When the general public thinks about massage, it is usually viewed as a luxury, or kind of like a mini-vacation. Given that there are spas and salons in almost every town across the U.S., touting the most decedent and relaxingly fluffy modalities, this makes sense. However, these usually are in combination with things such as salt glows, mud wraps, aromatherapies and extremely gentle handling of the client.
Is this massage? Technically yes. But, it bares little resemblance to the useful treatment protocol invented by the fathers of medical procedure and manual therapies . http://www.webmanmed.com/historical.html So the average person really has no idea that for centuries surgeons, chiropractors and the medical field in general has long recognized the ability of proper massage therapy techniques to enhance recovery from surgical procedure, treat musculoskeletal pathologies and in many cases, prevent the need for surgical intervention altogether. It is becoming standard practice for Chiropractors to have at least, basic massage therapy on hand for pre-adjustment preparation.
Although Chiropractic work is enhanced by the use of massage therapy, the same cannot be said of the inverse. Because chiropractic technique involves ballistic movement of the axial and appendicular skeletal systems, manual thrusts or ballistic rotation, there is often damage to the soft tissue which surrounds the joint structures. Thus, appropriate massage techniques applied pre-adjustment will break up adhesions, restore bilateralism, equal length of tissues and allow for a much smoother articulation process for the Chiropractor and patient.
Clinical Massage can even be effective in the world of Dentistry. For example, TMJ Disorder. Instead of teeth grinding, mouth gaurds and painful surgery/recovery, a skilled NMT/Clinical Massage Therapist can treat the mastication muscles and connective tissue surround the joint structure. Then they can reccomend appropriate dental measures, and give post treatment exercise to ensure the effectiveness of treatment.
Whether it is sport performance improvement, injury recovery/prevention, or surgical procedure recovery
In any business that we practice, it is generally accepted that if one's business is to thrive, Customer Service should be a top priority. Although this should be a focus for all businesses, some have to be "customer aware" from the front door to the back. This is particularly true for those of us who work in the Spas and other Service Industries.
These types of businesses can easily lose a client based on that clients opinion of the product / service they received as well as how they feel they were treated on a personal level. In fact, a perception of negative treatment by the staff or even another client before, during or after a service presentation, can ruin the chances of repeat business from many clients.
Perception: Websters Dictionary describes this as "the way we feel or think about someone or something'. The word feel, denotes a certain plus or minus factor relative to absolute truth and reality.
For example, I could walk into a room and to me it could seem hot and stuffy. While in the same room on the other side, someone might feel as though they were freezing. The actual temperature may be a comfortable 74 degrees. This is where the word feel becomes relative only to individual perception.
In the Spa business, the feelings and perception of products, treatments and ambiance by the client absolutely rule and tend to dictate the life or death of a Spa or Salon. For that matter, these things will also determine the longevity of therapists, practitioners and front desk personnel as well. This is an important concept for all of us to understand when working with clients and colleagues as well.
Client: Webster's defines this as "one who pays a professional person or business for services." Now this is an important definition for the person or business to remember and even more important to the paying client, because if they are unsatisfied, they will most often not want to pay.
As Therapists, Clinicians and Professionals, we can educate ourselves to be technically perfect, do all of the introspective self work and do our very best to be the most humble, aware person on the planet. Does this guarantee that we will avoid any pitfalls on the bumpy road of corporate interpersonal travel? No, it does not!
Just as everyone on the planet has different fingerprints and different irises each person is unique in their bio-individuality, just as emotionally and spiritually, humans exist on differing levels. This becomes important in an environment such as a Spa, where we see a vast cross section the societal fabric.
The Spa, is a place where each person desires and expects to feel important and to be treated as such. This is because the Spas and Salons originally were a place where the wealthy people went to be pampered physically and emotionally.. Thus, practitioners, clinicians and employees are admonished by their employers to begin a difference of interaction with these clients from the very second they arrive, thru their treatments and departure. In fact, Hilton Hotels developed it's own "5 Star" level of client/service worker interaction which starts when the client is 15 feet away from the service worker. https://hotelexecutive.com/business_review/2994/the-loyalty-principles-gain-and-retain-guests-through-best-practices-in-customer-service-and-engagement
There are some hotels and spas which restrict their employees and service providers from any verbal interaction at all with their guests/clients, other than what it takes to perform the task at hand.
All this, is to make clear that there are really only 2 entities whose feelings and/or perceptions actually matter in a spa or salon environment, that being the paying client first, and secondly, that of the establishment owner.
