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. We talked about how my understanding of trigger points has changed and I was particularly happy to speak about what I've learned about pain science in recent years. I appreciated the opportunity to tell my fellow massage therapists that even though learning something new that contradicts what we've believed to be true can be uncomfortable at first, it does not have to be threatening and, in fact, when we embrace understanding how the body actually works, it's exciting and liberating.
Got back pain? Call us!
Low back pain is one of the leading causes of disability in the United States. Everyone knows someone who suffers from back pain and most Americans will suffer from it some time in their life. In spite of its prevalence, successful treatment of low back pain remains elusive. No one has consistently good statistics in the treatment of low back pain.
What can we offer you?
We cannot promise results. However, we can promise this:
Massage Therapy: Integrating Research and Practice, Edited by Trish Dryden & Christopher A. Moyer - A Review
This is a book many massage therapists have longed for. Massage Therapy; Integrating Research and Practice, edited by Trish Dryden and Christopher A. Moyer, fills an important gap in the field of massage therapy.
We massage therapists are taught a lot about muscles. We also study bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, fascia. We learn a little about physiology, about other systems of the body, and some lip service is paid to the role of the nervous system in the relaxation response and to how the brain mediates the changes brought about by massage. But mostly we pay attention to muscles. We talk about which muscles are tight, find “knots” in them, and “release” them by pushing into them and/or stretching them with our hands, fingers, forearms, and elbows.
Recently an older, somewhat frail woman came into my office. She has a serious condition that requires ongoing treatment and the primary condition creates numerous other serious health problems. In spite of this, she maintains a cheerful disposition and endures it all with acceptance.
A dear friend of hers thought that she might like a soothing massage and sent her to me, trusting that my experience and training would allow for both a pleasant and safe experience. The client consulted with her doctor about what would be permissible and what should be avoided and had his consent to have gentle massage.
Besides her complicated and generally frail condition, the client had osteoporosis and had suffered several broken bones as a result. Clearly, this was someone who needed to be handled very gently.
And she had neck pain.
We're excited to announce the availability of online scheduling for massage appointments! No more phone tag, you can schedule an appointment at any time of the day or night.
To schedule an appointment, go to the "contact" page and find the "Schedule appointment" button. You'll be taken to the scheduling page where you'll be able to create a profile and then make an appointment. After your profile is set up once, you won't have to do it again for future appointments.
Not all available appointments are listed online. If you can't find a convenient time or want to check about last-minute availability, contact us by email or call 314-670-0650 and leave a voice message. Remember to speak your phone number slowly and clearly! We'll call you back as soon as we're able and see what we can do to accommodate your needs.
We're thrilled to offer this convenience to our clients. We appreciate your business and want to make it easy for you! Let us know how it works for you. Thanks!
If I could teach only one stroke to other massage therapists, it would be Russian circular heel of the hand friction.
Friction is seldom used in Swedish massage but used quite a bit in Russian massage. It's a great stroke and I consider it my "workhorse." I incorporate it liberally during full-body relaxation massage because it's relaxing and feels very good. It's great for muscles that are tight and sore. It's particularly useful with athletes. It's my favorite stroke.
Done properly, it's very comfortable for the client and very easy on the therapist. Remember not to do it too fast. It should be done at a moderate to slow pace. Too fast will take the sensation of depth out of it. Oil should be minimum, just enough to let you move along easily but not so much that you are sliding over the skin. There should still be a little friction.
I'm excited to announce the first of a series of brief videos that will introduce the principles and practice of Russian massage.
Russian Massage is a medical and sports massage developed in the former Soviet Union and used in hospitals and clinics there. Based on research, Russian Massage works with the physiological processes of the body to promote desired change and recognizes the role of the central nervous system in bringing about that change.
This first video gives a brief introduction to the history and principles of Russian Massage and discusses how the practice of Russian Massage agrees with current understanding of neuroscience.
Special thanks to Will Stewart of 3-D Optimal Performance for making these videos possible.
I hope you like it. Let me know what you think!
About a month ago, I shared some of my thoughts about energy work from the point of view of an evidence-based massage therapist. To my surprise, that blog article got quite a bit of attention and sparked some fascinating conversations. The issue of energy work is one of the most divisive and yet, in my opinion, one of the most important issues in the field of massage therapy today. Unfortunately, when the subject comes up, the conversation usually gets pretty contentious quickly. I was pleased to see some discussion that was thoughtful and respectful.
Neuroscience, Russian Massage, and Remembering Zhenya Kurashova Wine: An Interview With Will Stewart
When Will Stewart, owner of 3-D Optimal Performance, asked to interview me, I was surprised and honored. Will recently began a series of webradio interviews with many of the "heavy hitters" in the field of manual and movement therapies and neuroscience. These are individuals who are bringing an understanding of what neuroscience knows about the brain and applying it to manual and movement therapies. Will has conducted some fascinating interviews with physical therapists, manual therapists, massage therapists, athletic trainers, occupational therapists, and even his piano instructor, all with an interest in understanding how the role of the brain and the central nervous systerm plays a part in their approach to their work.