Tracie Bernabo is a knowledgeable and experienced clinical massage therapist who began her professional massage career in 1999, dedicating nearly two decades to helping her patients find healing and relief from pain. Whether you are struggling with stubborn muscle tension, a recent injury or chronic pain, Tracie invites you to experience the healing that is found in her capable and caring hands.
Mission and Methodology
What makes me different is that I listen to my patients; effectively interpreting their unique clinical presentation and then crafting a specific treatment plan to meet their health care goals. I have the knowledge and experience to correlate patients’ reported health care concerns with the physical findings to discover and correct the source of their symptoms. Understanding your concerns and goals are of utmost importance to me. I specialize in scaling therapeutic pressure to each patient’s individual needs and preferences.
While I employ several techniques, I specialize in Myofascial Release—also called myofascial trigger point therapy. It is a safe and effective technique that has been used in the rehabilitative health care industry for nearly four decades. This type of therapy reduces muscle tightness, decreases pain and restores range of motion; providing lasting results for a wide range of conditions including the following:
- Acute injury (e.g., from car accident/fall)
- Shoulder pain/frozen shoulder
- Back and neck pain
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Jaw pain (also called TMJ dysfunction)
- Chronic pain
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Herniated and bulging discs
How Does Myofascial Release Work?
Myofascial Release focuses on myofascial tissues—more commonly called fascia. Fascia is a tough connective tissue which provides structure and support to every area of the body. It is one continuous tissue that spans the entire length of the body, wrapping around every muscle group and fiber, as well as every bone, organ, and nerve. Healthy fascia is strong and supportive yet elastic and moveable. However, when body tissue is injured, fascia tightens in an attempt to strengthen the area. A triggering injury can come from an obvious fall or auto accident, as well as from less apparent sources such as poor posture, repetitive motions or unresolved past injuries. Once triggered, fascia can tighten with extreme force—exerting up to 2,000 pounds per square inch on surrounding tissue. In addition to severe pain, this intense pressure can alter posture, compress joints, and decrease range of motion, along with a multitude of other symptoms.
Myofascial Release therapy entails locating these areas of tightened and “fixed” tissue, which often include trigger points—specific points of anchored tissue. Applying the appropriate amount of sustained pressure, the therapist works to resolve areas of fixed tissue and trigger points. As a highly skilled therapist, I can also address the more distant areas within tissue that are contributing to these problems, which supports longer lasting healing effects.
How is Myofascial Release Preformed?
I often hear concerns related to the amount of pressure used during myofascial tissue treatments. Some patients are sensitive to touch and worry about discomfort. Alternatively, others wonder if I will be able to work deep enough to provide effective relief. I have the knowledge and experience to help patients at both ends of the spectrum. With the ability to adjust the amount of pressure I use to a significant degree, I can achieve effective results while staying within the patient’s comfort zone.
Experience and Education
I discovered my interest in massage therapy while in undergraduate studies and volunteering in physical therapy clinics; I began my professional massage career in 1999. I have a bachelor’s degree in Biology from Columbia College in Columbia, Missouri, and I obtained my foundational massage therapy training from the New Mexico Academy of Healing Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Since then I have completed hundreds of hours of continuing education, focusing on Myofascial Release. For the majority of my career, I have worked out of my own office, while actively networking with other health professionals. These connections have honed my skills and make for a rich source of specialist referral. I am proud to be an integral part of patient centered, integrated health care. Additionally, it has been my experience that patients have consistently benefited from Precision Upper Cervical spinal correction—which is the precise, gentle touch procedure used by Dr. Chris Maffit with Delta Spinal Care. Shortly after moving to St. Louis in 2014, I was fortunate to connect with Dr. Maffit, and soon after, I began offering clinical massage therapy as part of the health services provided by Delta Spinal Care.