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If you take a course or study Orthopedic massage, Medical massage, Rolfing, and others. There is a great deal of emphasis on proper assessment. Even if you work in a spa, and have only one minute, you are still making some sort of assessment. The assessment helps you help your client/patient more effectively.
A new patient came in the other day with neck pain, low back pain, hip pain, and knee pain. There was a long medical history involved, with diagnosis and explanations for his pain. And I’m sure it was all correct, or mostly correct.
But he made a comment. “I wonder if all my pain is connected?” I told him, “To me it was.”
He hurt the most in his low back, around the L3 level. His hip pain was mostly in the Piriformis and Greater trochanter area. In addition, like I said, he had knee and neck pain.
Im going to attach some charts that will help explain the connections to those seemingly unrelated body areas and his pain. Now is this evidence based analysis? No, it is not. Is it worth knowing or thinking about? You decide.
If you notice, L3 inervates a portion of the hip that covers the Greater Trochanter and Piriformis. L3 also inervates the knee. You will also notice that the neck is inervated by C3. And C3 has a special relationship to L3. Ok cool. What’s the big deal? MAYBE nothing.
You are excellent indeed. Thank you for your information.
I can tell I’m different. Different in the way I think of massage. When I say massage I mean bodywork in general. That includes chiropractic, acupuncture, and physical therapy. Any kind of manual approach ...... bodywork. I know it when I talk to other bodyworkers.
When I hear them talk about their work, and what they are doing. I’m thinking, WTF? I think it’s because I never had to take continuing education classes to maintain my license for 30 years. Oh I studied all the time. I’ve spent thousands of dollars on books tapes and DVDs. I just recently bought a very detailed acupuncture text, which is proving to be helpful.
Now that I’m forced to check out all the continuing education classes and options, I can see why I’m different. It’s like if you are a Hindu living in Pakistan, a Muslim country. You are just out of place. From my perspective, everyone has been brainwashed. Sort of a collective thinking.
Im not interested in taking any of the live seminars that are coming to Anchorage. Deep tissue this. Myofascial that. Energy work. I’ve checked out all that stuff and more in the past. Experimented with Cranial Sacral, Structural integration, Acupressure and so on. None of that stuff is more effective compared to what I’m doing now. Not even close. With possibly the exception of good deep tissue work for the right patient or person. And the way they teach, from my perspective. Is way over complex. Unnecessarily complicated. From my perspective, not only is a lot of what’s being taught unnecessarily complicated, it’s ineffective and often detrimental to the patients recovery or well being. I’m seeing things from a third person perspective. I’ve been outside the continuing education fishbowl for 30 years. At times I have to just sit down and check myself. I doubt myself. How can all these educated people be wrong? I don’t know? Are Muslims wrong? Are Christians wrong? To them truth is different. Bodyworkers think differently then me. It’s a group. Like a religion. There is a set of parameters, and that’s it. It’s all fascia now, and strange energy flowing through invisible vessels.
But what I’m doing now, as far as bodywork goes. Is very effective. Amazingly so compared to everything else being taught. I know what I was able to do for patients/clients 30 years ago, 20 years ago, 10 years ago. I know what others are doing. And what I’m doing now does not fit into any parameters of what’s being taught today. To bodyworkers and other therapists. I’ve contacted leaders in the field. Only to be ignored or told not to contact them any more. And that what I say I’m doing is not true. Of course they are making bank teaching seminars. And if what I’m doing is true. It renders all they are doing and teaching obsolete. Is it possible that what’s considered leading edge today, be obsolete.? Is total knowledge already accomplished. Nothing new to learn? It’s endeded. Bodywork knowledge is already complete? It ended maybe ten years ago or so?
A few years ago I met a masters degree teacher. She ran a massage school. We talked briefly, she had heard of me and invited my to give a brief talk to her graduating class. Everyone was ready to take their national certification exams. I talked about trigger points. No one knew anything about them. Even the masters degree instructor. One of the students said that they heard that they aren’t real. And that there were studies that proved it.
Anyway after the talk the instructor asked if I would teach in her school. I said that I really didn’t want to because I’d rather do massage work. But she insisted that I go over the class syllabus or whatever it’s called, and give some thought to it. She left me in a back room reading the syllabus while she gave a class. About a half hour later she came back and asked me what I thought. I told her that I can’t teach any of this stuff. Puzzled she asked me why. I told her that I didn’t know any of this stuff. She looked even more puzzled and said. “ But you’re a professional massage therapist?” I said. “ I guess you don’t have to know any of this stuff to be a professional massage therapist.” That was about 15 years ago.
