the base of your hand called “carpals.” To allow nerves and tendons to pass through to your fingers, there is a tunnel through these bones called the “carpal tunnel.” Through this tunnel pass nine tendons and a bundle of nerve fibers called the “median nerve.” There is limited room in this tunnel, and if anything happens to cause swelling of any of the tissues, the median nerve will be compressed, at first causing irritation, then over time causing actual nerve damage.


Many other conditions can have symptoms that are similar to those of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome but are treated differently. Therefore the first step to correct treatment is an exam by an experienced physician to determine the correct diagnosis.

Massage therapy is often used to treat CTS. It will focus on relieving pressure on the median nerve while increasing circulation. Furthermore, a person must be retrained in proper hand posture and biomechanical stress reduction to prevent exacerbation of the problem. Medical massage therapy is uniquely positioned to offer this therapy without the side effects of medications, local injections, or surgery.

Hands On HealthCare Massage Therapy has developed a protocol that has been life changing for many of our clients.  A 30 minute session may prevent surgery and just may be the answer you are looking for.

As always, please check with your physician or health care provider before seeking treatment.


Marla Kaplan-Pelle, LMT, CLT, MFRP, Director

Diaphragmatic Breathing

Conscious, diaphragmatic breathing is like a massage for your internal organs!

You may find it difficult to follow these instructions and be tempted to breathe into your chest. Have patience. Unfortunately, most adults no longer “belly breathe.”  If you are fortunate to have an infant or young child you can observe, you will see, that we start out belly breathing and then I guess…. life gets in the way.

To begin

Relax your shoulders and when possible, Breathe in through your nose and Breathe out through your mouth.


Imagine that there is a balloon in your stomach


Inhale– fill up the balloon in your belly.


Exhale– deflate the balloon.


Start out very slowly and only try a few breaths at a time, but practice a few times a day. Breathing will change naturally as a result of structu

Diaphragmatic or Deep Breathing

Guidelines for the Early Detection of Cancer

The American Cancer Society Get Screened campaign encourages people to start or restart their recommended cancer screenings. Regular screenings can help find and treat pre-cancers and cancers early, before they have a chance to spread. Visit Get Screened to learn about screening tests and what you can do to get on track with a cancer screening schedule that’s right for you



Breast cancer

-Women ages 40 to 44 should have the choice to start annual breast cancer screening with mammograms (x-rays of the breast) if they wish to do so.

-Women age 45 to 54 should get mammograms every year.

-Women 55 and older should switch to mammograms every 2 years, or can continue yearly screening.

-Screening should continue as long as a woman is in good health and is expected to live 10 more years or longer.

-All women should be familiar with the known benefits, limitations, and potential harms linked to breast cancer screening.


Cervical cancer screening should start at age 25. People under age 25 should not be tested because cervical cancer is rare in this age group.

People between the ages of 25 and 65 should get a primary HPV (human papillomavirus) test* done every 5 years. If a primary HPV test is not available, a co-test (an HPV test with a Pap test) every 5 years or a Pap test every 3 years are still good options.


(*A primary HPV test is an HPV test that is done by itself for screening. The US Food and Drug Administration has approved certain tests to be primary HPV tests.)

The most important thing to remember is to get screened regularly, no matter which test you get.


People over age 65 who have had regular cervical cancer testing in the past 10 years with normal results should not be tested for cervical cancer. Once testing is stopped, it should not be started again. Those with a history of a serious cervical pre-cancer should continue to be tested for at least 25 years after that diagnosis, even if testing goes past age 65.


People whose cervix has been removed by surgery for reasons not related to cervical cancer or serious pre-cancer should not be tested.


People who have been vaccinated against HPV should still follow the screening recommendations for their age groups.


Some individuals – because of their health history (HIV infection, organ transplant, DES exposure, etc.) – may need a different screening schedule for cervical cancer. Talk to a health care provider about your history.


Read More here: American Cancer Society Guidelines for the Early Detection of Cancer


Cancer Awareness Article. Hands On HealthCare Massage Therapy is a Recommended Community Provider for Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Cancer Awareness Article. Hands On HealthCare Massage Therapy is a Recommended Community Provider for Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center


Many headaches are caused by trigger points in the neck and head.

We have had many clients tell us what causes their headaches: sinuses, food, coffee, odors, hunger,  lack of sleep — the list goes on. But, how do these irritants cause headaches. That is, what actually mediates the pain, or makes a link between the causal factor and the pain itself. Obviously there is still much information missing. But very often, the pain itself comes from trigger points in the neck and head. And pain from trigger points in the neck and head can often be relieved.


There are three categories of headache people (oversimplifying): severe headache people, ordinary headache people, and no headache people:

No headache people may have very tight, even painful, muscles in their necks, but they seldom if ever get headaches.

Ordinary headache people are people who get a headache now and then — which is seldom severe enough to interfere significantly with work or activities, and which usually responds to over-the-counter pain relievers.