In any situation involving the feelings or perception of the client, concerning treatment, environment or practitioner/client interactions It will be the clients opinions first, then that of the owner. Period. Does this make the client always correct? Yes. No. The clients can be totally disengaged from reality or realistic expectations and yet, In most situations, do not expect your spa or salon owner to do anything other than smooth the bump with some kind of consolation prize and the promise that the "practitioner' will be talked to. Does this mean that we the practitioners are always correct and just being stomped on? No. Even practicing the very best "active listening" techniques, you also might misconstrue the actual feelings and meanings of what is being given to you by the client, or anyone else for that matter.
Recently, I was talking with a colleague of mine, who owns a wonderful Spa/Cafe/Yoga/Clothing Boutique,(BODY), in beautiful Santa Fe, New Mexico about this very subject. Having been in the Healing Practices for 40ish years to include establishing a bodywork school in Santa Fe, she offered this great advice. " Deep Listening" is what will help each person truly understand the entire message, feelings and all being given to them by another person."
Although active listening is a great start, what I am finding is that, deep listening will not have an agenda. Deep listening, cannot involve our ego and its need to be right, deflect or protect. Deep listening also cannot happen, if we allow internal dialogue to piggyback along with the true message.
So, what does all of this mean for us as practitioners? Do we need to feel less than, knowing that our opinions may sometimes not have weight where we practice? Does this mean that we must automatically believe that our Spa owners and Directors are always going put our feelings /opinions last and differ to the client every time a question arises? I would say no to these questions.
Hopefully, we as practitioners can rise above the aggravation and confusion of what seems to be an inherent part of our business and remain professional. I would also suggest the practice of deep listening, also known by other names, remain heart centered and hopefully, each of us will have an awesome Spa owner/director who also practices deep listening.
And remember, a job well done, is a matter of perception held not only by yourself, but others as well.
Namaste, Steve Lynch, LMT,AAS/Holistic Health, CTE
On a recent trip from PA to New Mexico, my eyes were reopened to something we as consumers now see as an inherent trait among many corporate entities vying for our hard earned cash.
Illusion, over promised results and unclear or attractive pricing with unseen add-on charges are just some of the tools today's liars/advertising companies use to separate us from our money.
Normally, like most of us, I go about my day just knowing the age old admonishment"Let the buyer beware", is just how we need to navigate through the abundance of offers and decisions which affect our lives each and every day.
So, on my recent trip, I needed to rent a second vehicle and like most of us, I want a decent vehicle at reasonable rate. Not too much to ask, right?
Ah, the wonderful internet. Now I'm on the net searching earnestly for a decent car and price and I find what I believe to be both. I check it out with their representative on the phone and make the "reservation". Reservation is in quotations because it is supposed to denote a specific form importance in our gotta have it culture. In fact one of this writer's favorite comedians Jerry Seinfeld, devoted a monologue to this very word. I find him to be an incredibly funny and socially in tune standup.
When one reserves anything, the belief and understanding is that there is an appointed thing, at a certain place at a certain time, which has been certainly expressed as certainly, yours. Also, anything regarding this reservation is usually negotiated in advance, unless it's a restaurant. Apparently, my car rental company, H**tz, finds reservations only to mean welcome to our universe and now sir, please bend over to receive your gifts.
The departure day finally arrives and I confidently walk up to the reservation desk, because of course, I have a "reservation". It goes like this. Hi there! My name is Steve Lynch and I have a "reservation" for this car, at this time and place on this day. Response: " I'm sorry Mr Lynch, but we don't have that car for you. In fact, today we have no cars at all.
Now, I'm a relatively easy going kinda guy and I am openly attempting to process and pleasantly manage the huge implications of the rather small admission just made to me. Wow! How could this be? I mean after all, I had, a "reservation", right? Well then, what saving grace is there?
Further clarification from the blank faced H***z rep: "You see Mr. Lynch, a reservation is a tentative agreement, non contractual, based on our availability of that item upon your arrival." Oh really, I say, so then my reservation of this vehicle, at this time, location and date, a full week in advance was an absolute waste of my time? " Well Mr. Lynch, I understand your concerns as this is your day of departure, but there is really nothing I can do here. I suggest that you now rent your vehicle from the airport which is about an hour and a half away. They may have a vehicle you can use for your trip."
Now, I'm smiling because, I'm so very happy. I drive to the airport where I am greeted by another blank faced droid from the same rental company who has spoken with the other droid we just left about our, situation. It looks promising but then.
