Why My Massage is Different . . .
Sometimes I hate telling people that I am a massage therapist. I try to introduce myself as a bodyworker or a neuro-muscular therapist because almost everyone views massage as a relaxation tool rather than a necessity! Do I believe that relaxation is important? Very much so. The body won’t have the full range of benefits if the client is curled into one big knot. And these days, people are living under such chronic stress that trying to get past the initial fascial layer is a challenge.
Recently I had the pleasure of meeting Shawn Stevenson of the Model Health Show. I have probably said this a lot, but if you haven’t checked out his podcast you are missing out! Had I known he was out there; I would have been listening years ago. Anyway, in describing to him what it is that I do, I told him that I like to think of myself as a body engineer. He loved that! I decided that was a great way to describe what I do.
There are quite a few of therapists out there that have studied how the body moves, and why it is so important to find out what people do for a living and for fun. Sitting in front of a computer all day, driving, being on the telephone, or doing repetitive motions have your body telling a story. Watching how people move, stand, and walk add to the story.
The body is a sophisticated series of pulleys and levers. A lot of clients ask, my back is hurting; why are you working on the front? If you watch something being lifted by a pulley, some of the ropes get shorter and some get longer. The body works the same way. Over time, sitting at a desk causes the body to slump over, shortening the core/abdominal muscles. The pecs shorten, causing the shoulders to round forward, and sitting causes the hamstrings to shorten. Then there are the neck muscles. All of our muscles have synergists, antagonists. And, as one of is shortened, it pulls on the whole group.
I had the privilege of recently taking Visceral Manipulation 4 – The Thorax at the Upledger/Barral Institute. I learned so much in that course, as well as the other three previously taken. Our bodies are phenomenal! A couple of the key things that stood out was that there are over 150 joint articulations in the thorax, and the role that fascia plays in the articulations. We are literally beings of water. Fascia covers everything, and if it is dehydrated,it pulls on everything. And being dehydrated actually lowers brain function!
So, back to the topic of why a body working session from the Body Engineer is different. Like I mentioned before, our bodies are a very complex system of levers and pulleys, all bound together in hundreds of ways. Studying anatomy is one of my passions. Understanding why it behaves the way it does is an endless source of wonder.
What if your shoulder is tight because you have a tight liver ligament? (there are seven, depending on the individual)
What if the bladder urgency is due to a twist on the ureters?
What if the pain in your left leg is due to the fascial being tight in the anterior neck? The body hugs the lesion, so tracking down the cause is my specialty. Helping people out of chronic pain for me is like opening presents on Christmas morning. The spark that comes into a client’s eyes is a privilege to witness!
Do you ever just not feel right in your own body?! Come see me! And please do some research; ask some questions! Become an expert of your body.
And if you ever think of a question that you want me to write about, please let me know!
Julie Fisher NC/SC LMBT
#BeeTranquil #TransparentWarrior #TheBodyEngineer