Got Pain? Re-Pattern your Body!

pain photo

 

It has occurred to me that I need to hire a ‘Title Writer” for my blogs.   I seem to be missing the creativity gene that others in my family have. (smile)

This article is about my personal experience living with, and treating people with dysfunctional musculoskeletal patterns in their bodies that cause pain and discomfort.

If you ask people in the massage and bodywork profession why they chose to work in this field, many will say it is because of their own journey toward healing. This is also my story. As a high school freshman high-jumper on the track and field team, I landed with my lower back directly on the bar during a practice jump. It was a traumatic injury that took many years to heal from.  Because I felt almost constant pain in my back, I moved my body into the most comfortable position comfortable to go about daily activities. This position was NOT in neutral alignment, and therefore I compensated with the less painful muscles, tendons, fascia, and ultimately ligaments (which led to joint misalignment) to do the work of the injured ones. This injury became my starting point on a path to find relief.

Fast forward 25 years and I am a deep tissue massage therapist that studied many different modalities of bodywork on my path to find relief. I leaned toward deep tissue therapies because that is what gave my body the relief it needed. I developed a physical strength and an applied working knowledge of structure and function of the body and my strength lies in helping bodies move toward a more neutral, less painful functional pattern.

What I have found in my clinical experience is that many people have dysfunctional patterns in their bodies because of physical trauma, emotional trauma, bad posture, and many other reasons.

I am continuously fascinated by how releasing restrictions in the tissues that are holding patterns can INSTANTLY help to relieve this kind of pain. For years, my clients have been grateful for this gift of healing.

And it lasted…for various amounts of time for each person. Some people never had pain again, for some the relief lasted weeks, and for some just a few days. This intrigued me and I wanted to study this and see what I could do to help make it last longer.

Enter Wendy Cooper, MS, Co-Owner of The Hub by ProMotion Fitness, home of the BioCored Corrective Suspension Training system. (BioCored™ incorporates visual, vestibular and proprioceptive nervous systems to influence pain and performance patterns in the body.) I’ve known Wendy for 18 years, and she is a leader in this community for health and fitness. She has also known me and helped me with my physical struggles for much of that time.

I have been training with Wendy for over a year on the BioCored system and I am extremely pleased with the balance and neutrality it has given my body.   It is what I call “prescriptive exercise”. When you get a private training appointment, it’s all about YOUR body, YOUR pattern and waking up muscles, tendons, fascia that have ‘been asleep’ for a period of time so they can DO THEIR JOB, and help bring the body back to a more neutral state.

I started recommending it to my clients to help support the bodywork they were receiving at my office for the second half of this equation that worked for me. Then Wendy started sending her clients to me for the adhesion release piece. This equation seemed to be working… really, really well. Actually, the results were nothing short of MIRACULOUS… See the before and after picture of two of our clients.

The female as you can see suffered from scoliosis of the lower back, which impaired her ability to stand for long periods of time and walk for exercise without extreme pain. While the pattern is still in her body, because it takes more time for the harder structures of the body to shift (bones), her body is more NEUTRAL and less painful by a huge amount.

SW2*17*14-presession[6]SWafter2*17*14[6]

(pictures used with permission) 

The male started with BioCored™ and after six weeks made this HUGE postural shift that required deep tissue/adhesion work in order to be able to tolerate the new pattern without suffering from headaches and other body pains. After his first deep tissue session he felt the relief his body needed to support the rapid change. Before picture is on the bottom, note his forward head posture.

 

Dan Before and After Overlay

As you can see, this is VERY EXCITING NEWS for those of us in this field who so badly want to see all of their clients holding the bodywork longer and feeling pain-free longer.

We have seen that this combination of adhesion release and re-patterning the body through corrective exercise is the key to gaining relief of musculo-skeletal dysfunction causing pain.

Both clients have reported feeling MUCH RELIEF from the combination and continue to receive treatments from both of us regularly.

I also found relief through this kind of therapy in my body.  For me, I had to incorporate one more missing piece, and that’s the modality of Ortho-Bionomy® .  That’s a whole other blog post!

On a side note, Wendy and I have recently been experimenting with working ‘in tandem’ with each other on our clients (in the same hour). It just makes sense to catch the body when it’s trying to do an exercise but can’t do the form properly due to restriction to treat it right away, give the joint a chance to do the exercise properly (in alignment) then immediately re-pattern the neuro-muscular pathways to support the new pattern. Right now this kind of treatment is making waves in the local competitive cycling community, and it is SO exciting to see the results in athletes too!