Well, I cannot rent you a vehicle as a one way drop off to Santa Fe, New Mexico Mr. Lynch, however, wait for it, wait for it, I can rent you a one day return to this location and then you can just call in an extension and location change once you are under way tomorrow. It will be no problem. Really I ask, because to this point its been so very smooth. Really Mr. Lynch, no problem. Now, I leave with the car having no other option and wondering, ok, if its no problem to do this tomorrow, why is there a problem today?
Tomorrow comes and I now understand why it was a problem for the blank faced H**tz rep the day before. I am now facing airport fees, rental extension fees, destination change fees and other various add-on fees which were never divulged in conversation during the rental process. In fact, my 8 day, one way rental for $423.00 reservation for an intermediate sized vehicle, has now morphed into a 4 day rental at the low price of $1200.00 dollars! I had a reservation!
So, instead of making my original planned journey which included a stop through Atlanta, Ga. to see my Sister who just had breast surgery because of cancer, I now have to race across the country trying to make it in 2 days instead so I would only have to pay $460.00
One might ask, if indeed I tried to find resolution to this obvious mistake on H**tz's part so that I could make my intended trip in peace, without worry. I called at least three other branches of this company, to include the Corporate Billing/Customer service department.
I could not see the woman with the East Indian accent over the phone, but, I'm sure that she was also a blank faced droid. Not only did she say it was not her problem that the York, PA Hertz location had no cars for me, though I had what I now call a Hertz special noncommittal commitment reservation, which is basically a non reservation although advertised in all media forms as a reservation, she hung up on me, twice!
As a clinical massage therapist, I am expected at all times to act with the highest ethical standards. Any form of advertisement should represent myself and my abilities truthfully and completely. Not only this, but I am expected to be at the top of my game clinically and morally every single minute with every single person I touch. There is no room for misrepresentation.
Since the time of my first professional bodywork session, I have maintained a 100% money back guarantee on my work. In almost 40,000 clinical treatment hours, I can only name 2 sessions which were refunded and those were timing issues. I have made it a mission to study hard, always attempting to better my knowledge and techniques, as well as practicing introspective analysis of how I deal with fellow human beings.
Corporations it seems have adopted the numbers only system of ethical behavior and no longer see the value in human connection. These entities have also lost the pride in a job well done in favor of another unit processed without liability. They are so compartmentalized and disconnected that interdepartmental communication and standing behind a service or product to right a mistake is almost nonexistent for fear of job loss!
There is an ever widening advertising ethical grey area where product and service alike are polished to a luster and the reality of poor product, substandard service and inflated add on costs are hidden from the consumer like the proverbial worm inside the beautifully polished apple. It becomes ugly and distasteful once bitten into. The surrounding beauty is an illusion hiding the rotting mass within!
How can we as humans evolve in any honorable, beneficial way if we continue to allow ourselves to be counted as a mere portion of a profit/ loss quarterly statement? Is it not more honorable and just, to truthfully and fully represent what we are asking other humans to subscribe to about us?
Servant Leadership, is a method of human interaction which I believe to be fundamentally brilliant, straight forward and absolutely truthful every time, with no agenda, hidden or otherwise. This simple concept if practiced by every human to every human, one human at a time could create the Utopia we all seek.
HOW MAY I SERVE YOU, NAMASTE
Steve Lynch, LMT, AAS/Holistic Health, CTE, Trainer
Fitness as defined by Webster’s Dictionary:
: the capacity of an organism to survive and transmit its genotype to reproductively fertile offspring as compared to competing organisms; also : the contribution of an allele or genotype to the gene pool of subsequent generations as compared to that of other alleles or genotypes
Hmmm, according to this source, to be fit is to survive long enough and be strong enough to chase something down and impregnate it. A lot of of beer guzzling junk food ingesting sperm donors would be happy to read this portion of my article, however, I personally believe there must be more.
In today’s world there are many differing variations within the scope of this word. There is fit for duty, mentally fit, fiscally fit, even fit to be tied. But just like you may love BBQ ribs and love your mate, it is not the same type of love, hopefully, nor are the types of fitness the same.
At one point I chanced to entertain a dating site, yeah, like no one else has. I tried so hard to let them know in no uncertain terms that I AM FIT and if they were NOT FIT, they should not even email me because they were off my radar.Well, I have to say, I have never received so many pictures of women who weighed in at a svelte 160 lbs. at a towering 5ft4in, all claiming to be fit or athletic, in my life. You really would not want to see what the ones claiming a few extra pounds looked like. This experience although short lived, did make me consider however, where we as a country have come to concerning fitness.
The “Fitness Industry” has done well in promoting gyms and supplements with all kinds of classes and varying mind sets. These facilities are trying their best to provide for all of the components of fitness. But what does being fit really mean?
