Ships and Sails

Tension in our body is a lot like tension in a boat. Too much tension in one part of the ship and the whole ship is affected. Our bodies are a lot like that. This video is my attempt at describing that!

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MS Kinesiology

On June 5th, 2015, I walked the line to receive my hood! I now have my Master of Science degree in Kinesiology.  In 2014, I also obtained my Corrective Exercise Specialist certificate from the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM). As a sidenote, I have been a certified personal trainer through the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) for a few years now.

At the gym where I work, a trainer has to have a degree in a health science field in order to do any personal training on the gym floor (‘the floor’). So, this means I can now do personal training on the floor.  Mind you, I will not be training just anyone.  I will be bringing my clients from the massage room (‘my room’) out to the floor.  We will do assessment and treatment of soft tissue in my room and then corrective exercise on the floor.  One example might be that I assess your ability to do a bodyweight (BW) squat in my room.  I will look at your form and listen to your subjective assessment of where you feel the tension. Then, I will do an assessment of passive and active range of motion (ROM) while you are lying on my table.  I will ‘treat’ soft tissue restrictions as I encounter them.  We would, then, reassess the BW squat and repeat as necessary.

Once you have achieved a squat with form and depth that I find satisfactory (according to research and textbooks), we will go out to the floor and begin adding weights in varying capacities.  As I notice a change in your form, and as you notice the first sign of discomfort, we will return to my room to treat those soft tissue restrictions. Then we would go back to the floor and repeat that exercise to ensure we have ‘treated’ that restriction as well as possible.

This protocol is not limited to the BW squat.  If you are having difficulty with a particular movement, be it the pushing or pulling of any joint, we can assess, treat and exercise that area as necessary. (Other examples might be, but not limited to, the shoulder press, bicep curl, push up, chin up, leg press, hamstring curl, or even opening a jar!)

These appointments will last 90 minutes. I know that not everyone will want this kind of attention, so I will still offer strict table time appointments for 60, 75 or 90 minutes.  These sessions will not include any time on the floor.

I am excited to begin this new phase of my journey and hope to see you along the way!

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Working with infants

(shared w/ permission from his mama!)

What a joy today was!

As a massage therapist and cranial bodyworker, I am honored that a client of mine is so appreciative of the work I’ve done for her that she has brought in her whole family to see me.  Today, it was her 2 month old grandson.  Their busy schedule worked out perfectly for them to come and see me.  The little guy had his tongue tie and lip tie revised a little while ago, but nursing was still not awesome for him and his mom.  Today was my first opportunity to address the tension in his little body.  As I felt his legs move, I was aware of more tension in the left leg, which actually traveled up through the left pelvis into the ribs (too many muscles to name, but let me know if you’d like to discuss them!).  Then the tension traveled over into the right side of the neck and up into both sides of his head.

As I began to address the tension in the pelvis, he squirmed and kicked his way out of that tension and his legs were so much more free!  During this time, I felt like I was so ‘in-the-moment.’  It so felt like he and I were just working together working everything out!  His mom and grandma were right there as well and the energy was … it was just great!  The little guy was a bit more vocal when i started to address the tension in his ribs, but it was so easy to see, as he squirmed while I lightly held on, that his right side could move while his left side just didn’t.  But as I remained relaxed and in-the-moment and allowed him to squirm and cry  (let me know if you’d like to talk about all of the muscles that are involved with moving the rib cage in addition to breathing!) I could just feel the tension change and release in him.  Believe me, he felt it, too!  Whenever I would feel something release, he would calm down.  Granted, he didn’t STAY calm for long, but to me, there was a noticeable connection between what I felt and how he expressed himself.

When the left side became noticeably easier to move, the right side became more difficult to move.  (In hindsight, the right side tension within the torso didn’t release until after we had released tension in the cranium.) At this point, we shifted gears and started addressing his head.  Now, I had recently taught a self-care class, for massage therapists, and went into a lot of detail about the little muscles within the head/cranium/face. We discussed the potential that these little muscles might have if they exert just enough of a pressure on the bone they are attached to. (Let me know if you’d like me to elaborate!)  So, as I am working on this little guy, today, it felt like I was clearly seeing these muscle connections in his head.  I could see how the tension in his right forehead matched the tension in his left temple and his poor little nose was just being pulled and pushed in the middle of that.  And then to think about how a lip tie might play a role in that … the potential was just … it was just … neat.  But the coolest thing was that as I was working with his head, he started out crying and kind of snorting, but then after a few minutes, he fell asleep.  He was still kind of snorting a little bit as he slept, but every time I felt the tension change, his noises got a little quieter.  And then there was a … bigger release and he was totally quiet as he slept.  That was just awesome!  And he slept like that for the rest of the treatment.

The tension was so dramatically different that we decided to end the treatment.  His mom let me know later that their next nursing time was noticeably better than it had been … well … ever.  And that night, he slept longer than he had in a long, long time.  I hope that his eating and sleeping will continue to improve and allow him to thrive.

What a great day!

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