Whats the difference?

So often i am asked: I know there is a difference in what you do,.. but what is it.
Probably the single biggest difference in how i approach my practice is the “Why dialogue”
I have a pinched nerve.
Because the vertebrae is out of alignment
Because the muscles on one side are too tight
because i am sitting slumped over
Because i am tired. and its hard to stretch the  front which get shortened because i am
slumping, which gets shortened because i am slumping, which gets shortened because i am slumping,.. no i didn’t short out my brain (well if i did it happened long ago 😉 )
That is what i refer to a “snake eating its own tail” The pinched nerve is just a symptom of a body pattern. Almost everything i treat fits this pattern ( i am sure there is an exception, but i haven’ t seen it). Often this is why people are amazed at why i work on things that have nothing to do with the pain they come in for and yet walk out with the results they want.

For the most part there is nothing different about the techniques. It is the same techniques that every massagedownload therapist uses. But its how they are used to produce what results. Working on the “painful” area is often just sadistic. The tissue has splinted up, and your therapist irritating it often makes it worse by masking the pain with an endorphin response. That makes it go away for a short time then it comes back with a vengeance! Kinda like giving a snake the opportunity to sharpen its teeth.

When tissue splints up, it stops movement in the area. This means soft tissue movement but also (to varying degrees) fluid circulation as well. Remember we are just sort of 70% fluid. When fluid becomes stagnant much of the yuck and irritants get stuck,… and here is the snake eating its own tail again.  The soft tissue restricts fluid and the irritants “irritate” the soft tissue The soft tissue contracts,.. and the fluid slows more, more irritants more contraction.

Now the fun begins,… you have opposing muscles,.. pain in a muscle doesn’t mean that is where the downloadproblem is. For each muscle there is an opposing muscle. Often the problem IS IN the opposing muscle, and the painful muscle is just “reacting” IE it is a symptom. Sometimes a single muscle has several different opposing muscles. But that is still pretty direct cause/effect.

Now we enter the world of reflexes: push here / hurt there. They are referred to by many names,.. neuro reflexes, pressure points, acupuncture points (tsubos). Some are in the same spot but many are not, and no, they are not the same thing even when they are in the same place. But they can cause pain in a distant location. So you can rub all day long and do nothing more than irritate the tissue in that area. you can have a muscle get shortened, its opposing muscle gets a neuromuscular reflex (a trigger point) and refers pain to a point that doesn’t even remotely seem connected.

How do you figure this puzzle out? by observation. You look at the postural patterns, how they walk, how they stand, how they breathe. You observe how they favor their movements. You look at the postural alignment. You ask their normal activities. No one thing is a conclusion. It is how the whole person is put together, how it functions together and which way it is adapting. Knowing the anatomy is a .. and part of it is,..well, experience.


I realize this is over simplifying, and at the same time sounds confusing. But it is really very simple. My work has one simple goal :To “help” the body heal itself. It is your body that does all the work. I listen to it, I observe. The body is very literal and direct. To your body, It is VERY cause and effect.  You just ask, look and listen.


Categories: Massage Therapy and Bodywork.

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