If you ask a body builder, being fit means lifting mega pounds and having a fat percentage in the low single digits. If you ask a runner, the focus will no doubt be on the amount of miles put in each week and marathons completed. A yoga practitioner is going to discuss the poses they are able to hold for x amount of time. While all of these are part of the picture, none are completely fit. Yes, I did say that.
Lets get real here. I’ve rarely seen a serious weightlifter endlessly doing yoga. Most would rather take a gangland beat down than to run even a single mile. Nor, will a yoga practitioner be gearing up for a 400lb. bench press. And lets face it, a serious runner just doesn’t possess enough muscle tissue to boast of much in the weight room. So, what up?
While there are many opinions concerning fitness owing to the numerous fitness cert companies, mostly it comes down to 5 solid components which are facets of the whole diamond we call fitness.
Strength: the ability to lift carry or otherwise overcome weight, tension or resistance against ones own musculature.
Muscular Endurance: The amount of time a given muscle or body can handle any given resistance load. We call this the time under load principle.
Flexibility: The ability of a muscle or body of muscles to lengthen for an undetermined period of time.
Cardiovascular Fitness:This can be broken down into either anaerobic or aerobic conditioning,i.e., a sprinter will never run 26 miles in 3hrs or less and a marathon runner will never beat a sprinter in a 200 meter race. The relationship here is simple. It is the ability of a body to move, relative to the stress load one’s heart,lungs and vascular system can overcome for an undetermined period of time.
Speed: How fast your body can perform a task or move from point A to point B.
Body Composition: There are other constituents but, here we are talking about fat% relative to muscle tissue %. This seems to be a notable variable when assessing one’s general health condition.
When I first started in this business about 20 years ago, I understood strength training, aerobic conditioning as well as the nuances of nutrition, however, after tens of thousands of training and neuromuscular therapy sessions, I have decided that while many can lay claim to one or two components of fitness, very few can boast of having it all.
There are some who in my opinion may possess all of the components or come close. These would be: Gymnasts, Triathletes, MMA or Ultimate Fighting Competitors,Rock Climbers,(serious ones), Martial Artists and Military Special Ops Soldiers. If I missed your special interest group don’t be offended, I did not include myself either(though I am getting close).
Although some would assert that there could be other components to fitness such as balance, hand/eye coordination, etc., I would state that these are merely subcategories or benefits of having the 5 basic fitness components.
So, does this mean that the rest of us are just incomplete losers? No way! What I am suggesting, is that it may be time for all of us to evolve in our understanding and attainment of fitness. Let me put it another way. If I were a platoon leader tasked with holding a hill against large numbers, I would much rather have 200 of the above mentioned athletes /soldiers than 800 meat sacks to send home in body bags.
I wrote this article not as a rant or to poke sticks in the cages of other monkeys, but rather to pose the question, do we understand the term completely fit? Hopefully, this article will promote thought and awareness as well as self motivation. I invite questions or comments.
Steve Lynch, LNMT, AAS/Holistic Healing, CTE, Trainer firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.stevelynchLMT.weebly.com www.linkedin.com/pub/steve-lynch/29/4b1/351/
As I work and train in the gym everyday, I look around at whats going on, who is doing what, where there is progress, who needs help…ya know, just to learn new things.( If you are a TRAINER and you think you know everything……retire.)
There are constantly new training methods being made up, new discoveries about nutrition and new mindsets being formed everyday. There are however, some constants in fitness…particularly, resistance training.
One of the first things I notice is, that most guys really get caught up in the amount of weight they are able to….uhmmmm lift. The women don’t seem to find amount of weight to be as important…probably a guy thing:)
Needless to say, I see some really lousy form going on as we males fail miserably at keeping our egos in cheque.( Oh yeah, I also see some lousy form out of women too). Another thing which happens is the lengthening of time relative to the speed at which the exercise reps are performed:) This is worth discussion.
There is a principle called TOL or completely spoken, Time Under Load…now, this is a fairly ancient principle, but one which has concrete results for your physique:)
Accurately defined, this would be the amount of time it takes to perform both the concentric and eccentric portions of one repetition of any given resistance exercise.
Essentially, you recruit more muscle fiber performance to endure a ten second rep than you do with a 1 second rep with the same amount of weight. This is not to say that every rep should be a ten second rep…more aptly, for many, slowing the rep process down just a bit would allow for greater muscle fiber commitment…and better muscle growth:) Also a slower rep would create the opportunity for better form during the exercise.
