By: Haylie Smart | Category: Health & Fitness | Issue: November 2023
John Chatzigiannidis. Photo by TG Photography
For Veterans, military life can take its toll on the body, often manifesting in muscle and joint pain. There are different ways it can be treated, but one effective way is through soft tissue massage therapy. Using the hands, muscles and joints can be moved with gentle pressure, and combined with stretching, many veterans have been relieved of low back pain, neck pain, stiff joints, and sore muscles. Many great health services are available in-house at VA hospitals, but this service is not one of them. However, Veterans will be delighted to know that Restoring Body Health, also known as Feet Unlimited, in Tulsa, is in their VA Community Care Network.
“We use some modalities as needed,” said John Chatzigiannidis, owner and licensed massage therapist. “For example, we have a massage chair we put them in before they come onto the table and receive massage therapy.”
The zero gravity massage chair, affectionately known as the “tenderizer” in the office, is well loved by patients because it helps loosen and relax them, making them more receptive to the soft tissue massage.
“A lot of the time you’ll find that the range of motion is limited or they’re not able to utilize a joint either from an injury or illness,” he said. “It has a domino effect. It will start including muscles from above and below the affected area. I will initially start working it out and releasing as much as I can, whether it be tension, fascia, or a muscle that’s being antagonistic.”
Most appointments last one hour and fifteen minutes, which includes the time in the massage chair. John especially enjoys his Veteran patients, describing them as humble and appreciative.
“I don’t see them as patients. I see them as friends.” He believes this so strongly that when he created his practice he didn’t want it to look or feel like a medical clinic, but instead a home. Having come from his first home of South Africa, he brought to his office the warm colors and exotic animal artwork of the safari with him.
Serving Veterans referred from the VA brings John a lot of joy because that is the purpose of his work, to give people relief from their pain and see them be able to enjoy their life again.
“Most of the Veterans when they walk away they’ll say they got their movement back,” he said. “That they feel so much better and are not in pain.
If interested in receiving massage therapy from John Chatzigiannidis, contact your primary care with the VA and request a referral to Restoring Body Health. After the initial visit, Veterans can make their own appointments.
Veterans, thank you for your service and all you do for our country.
Born and raised in South Africa John furthered his studies in Johannesburg, South Africa, England and in the United States. John immigrated to the USA in 1999. Since then, he has worked in Tulsa, Oklahoma and lives in Jenks with his wife and their two children
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