Ask the Massage Therapist

 If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

There are many modalities in the field of manual therapy. All of them sometimes work yet many of their explanations contradict each other. 

Anxiety and depression are common yet serious disorders.  Massage therapy may help.

A massage therapist recently asked the question, "Who was your mentor and what did you learn from them?" Immediately, a particular individual came to mind and I began to think of how I would answer that question. Then I thought of the first massage therapist I considered to be a mentor. And then the second one.

The SomaSimple forums are one of the best resources available for any manual therapist working with clients with chronic pain. However, massage therapists who find their way to the SomaSimple site are often overwhelmed at first by the enormity of the material, intimidated by the level of discussion, and confused about where to start.

Massage is older than humans. Monkeys will often groom another monkey when it becomes agitated. Nit-picking among primates is not just a matter of hygiene, it's a manner of soothing and bonding. All mammals engage in some sort of stroking of one another. Tigers lick their cubs, rats lick their pups. We are biologically wired to respond to touch, to stroking. Massage has been with us since we humans became human, since before we had language. It comes naturally to us.

We take its benefit for granted. We know, from direct experience, that it feels good. 

On Monday, May 6, Kathryn Merrow interviewed me for 30 minutes for Massage Talk Radio. We had a lot of fun. She asked about how I got into massage, about my training and experience, and how I've evolved to incorporate the various things I've learned over the years into my practice.

If I could make only one recommendation to individuals living with chronic pain, it would be to read the book Explain Pain by David Butler and Lorimer Moseley.

 The new True Runner store in Brentwood Plaza recently hosted an after-hours Ladies' Night and Massage St. Louis was there! It was a great event, with about 80 women of all ages in attendance.

One of the things I particularly enjoy about having my own independent practice is that I'm able to take time with my clients. Most of the time I have to stay within the bounds of a schedule or my day would be unmanageable. However, I'm able to control my schedule so that I don't have to feel rushed.

Graded exposure can be a useful technique for persons living with chronic pain. Graded exposure is a method of finding movement that is pain-free and building on that. The idea is to break the brain's association between a particular movement and pain.

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Ask the Massage Therapist

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