Another really great concept is called Peak Contraction…this principle dictates that at the apex (very top) of the repetition, that one squeezes the contracted muscle involved to milk out whatever muscle fiber commitment possible to get the most growth potential.
I personally prefer a blend of the 2 above mentioned rules. It allows for muscle fiber recruitment …commitment to the rep…or peak contraction with time under load. So at the top of the concentric portion of the rep you count the rep# plus 2 and release (e.g. 4/2/release…5/2/release).
If this is not enough work for you, there are also what we call negatives. This principle dictates that you have a partner assist you with the concentric,( first), part of the rep…lets say curls…and then you resist the weight all of the way down in the negative or eccentric portion of the rep. If you think thats the easy part…you may be in for a great shock…and some extra growth:).
We could also discuss the angle of attack …line of pull or push. Performing exercises at varying angles, places new levels of strain on the muscle fiber and increasing over-all strength. It definitely helps with muscle growth. So for example, if you are if you are doing doing flat bench dumbbell flies and they are too easy…try using an incline or decline approach. Play all the angles and be a winner:)
There are a lot of ways to measure how strong you have become…doing fast reps could be good if you are doing many of them with no rest,(intention being maximum muscle endurance). Doing slow reps can be good if you are using massive amounts of weight and recruiting maximum muscle effort on every rep. (intention being maximum muscle growth)
Overall strength with weight training involves best efforts through several different strength curves…max growth 4-6 reps set, 2-5 min rest…growth/endurance 8-10 reps/set, 1-2min rest…max endurance 15-20 reps/set, 0-30 sec rest…a person should rotate through these strength curves, one level about every 8-10 weeks …this will ensure good amounts of MATURE muscle.
The important thing here is not whether you are lifting heavy or light weights…but really, whether you are truly lifting it, with proper form, working the targeted muscle and safely gaining strength/muscle at a steady rate.
I see many people trying to lift more weight than they are ready for, by using bad form and…they never grow, sometimes they get injured badly, and mostly, they appear ignorant to seasoned lifters. So, check the ego at the door, be smart, train hard and be well:)
I hope that this article sheds some light on getting the most out of the weights you are lifting. These are time honored principles which have been passed on by successful Professional Lifters and Trainers for our benefit. They have seen me through 20+ years of lifting without injury…I know they will help you too:)
Comments and questions welcome…
Namaste, Steve Lynch, AAS/Holistic Health,CTE, LMT/Trainer
There are many people walking around the planet with some serious neck pain. It seems that no matter what they try, nothing seems to actually work long term! Not only are they experiencing constant neck and shoulder pain, but other problems as well.
Numbness in the arms and hands, tingling, loss of ability or/and strength as well as, severe and continual headaches. Muscle pain, myalgia, is another complication associated with cervical osteophytes.
Osteophytes, commonly referred to as bone spurs or parrot beak, are bony projections that form along joint margins. They should not be confused with enthesophytes, which are bony projections that form at the attachment of a tendon or ligament.
Cervical, not to be confused with Cervix, refers to the portion of the spine above the shoulders, from C-1 thru C-7
As you can see by the above images nerve roots project through the foremen (openings), between the vertebrae. these nerves travel to every organ and tissue in our body. When there is a protrusion such as abnormal bone growth, the soft tissue around the nerve and the nerve itself can be damaged creating pain and/or loss of function.
This type of challenge can also lead to excessive scaring and cervical/foremen stenosis, a narrowing of the spinal nerve canals.
Stenosis itself can be extremely painful and also include loss of function. Bone spurs or osteophytes usually involve constant pain and complications with range of motion.
The bottom line is that cervical osteophytes create chronic pain and difficulties which for the most part can only be temporarily relieved by non-surgical methods. Some are touting the benefits of "Laser Surgery" for loose bodies or osteophytes, however, the general opinion among surgeons is that it is easier and less risky to the patient's spine, to simply mechanically remove the the problem.
At this point, eventual removal of the osteophyte is about the only way to assure restoring pain free movement to the cervical spine. As long as the bone spur is obstructing proper joint movement or placing pressure upon the nerve root, normal range of motion cannot be achieved.
Any method of adjunct treatment should be approached skillfully and gently by qualified licensed practitioners who understand the nuances of working around these types of challenges. Massage, Acupuncture, reflexology and some forms of Chiropractics can still provide a measure of relief from this condition. It is good to realize though, that complete relief from osteophytes and/or loose bodies in the spinal area ultimately will come from their removal.