Severe headache people suffer tremendously. Not only do they suffer from the pain of the headaches, which is often disabling, but they suffer from loss of work, loss of the pleasure of leisure activities, and sometimes difficulty dealing with the impatience of others who don’t understand what they’re going through.

Headache Medical Massage at Hands On HealthCare Massage Therapy in Commack

Pre-Natal Massage


Prenatal massage shares many of the goals of regular massage to relax tense muscles, ease sore spots, improve circulation and mobility, and just make you feel good. But it’s also tailored specifically to the needs of pregnant women and their changing bodies.


Although NYS does not require specific certification for prenatal massage, here at Hands On we do! You will also relax on a special table with hollowed-out areas to accommodate your belly and your breasts as well, so you can lie face down. Carrying a baby inside you changes your center of gravity and puts a lot of stress on your back, neck, abdominal muscles, and shoulders. Pregnancy also relaxes your ligaments, so that your pelvic joints are less stable, and changes your posture, pulling your pelvis forward. Add to that the extra weight you’re carrying, and you may find you’ve got an aching lower back.


Count on Hands On HealthCare Massage Therapy for your pre or post-natal massage! We are oohs and ahhs and a whole lot more!


Though there can be multiple reasons for sciatica pain, very often, it is caused by the piriformis muscle. The sciatic nerve innervates the back of the leg, runs under, over, or through the piriformis muscle. Often, tightness or entrapment in the piriformis can cause sciatica, which it can cause intense pain in the low back, buttocks, all the way down the back of the leg into the foot. This is commonly referred to as piriformis syndrome and can be a pain in the buttocks!  Often people do not stand with their weight evenly distributed between the two legs. Almost everyone tends to stand with the weight shifted to one leg or the other. And that means, piriformis, which outwardly rotates the hip, is working overtime. Driving, especially long distances, can aggravate this condition. One of the worst things you can do to a muscle is to leave it in a shortened position for a long period of time, Most people tend to drive with their knees apart, thus keeping the hips outwardly rotated. That’s one reason so many people experience low back or leg pain after long driving. Therefore, stop frequently, even if only to walk once around the car. Keeping your wallet out of your back pocket will also eliminate undo pressure on the sciatic nerve, especially when sitting. Massage Therapy can often eliminate the pain associated with Piriformis Syndrome. The muscles may need to be  re-educated and the associated trigger points addressed. This information is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. Always obtain qualified medical advice from your medical doctor before undergoing any treatment and for a proper diagnosis. DO NOT SELF DIAGNOSE!

We have developed a protocol for Piriformis Syndrome that has been life changing for many of our patients. A 30 minute medical massage session just might be your answer!

Sciatica or Back pain

Sinusitis and Allergies

Got Allergies? Got Pain?


Consider An Advanced Medical Massage Technique, Manual Lymph Drainage


Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD) is an excellent therapy for assisting the body to collect and move lymphatic fluid. It most often addresses edema (swelling caused by fluid retention). This very light and rhythmical massage is used to clear congestion. MLD techniques can make an enormous difference to one’s health and well-being.


The medical profession is primarily interested in MLD due to its ability to help manage problems of lymphedema. This condition manifests as severe swelling of a limb, or parts of the torso, which can cause discomfort and inconvenience to the sufferer. It is most notorious as the treatment following lymph node removal after breast cancer surgery.


MLD techniques address the tiny lymph collectors just under the skin, the intricate network of lymphatic vessels are stimulated gently to transport the lymph efficiently along the appropriate pathways. The lymph is cleansed by the clusters of nodes it meets along the way and the clean lymph eventually rejoins the bloodstream via the large veins in the cervical area. This can be done with the patient fully clothed or not.

Allergies, Sinusitis, Migraines, Chronic Headaches, TMJ, More


Allergies such as hay fever, reactions to pollen, mold spores or other foreign body invaders will often cause the body’s immune system to go into high gear as it over reacts. The result is irritation and inflammation of the sinuses. MLD techniques can often relieve or ease these symptoms and remove the congestive material from around the facial area.


Edema of the mucus membranes and an impaired immune system can cause chronic sinus congestion and sinusitis. These conditions respond well to MLD because it has the effect of reducing the edema of the membranes while also boosting the immune system.


A migraine attack characteristically has sudden onset pain, which becomes unbearably sharp and is usually accompanied by nausea and even vomiting. It can be triggered by many factors. In the disease picture, the physical processes that occur result in edema accumulating around the blood vessels in the head and neck area, therefore MLD techniques are often very effective in treating migraines, and for the same reasons, chronic headaches.


TMJ Disorders can be brought on by a variety of reasons and have a variety of symptoms. MLD techniques will not correct the problem, however the swelling caused by these disorders can often be reduced by MLD techniques and that alone, can be a welcome relief to those that suffer with TMJD.


