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I had a new client the other day for an 80 minute massage. I asked him if there is anything that he wanted me to know. He told me that he suffers from a herniated disc that he has had for a few years. He has constant low back and right hip pain that at times radiates down the back of his leg to his knee. He told me that he has had two injections in his low back and has to stay on anit- inflamtory medication. Anything to avoid surgery. The pain is always there. I asked him if he ever saw a chiropractor for his pain. He said yes. But the adjustments hurt his hip so bad that he could not continiue. So here is a guy that thinks he is on the verge of surgery. I knew that there was a very strong probubllity that was not the case. The vast majority of pain people experience is nocioceptive pain( soft tissue- muscle, tendon, ligament, facia). MDs and Chiropractors see pain as neuropathic pain( nerve pain). With that asumption they give the wrong treatments and therapies. Now there is no denying that at times injections and surgery is needed. Not denying that. But most of the time - NOT. 70% to 85% of all pain comes directly from trigger points. Anyway I showed my client a testimonial from a client that I was able to help out of a very painful condition that she had delt with for a couple of years. I showed him that testimonial because all pain has a psychological eliment too it. I wanted him to start thinking maybe he is not on the edge of surgery. I palpated his entire back upper torso, both hips, and right leg. I found a very painful spot on his right L5 erectors. Another very painful spot on his right greater trochantor. A painful spot in the middle part of his lower right hamstrings. And also a tender spot on the right spinous of L3. I knew that if Iwas able to eliminate all those painful palaptory spots that I would most likely eliminate his pain problem. Because a healthy body had no painful spots even with deep massage. Ive been hunting and eliminateing trigger points for thirty years now. He walked out of the massage room pain free. He was pain free for the first time in years. All those other professional people misdiagnosed him because they assume neuropathic pain over nocioceptive pain. I assume the other way around. I'm a Massage Therapist.
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Ah, Lynne, Gordon and I and a few thousand other advanced MTs who understand the connections between muscle and nerve and bone ARE science-based therapists. Although watching Gordon Wallis in action in one of his youtube videos, it loks quite magical, it is not magic, it is not relying on the hovering hands of TCM or the lasers of pseudo-science, Gordon Wallis' advanced techniques are based on intensive study of the human body.
Whitney Lowe, Til Luchau, Ruth Werner, Ben Benjamin et alial all accept the reality of trigger points as a primary cause of myofascial pain; in their training videos, while palpating the client on the table each of the named has encountered and commented on the presence of a TrP. I'm assuming I don't need to provide you with a definition of the term trigger points. If you don't understand the nature of trigger points, I suggest you research before passing judgment.
Before you remind me, it's true that the named CEU providers don't apply direct pressure on encountered trigger points. One very good reason is that the method taught in 100% of massage therapy schools today is to apply painful compression till the client clenches then hold it till the pain goes away. Seminars and instructional videos would be quite boring and unpopular to their LMT customers if each trigger point encountered were held for up to three minutes. Therefore, when by chance they encounter a TP, they normally ignore it altogether and move along. The reputations of respected CEU providers Lowe, Luchau, Benjamin rely primarily on Structural Integration (which is based on the teachings of Ida Rolf). But, like chiropractic and physical therapy, success for the client using SI usually requires a long course of biweekly treatments extending months.
I submit that there is a better way. The AMA acknowledges that 85+% of all pain is myofascial in origin. Overwhelmingly, the formation of trigger points in muscles and their tendon attachments to aponeuroses and bones are the cause. While the old tried-and-true direct pressure on a trigger point certainly does work, advanced techniques employed by a highly skilled few are far less painful to the client, more effective and less time consuming. These advanced techniques utilize Lovett Reactor and the built-in CNS reflexes of the body. For instance, to release a rhomboid trigger point, I utilize the reciprocal inhibition reflex to release the painful and restrictive trigger point literally in a couple of seconds; for a trigger point in the cervical spine C3, referring to the Lovett Reactor chart, while maintaining pressure on the TP, with my free hand I manipulate in/near vertebra L3.
http://api.ning.com/files/3oOh0daNY6NL-W8h9gMbClgtukrZiE0paxrv42Q0I...*53wQl55mDVVki2AMOlZc1MoEF3P*7V-Gq6XEi7/IMG_0727.PNG If that link doesn't work google "Lovett Reactor"
Gordon, if you try it several times on different clients and it works, I think it IS evidence based. :-)
I don't think either of us waits for an official acceptance from one of the gurus of massage before we experiment with a technique we've discovered that is clearly stated, makes sense to us based on our own experience and logical thinking, and can't possibly cause harm to a client.
Nay, if there is the slightest chance a method MIGHT work for me, I "take it for a test drive". And if it works, helps me relieve a client's pain and restore their ROM, I add it to my repertoire. IOW, I don't require official endorsement. To me, the only evidence that means anything is my success using a modality or technique. I mean, if magazine articles and "studies" galore proclaim a thing to be the bestest massage technique on Earth,...if in my professional opinion after trying it out I deem it useless or potentially harmful to clients, I close that magazine or book and never ever use it again.
Gordon J. Wallis said:
Well evidence based means that it's scientifically vetted with rigorous criteria, control groups and so on. Along the same lines, most of what I do is based on what I deemed from acupuncture charts and books. I don't follow their dogma or reasonings, but I've learned a lot of practical knowledge from those books. But that was because I wasn't looking at those books and charts from a Chinese medicine point of view. What I'm saying about being fortunate not to be trapped in the massage therapy continuing education box, also goes for not being trapped into the acupuncture continuing education box, or any other education box for that matter.
I had a client the other day with pain pattern jsut as the first image showed. I did find and eliminate several trigger points elsewhere, but didn't check the glute medius. Thanks I will when see her in a couple of days.