So I do see things very differently. I’ve been challenged a lot for my views in real life and online. Especially online. But now that I’m working with medical doctors. I don’t feel out of place. They don’t challenge me. They know what I do and what I can’t can’t do. They don’t question me. I’m information to them. They don’t say you are wrong. This is how it is. Because sometimes they are wrong. To them I’m a professional. They don’t judge me right or wrong, good or bad. Often times one of the doctors will ask me what I think. I will tell them. Then he will talk to two other doctors and a couple physician assistants about what they think. Before walking into the room and interacting with the patient. It’s cool.
Other visitng doctors will come into my room and want to talk to me about what I’m doing. I tell them and they are fascinated.
Anyway back to the continuing education thing. I need 16 credit hours every two years. It’s cheaper online. But I still can’t find anything that I’m interested in? Or that I think would help me. I could take an anatomy physiology course. That would be good, just to be smart. Or a structural anatomy class. That might make me talk smarter to educated people. One course might be helpful. Oncology massage. I have never looked into that? Massaging those with cancer. But I’ve worked on people with cancer before. I did just last week. Everything was fine? She felt better and enjoyed her massage. So? Anyway, that’s a possibility. I ended up taking a trigger point course. Sense that’s what I do. I have to memorize stuff that’s not true in order in order to get the credits I need to maintain my license. But that’s how it is now. Studying unnecessary over complication and untruths.
There is this major emphasis on palpation skills. Being able to feel a trigger point, and to know how the tissues feel in order to know if the trigger point is gone. According to the author, there is no way to help someone with trigger points without expertise palpation skills. And unless you can tell exactly what muscle has the trigger point. You do that somehow by feeling the grain of the muscle fibers and depth of the tissue. Then there is all this stretching stuff afterwards. All that is completely unnecessary, un needed and often times detrimental to helping. At least very inefficient. I know, because I don’t do any of that stuff. I never have try feel a trigger point in order to find or eliminate it. And I never know for sure what muscle it’s on. And prior to that, there is all this pre analysis. Measuring hip height and all this stuff in order to determine where the trigger points might be located. So you can then use your palpation skills to find it, then eliminate it. Again all unnecessary. Over complexity. I don’t do any of that stuff. Sometimes the insurance companies want to see range of motion tests. So I will take before and after measurements sometimes. But there is no real analysis other then have them tell me where it hurts, and how long they have been been in pain. I’m completely finished working on the patient by the time I would have to spend doing their analysis.
As a side note. I’m in Anchorage Alaska. Had a major earthquake today. Scary. Still having aftershocks. Afraid to sleep. One reason I’m writing so much.
Anyway. I’m glad that I didn’t have to study massage continuing education stuff( until now).
Truth is on the edge of the bell curve. My opinion only.
Another thing to ponder, and think on. I never really thought about this until relatively recently. In my many years of massaging, I’ve always massaged the hands and fingers. But unless there was a specific complaint or request to work on the hands, I never really spent very much time on them compared to the rest of the body. But now I know that may have been a mistake of sorts.
Recently, after some time thinking, further refining the system that I’ve discovered(Holographic Acupressure). I began to theorize that it might be possible to release any muscle on the body via the hands. Just by touching specific reflex areas on the hands and fingers. I decided to put theory to the test the very next day. Below are the treatment notes on the very first patient I tried it on. Twenty-one trigger points vanished, one after the other. By only touching specific areas of the hands and fingers. Really cool.
I once talked to a therapist that told me he always spends a lot of extra time working on the hands and feet when he has a patient coming in to see him specifically because of pain. He says it always, in his experience, enhances his work. He pretty much does Active Release and Myofascial Release.
The hands and fingers are very important. The Brain devotes a lot of energy or space to the hands and feet, lips as well. That’s where you make contact with the earth, people, and the world around you. My system( Holographic Acupressure) takes advantage of that. But just spending more time massaging the hands can’t hurt. Again, just something to think on, and ponder. Below are the treatment notes of the trigger points gone via the hands, as well as an illustration of how the brain sees the body.