MLD has also been successful in treating acne, strains and sprains, healing of flesh wounds, pain from chronic conditions such as arthritis, symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome, constipation and much more. Clients who undertake a series of MLD treatments notice a dramatic improvement in their condition and additionally will usually find new energy, a feeling of lightness and improved skin texture. Additionally, because of the light, rhythmical strokes, the nervous system is calmed down and this lowers blood pressure, counters stress and improves sleep patterns.


As always, please seek medical advice….


Marla Kaplan-Pelle, Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Lymphedema Therapist, MFRP, Director


Hands On HealthCare Massage Therapy and Wellness Day Spa, A Recommended Community Provider For Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

Medical Article for Sinusitis Allergies

Sports Massage

Sports Massage was developed for helping out muscle systems that are used for different sports. We can help athletes recover from injuries and promote flexibility to avoid those injuries as well. Preventing injuries is a large and important part of our sports massage therapy sessions on your back, neck, abdominal muscles, and shoulders.

Athletes R Us!


Golfers • After the Sandtrap …

Come have your ‘traps’ worked! Tennis players •  After the Match Point…

Come have your Trigger Points worked! Runners  • Get rid of those “ITB Blues!”















Cheer leading

Competitive Spirit Squads

Field Hockey

Ice hockey






Weight lifting


Track and field

Horseback Riding



Sports Massage at Hands On Specialists Golf Tennis Hockey Football Baseball and More at Hands On Massage Commack

Teenagers Skin Care and Massage

Oh, to have a teenager! Oh, to be a teenager! Massage Therapy can be a way to deal with many of the physical and emotional turmoil of this tender age.


The teenage body is in the midst of transformation — exponential growth and development in a rapid period of time. On the physical side, teens may be at increased risk for aches, pains, and injury. Many teens strain their bodies with competitive sports, get erratic sleep, and consume a less-than-optimal diet. Massage can help muscles recover from overuse and help balance the body and maintain that stability. Perhaps even more crucial, teen massage can help improve body image and sleep patterns, and contribute to decreased depression, anxiety, and stress. This keeps a teen connected to her/his body, even as it morphs in confounding ways.


We are ready and waiting to assist teens in finding ways to de-stress and enhance their feelings of well being. According to Reuters Health, one third of the nation’s teens report feeling stressed-out daily due to overwhelming expectations by parents and society, peer pressure and hormonal changes. Hands On HealthCare Massage Therapy offers massage therapy sessions designed specifically to help teenagers learn about relaxing and taking care of themselves.

With teens receiving all sorts of messages today about their bodies and beauty, all the terrible news stories about ” bad” touch, etc., it is essential to be clear about the importance of health, wellness and “good” touch.

A teen’s spa experience can be educational and tailored to make them feel comfortable. We offer Massage Therapy sessions that introduce proper breathing techniques, progressive relaxation techniques, and other stress relieving lessons as part of the session. Our environment offers teens a relaxing safe haven where they can de-stress, rejuvenate, be themselves and learn how to care for themselves physically as well as emotionally.


Mother-daughter experiences are also an excellent way to establish healthy habits and introduce a positive lifestyle to a younger generation. Visit our Couples Spa Date Menu page for some session suggestions. Group Spa treatments amongst teens are becoming more and more popular as well. Sweet Sixteen Parties are becoming Spa Parties.


There are plenty of reasons why this age group should be encouraged to give Massage Therapy a try. The benefits of massage are well-documented. Questions? Concerns? Give us a call! Make sure to fill-out our Parental Consent Form

Teen's Facials and Massage Therapy

Trigger Point Therapy


Ever wonder what can be done to help headaches, neck stiffness, carpal tunnel type symptoms, frozen shoulder, back pain, low back stiffness, shin splints?


Trigger points are accumulations of waste products around a nerve receptor.  Trigger points form in muscles which have been overused or injured due to an accident or surgery.  They can present themselves as sharp pain, dull ache, tingling, pins and needles, etc.


Active trigger points are those which cause discomfort. Latent trigger points wait silently in the muscle for a future stress to activate them.  It is common to attribute this discomfort to other conditions, instead of our tight muscles which harbor trigger points.


Trigger points are not visible with traditional medical testing such as MRI or X-ray. When trigger points are not treated, they will create satellite trigger points in the affected area. For instance, a trigger point in the trapezius may cause a trigger point to appear in the temple. The trigger point in the temple then may cause a trigger point to appear in the jaw. And, voilà! – a case of TMJ.


Trigger point massage is not a relaxing, “fluff and buff” technique. It requires the participation of the client to communicate the presence and intensity of pain and discomfort. The therapist and client work together as a team to maximize the effectiveness of the treatment.


It is common to find great improvement after one treatment. Repeated treatment may be necessary for those with chronic trigger points.  If you have any questions regarding Trigger Point Therapy or Massage Therapy, please contact Marla Kaplan- Pelle, LMT,MFRP, Director Hands On HealthCare Massage Therapy, P.C., 208 & 210 Commack Road,  Commack 631-462-HAND (4263)

Trigger Point Massage Therapy