Steve Lynch, LMT-008476, AAS/Holistic Health, CTE
So, whats it like, being a big muscular male Clinical Massage Therapist in a field which is generally about 85% female filled? After almost 15 years, I have begun to understand what it must've been like for any race, creed or gender trying to be accepted by society which bases it's prejudices on mass ignorance.
I personally was introduced to the incredible results of Clinical Massage by a great therapist, who came to work with the Chiropractic office where I also worked as a rehab specialist. The benefits to the patient were immediate and long lasting. At that moment, as they say, I was hooked. I never even for a moment stopped to think that there might be prejudgement based on, gender.
Yes, thats what I said. I would not have believed it myself, but after dozens of times hearing things like, I'd prefer a female ...no offense, or, ahh, I like a girl so I can relax...you know. Much more than the words, I note the feeling of rejection as though I somehow violated the sanctity of complete femininity, or broke wind at a poetry reading.
At first, I was extremely offended and probably reflected my offense at this oversight. However, not wanting to present with the same ignorance I was being subjected to, I began to employ empathy for the expectations of the client based upon the lack of public education and venues they were visiting. Basically, if they are at "Spa Whatever", mostly, they are wanting the smooth, light hands of a female to apply warm concoctions to their skin and lull them into La La land. Although most bodies need solid clinical massage, convincing clients of this not so easy and I don't need really to.
My philosophy is simple. I will never beat a woman at being a woman, but I will ALWAYS beat a woman at being a man. After 40,000 clinical hours of massage under my hands, I am still able to perform 12 hrs of back to back massage with no break, 6 days/wk.. I perform clinical/medical/rehabilitative massage therapy. Burn victims, neurological damage, fresh joint replacements, surgical recovery and other accident/injury/illness related work is my playground.
I work with professional and college athletes of all sports and normal folk alike. I am far more interested in restoring health, improving pain free RANGE OF MOTION and HUMAN PERFORMANCE than trying to convince somebody that I can be as soft handed as a female. No offense. I believe that each gender should play the cards they were physically dealt and educate clients about the difference where they can. It might also interest most to understand that clinical massage therapy was invented by and historically performed by men.
Women were not publicly performing any significant forms of clinical massage until after the early 1900's when massage therapy went through a major decline. Massage or a more sensual form of it was was enjoyed by soldiers during many of the major wars...particularly the Korean and Vietnam conflicts. Hence. when the soldiers returned, they blackened the eye of clinical massage with distorted views and expectations that the therapists would be women and it would involve sex.
Although Asian and European cultures have continued to produce incredible results with more clinical forms of manual therapy, American massage has been languishing in the confines of a watered down, ineffective and over regulated form of massage. Medical/clinical and sports related manual therapy are just now starting to be rediscovered because of the over production of cosmetic and relaxation focused Day Spas.
There are many benefits to advanced forms of Clinical Massage over and above any treatments people would receive in a Spa environment. The improvements to the muscle, tendons, fascia along with pain free movement are for the most part immediate and long lasting.
Typically, this type of work is done by males, but I have occasionally had some good treatment by females. The point here is that America for all it's boasting of being more evolved, is really still locked into a puritanically repressed thought pattern when it comes to bodywork. And given the devolved nature of massage post Korea and Vietnam, who could really blame the public for it's skewed perceptions about massage.
Real massage, as it was designed and meant to be applied is a great help to the human condition and should not be relegated to a particular gender, but rather to very particular qualifying skill level. And to the males I would say...don't try to compete with females in their arena of femininity. Present great, real, clinical based therapeutic massage with all your maleness. Whether you are male or female, if you come in and do one great session at a time, it won't take long for you to have a qualified and loyal following in your practice.
Steve Lynch, LMT-MSG008476, AAS/Holistic Helath, CTE
Being that the average life span is about 75 to 85 years, it would seem that as humans in this world, we might have occasion to have an unintended mishap or three.
Even the notion of being born into this crazy rock of a world can be a physically violent event, beginning with the possibility of forceps assisted birth. But, what exactly is Scar Tissue and how does it affect the body's ability to function, without pain?
To begin, this type of tissue is generated by the body whenever it is injured in any way, whether it is a cut, burn, tear or broken bone, diseased organ, etc.. Basically, the body will always try to repair any damage done to it.
As can be seen by the image to the left, although scaring patches an injury, it alters the continuity of muscle tissue as well as the potential load handling capacity and range of pain free motion. In fact, an area with hard inflexible scar tissue, is an easy future injury site.
