Saturday, April 19, 2008

Body Mechanics: A massage therapist's life line

From Effort and Strain - to - Ease and Flow

Today we are teaching a body mechanics class for deep tissue massage. As part of the introduction we ask students why they are taking class with us. Unequivocally in all trainings we hear about the desire to escape from pain and for career extension. It is sad for us to know that in an effort to bring relief and ease to clients, therapists are in fact doing so at the expense of their own bodies. The quote in the upper right section of the blog’s homepage drives this point home stating there are almost as many therapists leaving the industry as entering it.....often due to physical burnout and pain.

Eric was fortunate enough to attend the Body Therapy Institute, a school passionate about proper mechanics and self care. However, as we travel across the United States, we find this is not the case for everyone, and actually is quite rare. As I observe classes, I’ll hear Eric gently remind students to bring their head out of the work, to move from their core, to keep their shoulder disengaged and to effortlessly use gravity to apply the pressure their poor thumbs can no longer deliver.

I left my corporate job with a dream to help build a business that in some way would improve the lives of others. As I watch an entire room of massage therapists moving in sync with the teacher’s call outs, using straight spines, strong legs and upright heads; as I see them gliding effortlessly along the back of their fellow students, I can only hope that for some this has been meaningful and their ability to practice massage has been improved and lengthened.

Not everyone has easy access to proper body mechanics training, but if it is at all possible, I would encourage the effort. The investment in time and cost will quickly pay off as you diminish old habitual patterns while increasing your client’s satisfaction. Being half way through my yoga teacher training, I also find many similarities in yoga and tai chi movements. Practicing either modality will assist you in building your core and lower body strength in preparation for you asking them to support new movements that allow your overstretched rhomboids to finally breathe. We will be posting body mechanic pod casts soon. Our current ones can be viewed on you tube HERE

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