The Hub Indy is located at 620 S. Rangeline Rd Unit H Carmel, IN  46032.

Phone: (317) 914-4316  Web: http://www.thehubindy.com

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How Football Shaped My Massage Career

 

I wish I could name this blog, “Just Another Stupid Blog”, but that title was already taken. Anyway… who would care to read a blog written by me anyway? I’m just a massage therapist that started practicing in the fall of 2000, opened a massage school three years ago, and has been extremely fulfilled by passing down the knowledge of this craft to the next generation.

Truthfully, since blogging has become popular, it’s been a long time coming and something that I’ve ‘noodled’ around in my brain for a couple of years. In that time, I realized that I may have acquired a couple of fans in the 14 years of massage therapy I have practiced… some clients, some students, some colleagues. The owner of Earth-Lite Massage Tables, Tomas Nani, specifically asked me to write something about my experience working on professional athletes. So it’s time…

This past week my most loyal and frequent NFL player-client publicly announced his retirement from 11 years of playing professional football.  I realized that I felt a little sadness because not only had I been his ‘go-to’ massage therapist for ALL of those years, but that it may well be the end of an era of working on pro athletes in the NFL for me! The kind of treatment I provided can be most accurately described as ‘Can- O- Whoop-Ass’ deep tissue therapy. I used techniques such as Neuromuscular-Reeducation, Myofascial technique, trigger point therapy and stripping effleurage. I also did joint mobilization and proprioceptive neuro-facilitating stretching (PNF). The purpose was always very clear… INJURY PREVENTION

For the massage nerds out there, this is how it works… When there is restriction in the fascia of a muscle, and the muscle undergoes strain in an uncontrolled environment (such as playing a game of football) the muscle can become damaged above or below the site of restriction. AT the site of restriction the muscle is extremely strong, like re-bar or scaffolding holding strong in that area. In the treatment room (a controlled environment), massage therapists are trained to place just the right amount of strain on the muscle, not so much as to damage it, but just enough to start an unraveling response. The muscle and surrounding fascia becomes supple and more resilient to sudden shifts.

I can honestly say, and I know my pro-athlete client would agree, that during his career, we were successfully able to prevent many injuries. The injuries he did sustain were unpreventable. Never did he have a hamstring pull or groin injury, which are very common amongst football players. On a side note, have you ever seen the size of their thighs, or more specifically the imbalance between the front and back of their thighs? The ratio of muscle mass from the quadriceps to the hamstring is probably close to 4:1. How they manage to stay injury-free as much as they do is truly a mystery to me.

The most frequent question I get asked is, “Don’t you get exhausted from working on those big guys?” My answer has always been NO! I mean YES, it’s hard physical work giving 2-4 hour massages multiple times per week to men who are almost twice my size. But, there is something special about their energy vibration that offsets the output that I give. These athletes vibrate at the highest energy vibration I have ever come across. I mean, think about it. They spend their entire work day exercising, eating right to fuel their ‘machine’, and truthfully… I believe they also spend a LOT of time working on their spiritual growth. How could you be a celebrity athlete, making tons of money and keep it all ‘real’ withOUT spirituality?

Bottom line is… when I get finished with a session with one of these elite athletes, I leave with MORE energy than I came with! They are truly special in that way!

I have had the honor and experience to work on over a dozen NFL players in my career, and I can honestly say that each one was respectful, humble, and down to earth. I feel SO honored to have had the experience of being called to training camp, where it is very unusual for a woman to be invited into the ‘boy’s club’… I was asked to help with rehabilitation efforts in the training facility in Indy, and was fortunate to have had MANY other incredible experiences that I am not at liberty to discuss with this platform. However, if you REALLY want to know, meet with me in person and I will be thrilled to tell you some cool stories! Lastly, I was so humbled and honored when asked to come out to other states to give NFL player treatments during the season. What a testament to the effectiveness of the work!

I always knew this type of work was special, and not every massage therapist had the opportunity to provide the kinds of treatments that I have been blessed to do. I actually became a fan of the game of football because I wanted to see how my clients played, got hit, got injured… so I would know how to treat them the next week. But I never took the time to reflect on my experiences and pay attention to the specialness of the moments, until it became clear that there was an end to this run.

I am grateful for my strong body and hands that have enabled me to provide the kinds of treatments I have for so many years, and for the opportunities that have come my way!

On to the next chapter! Thanks for reading!!

For more information on becoming a massage therapist, contact Nicole at admin@carmelschoolofmassage.com or by visiting www.carmelschoolofmassage.com