Scar tissue is a loosely constructed collagen matrix, a form of connective tissue which is tough and inflexible. This type of tissue has less blood vessels and innervation. Interestingly, once scar tissue starts to mobilize in the body, it never quits the process. Sometimes, normal scar tissue can over-replicate and become Keloid tissue. This type of scar tissue can grow so continuously that it can cover complete appendices or organs, stopping function all together. Although Keloid scaring is not usually the case, normal scar tissue is pervasive and prolific in its own right,
Scar tissue itself will not appear this way, however, it often can and does interfere with normal joint function. There are many instances where abdominal scar tissue actually strangulates intestines or the colon and can be fatal.
Mostly, normal scaring is visually impacting, but if they become problematic relative to movement and/or cause pain during movement, they can be dealt with by manual therapy.
In particular modalities such as Medical Massage, Clinical Massage and various other techniques.
While my belief is that ultimately, clinical massage is one of the most effective methods of dealing with thick scar tissue, technology has given us some great tools to work with. As I sometimes use them as adjunct treatment, it would be a dis-service not to mention a couple.of them.
My personal favorite is the Russian originated S.C.E.N.A.R. device...I have found this to be one of the most effective pieces of equipment. It is able to help with scar tissue, muscle soreness and skin or tissue pathologies of many kinds. http://www.scenar.info/scenar-information.html This device seems to teach the cells of the body to heal themselves!
There are also a great number of MD's and Chiropractors now touting the use of Lasers to break up scar tissue. These devices are very good and when followed up with the proper clinical massage work, do produce significant results.
There are other older treatments such as Ultra sound which have seemed to be effective in many instances. Most Chiropractors and some Massage Therapists will have these treatments available.
Again, as with any other adjunct treatment, clinical massage therapy techniques should be part of this treatment protocol. There are always going to be alternative treatment devices which will be able to help reduce the size and inflexibility of scar tissue internally and externally, However, I will stand by my belief that, as the structure of the body is absolutely bound by connective tissue from head to toe, inside and out, Nothing beats the effectiveness of the sensitivity and skills associated with a top notch Clinical Massage Therapist.
As always, this article is presented purely for your educational consideration. The information is in no way suggesting or implying diagnosis or treatment of any condition or illness.
Steve Lynch, LMT-MSG008476, AAS/Holistic Health, CTE
Let me begin by first stating,and feel free to argue this after you think it through, that every interaction with another human is a sale. Moreover, if you are not buying something, then you are selling something.
It does not have to be a product or a thing which we are literally offering for a price. It could be something like a concept, our point of view or how we might like something to happen in a given situation. Maybe, just our opinion about the price of tea in China. The point is, at the end of a human interaction, there is either mutual ascent, agreement or non-agreement, SALE or No SALE
Seminars are held with the intention of selling a point of view, product or both to a large number of people at once. Politicians seek to present(sell), their ideology to whole nations…even the entire world!!! But sometimes, a sale only involves one person…just us convincing our self:)
If you read my article on communication,(Are We Really Listening?), then you know that the very act of talking WITH someone, contains many components and commitments all the way to the cellular level. So, maybe it is appropriate to start there.
When we BELIEVE in something or someone we might say that it or they resonate with us. (to relate harmoniously; strike a chord). When 2 or more crystal goblets have the same density and one is tapped to produce a tone…the other also begins to produce the same tone…resonate, its a nice word:)
Now, some people do not need to believe in what they are selling in order to sell it…we would say these people could sell ice to an Eskimo. They do however, believe in themselves and their own abilities. For most of us, if we are to be successful, we truly must believe in what we are saying in order to sell it.
Now we already know the importance of body language, how we speak, the choice of words, the inflections, our proximity to the other person and protocol. But there is something else to consider…our own desires/ fears.
How attached are we to the outcome of the intended sale? Is this the last day of a slow sales period? Is it a make or break for a child’s college year…is the house on the chopping block…or maybe we have done so well…it really doesn’t matter:) There is a saying which goes”NEVER LET EM SEE YA SWEAT!” I believe there is merit to this saying, but, here is something to chew on…
Do we see our client as a mark, a sale…a means to an end? Are we thinking about money when we are talking with a person, attempting to get them to believe in us enough to invest in whatever we want them to buy? On an energetic level people can feel intent. So, if we are focused on the almighty dollar and not the person…they will feel it …and it becomes desperation on our part. They will feel that too:)
Here is a simple experiment: Take a plate of fresh cookies and try to sell ten to strangers…now take a plate of fresh cookies and try to give ten away…ya know where I am going with this, huh?
Now the obvious fact and rebuttal would be that we are giving cookies away instead of selling them, so of course we will get rid of more cookies right?
