Massage Therapy Research and Education blog, by Dr. Christopher Moyer, Interviews Us!

Christopher Moyer, Ph.D., is a psychologist who has done research in massage therapy and meditation. He recently began a blog on research and massage therapy and I was honored that he asked to interview me for his blog.

I first got to know Chris when I heard that he’d done a metaanalysis that overturned what a lot of us thought about massage lowering cortisol. Curious, I looked him up on the internet and sent an email asking about his paper. Shortly after, I encountered him again in online discussions and it led to a friendship that was both professional and personal as we discovered we had many common interests.

Musicians – Small Muscle Athletes

I once read an article about musculoskeletal pain among professional musicians. A survey of several thousand symphony musicians revealed that approximately 80% of them suffered from either chronic or intermittent pain directly related to their profession. The highest incidence was reported among the violinists. This was not surprising since they not only hold their instrument in a position that is challenging to the muscles, but they spend more time playing than any other instrument in an orchestra. Other instruments often get breaks or play only intermittently but in most orchestral pieces, the violins play most of the time.

Musicians are small muscle athletes. Their profession requires endurance, strength, and precision. The right kind of massage can help them play with less pain and more agility.

When muscles are tight, movement is inhibited. When muscles are in pain, they become tense and there is less control. Maintaining maximum range of motion and eliminating pain allows a musician to play in comfort and can improve performance.