What I am really wanting us to ask our self is: What is our level of concern for the person we are trying to sell to? Are we listening to their questions and comments? Are we understanding their fears, needs and concerns…Its not just attentiveness. Do we genuinely desire to serve the person in front of us? What of our self are we giving to the person in front of us?
Everything is energy …money is just another form of it…essentially then, a sale is an energy exchange…money for product or service.
There is also the LAW OF FAIR EXCHANGE. When the energetic scales are perceived to be in balance, a sale can occur without regret or anger after the sale, if the scales are truly in balance.
An important thing to consider is whether we believe what we are offering is worth what we are asking…if this is something we question…then so would the person we are selling it to:)
There is much more to a sale than just throwing something out there and making some cash. We could classify it as the Dynamics of a sale, the Psychology of a sale, the Art of the sale…etc. All of it could be studied and be useful to think about, But truly, if the energy of your intention conveys a genuine desire to serve, compassion for the person in front of you, passion for what you are selling and enough flexibility to allow people to say yes to you in many ways…you won’t need to think so hard…your energy will be clean and desirable.
Thanks so much for allowing me to say these things..I hope they are helpful:)
Namaste, Steve Lynch, LMT, AAS/Holistic Health, CTE, Trainer
Ah, the Spa. The mecca of all things upscale and pampering to the human sensations. The very essence of making the outside world disappear and counting one's self among the ranks of the fortunate and prosperous. Yes, truly a place where "our" needs are met, without question, because we pay the cost to be the Boss.
Being a Massage Therapist for 15 years and teaching in the field, has given me the opportunity to be involved with many aspects of the the field to include the "Spa" world. I have been privy to the good, the bad and the ugly. In business, we tend to put our best facade on the front and hope that nobody really breaks through. Remember the saying, never let 'em see ya sweat? The show must go on? There are many more such sayings which could be applied to this field, but I think you get it.
See, the idea is that the client, should ideally receive, the very best treatment and product available in the most accommodating environment. But what exactly does that mean? The environment is self explanatory...the more over the top luxurious, the better. Just like most anything else, there are escalating levels of Spa settings, from we got pedicures, manicures and a massage room, to we have anything you want and if you have to ask, you can't afford it.
So, the obvious question here is: Is there more to these 5 star Spas than superficial fluff and high dollar treatment cost? What makes them enticing to people. Why do women and men believe that a 5 star resort/ Spa is the aspiration they should have, the mark they should strive to achieve?
There are 2 major points which immediately noticeable.which will increase or decrease presence on the scale of Spa rating. The above mentioned, environment and SERVICE! This should be an all encompassing term meaning ATTENTION TO DETAIL...EVERY DETAIL! In fact, every facet of the client's experience while in the Spa is crafted to let them know that they can now stick their nose in the air and denounce the rest of the Human race as related to you.
Pomp & Circumstance, luxurious surroundings, Spa Technicians in crisp uniforms, yes Mam no Mam 3 bags full Mam, everyone scurrying like little mice, making sure not to speak unless spoken to and never giving a hint that they understand anything save for "PROTOCOL". Yes, its true. Spas live and die by protocol. From the front desk, to the treatments on your body,25 strokes to the leg, not 23, or 24, oh no, only 25 would ever do. Also, it is assumed that 5 star spa frequenters are like the princess and the pea when it comes to treatment...fragile indeed.
The pressure on these 5 star Clinicians for exact and robotic repetition of motion is only rivaled by Waffle House and quite frankly, mind numbing!
So this means that you will receive a much better body treatment right? Hell no! But, you will pay 2 to 4 times the price as some of the lower echelon Spas. The truth is, that spas have mistaken the individuality of Clinicians for something problematic which must be eliminated at all cost. A Spa owner once tried to justify this mindset by telling me that"Therapists and Clinicians were like cooks and if one cook does it differently, better, by not using protocol and the other cooks could not duplicate the recipe, then the customer could not be consistently satisfied." At that time I had to remind her, that there are cooks and then there are CHEFS and more importantly, people don't rave about or flock to cooks. I am much happier as a chef with superior recipes which normal cooks can"t duplicate. Moreover, it might be hard to find a chef in chains which discourage the individual flair of their "cooks".
The bottom line here is truly, "the bottom line". To say it as I learned it growing up in the South, money talks and Bull Shit walks. To those for whom money is no object and the real skill/ flair of the therapist/clinician is less important than being seen at the "right" place, a 5 star joint will be just fine.However, if one is truly interested in great body work, it may not always come in fancy wrapping.
Thanks for reading,
Steve Lynch, NM LMT7631, AAS/HOLISTIC HEALTH, CTE, TRAINER